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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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A'21 Chats

  • 1.  A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-23-2021 05:39 PM
    At the end of day 1 at A'21 I joined a breakout room focused on the preceding keynote address about Transforming the Business of Design. Folks seemed to catch the most fire from Sheela Sogaard's comments about not leaving money at the bargaining tbale so you can pay better wages = attract better talent that would otherwise move to other parts of the industry. Some breakouters seemed to pine for the days before AIA's antitrust consent decree when there was a more fixed fee structure for architects; others observed that successful architects remain successful and we just need to figure out how to elevate the average one. A suggestion was made that the AIA should not just focus on how to comply with the Antitrust box we are in, but apply legal and lobbying leverage to break out of the box - with questions about how the realtors have gotten by all this time (tho lately they are seeing market competition by Redfin and other discounters). Any thoughts on the relative value (and specific how-to) of your AIA being allowed to define what your fee minimums should be vs helping you learn how to negotiate and position yourself more powerfully?

    ------------------------------
    Scott Knudson AIA
    AIA PMKC Leadership Group
    ------------------------------
    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 2.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-25-2021 07:46 AM

    I think it's a terrible idea to allow our industry trade group, the AIA, to define our fee structure.  We're not a cartel, we're independent businesses serving our communities. 

    Price-fixing is anti-competitive, distorts market-choice and ultimately drives down the quality and selection of services offered to the customer. 

     

    Bob Krieger

    Robert Krieger, AIA, NCARB

    Vice President

     

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    Dahn  &  Krieger

    Architects Planners PC

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    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 3.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-28-2021 06:34 PM
    Huh?  We were here a while ago:


    Chris Semmelink RA

    Sent from my iPad



    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 4.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-29-2021 07:55 AM
    Price fixing for Architects is a horrible idea.  AIA was sued in the 60's for trying.  Charge what you can.  As you improve, charge more.

     
    JamesM.Copeland RA 
    Principal
    HUDSON DESIGN  
    Architecture & Construction Management
    Tel: (845) 424-4810 | Mobile: (914) 393-5062
    www.hudsondesign.pro

    Follow HD

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    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 5.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-30-2021 11:30 PM
    I remember Arthur Gensler saying (paraphrased): If you think you're underpaid, you're being paid what you're worth.




    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 6.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 30 days ago
    I don't think the discussion should be about price fixing or not and obviously not anything that would be in conflict with the anti-trust law. Smaller offices go to great lengths to try to estimate for work and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Some offices do not have the luxury to overestimate in order to test the market, but also want to be paid fairly for the work to be performed, and want to estimate for future staff/growth. What architects desire are some suggested percentages or fees for certain scopes of work. This not only helps architects but this would help potential clients with their budgets. Coming from the AIA would carry more weight than someone searching the untrustworthy sites or google. Or worse, from bad information getting so-and-so's contractor or someone who got a deal years ago. There is a lot of information out there and a guide should be generated at the minimum annually or whenever the contacts are updated by the Institute but preferably something to help adjust to the changing market. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada has a guide to assist Architects and Project Clients in determining appropriate fees for Architects & projects and there should be something to assist the American Institute of Architect members.  Especially those who use the AIA contracts. Their guide even includes a fee calculation worksheet. The discussion that there needs to be some assistance for the industry is a good one and shouldn't be dismissed. 




    Rand Pinson, AIA





    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 7.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 30 days ago
    Fred A. Stitt, Editor/Publisher of GUIDELINES and
    Founder/Director of the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, provides some excellent research on A/E Fees:

    https://guidelinesonline.com/aedesignservices.htm#aedesignservices

    ------------------------------
    James Copeland AIA
    Principal
    Hudson Design
    Garrison NY
    ------------------------------

    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 8.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 29 days ago
    Figure out your cost of labor, and your profit target. Then apply that formula to your proposals, and fine tune as you gain experience with markets, project types & clients.

    Sent from my iPhone


    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 9.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 29 days ago
    Friends:

    We would not likely ask a lawyer or physician for guidance on scale, proportion or the aesthetic of the design of a building.  Maybe a lawyer is the one to ask about the legal implications of the AIA/Justice Dept. Consent Decree.  And Canada law is Canada law.  US law is US law.  Let's stay in our lane.

    JN


    John Nyfeler, FAIA
    Consulting Architect

    P. O. Box 4479
    Austin, Texas   78765-4479
    512.923.8623
    John@JohnNyfeler.com
    www.JohnNyfeler.com




    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 10.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 06-28-2021 04:30 PM
    Regardless of available average architectural billing fees per building type (yep...you can Google them) or the infamous AIA antitrust suit,  I would suggest that firm principal's "test the waters" from time to time...especially when work is plentiful.

    Practice submitting ever higher fees at the upper end of current market rates until you start to get push-back...that's when you know where your fees should be.  You want to be the "Well Compensated" guy !!!

    At least I do.



    Peter
     
    Macrae ARCHitecture, LLC
     
    Peter S. Macrae, AIA
    Principal
    "MARCHing with a different perspective"
     
    74 Orchard Drive
    Worthington, OH 43085
     
    614-205-6805 phone
    614-848-8113 fax
     



    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 11.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 24 days ago
    Edited by Emma Tucker 24 days ago
    Hi all - due to the topic at hand, I asked our General Counsel to review this thread and provide some feedback. Please see his response below:

    ---------------

    Greetings all:

    This thread was flagged by our Knowledge Community team due to potential antitrust implications.  I have reviewed the thread, and I understand the desire to discuss these issues at a high level – the fact that discussion regarding actual fee amounts was avoided is appreciated; however, antitrust laws cover much more than that.

    Three things to keep in mind:

    • Antitrust laws are complex and unforgiving. They involve no fewer than four federal bodies of law – the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Robinson-Patman Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act (and there are state laws that also may be applicable).
    • Professional membership organizations like the AIA are particularly fertile ground for antitrust issues. Organizations like AIA are, by definition, a structured group of competitors acting in concert. Moreover, AIA has the fortune of being an organization that enjoys of market share of architects and design professionals, making antitrust becomes an even more sensitive area.
    • The AIA has a history with the Department of Justice on these issues.


    The question, then, is how do we have these kinds of good faith discussions without running afoul of the antitrust laws?  Because of the complexities, these kinds of discussion should take place as part of a planned and curated session which can be reviewed beforehand and monitored during. This is less organic, of course, but it is the best way to go about it.

    If you have any questions or wish to speak to me directly, please feel free to contact me at tona@aia.org. I would be happy to talk with you.

    Terrence "Terry" Ona
    Sr. Vice President & General Counsel
    Office of General Counsel

     It is the practice of The American Institute of Architects ("the Institute" or "the AIA") and its members to comply strictly with all laws, including federal and state antitrust laws, that apply to AIA operations and activities. Compliance with the letter and spirit of the antitrust laws is an important goal of the AIA, and is essential to maintaining the Institute's reputation for the highest standards of ethical conduct.



    ------------------------------
    Emma Tucker, Manager, Knowledge Communities
    The American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC
    ------------------------------

    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 12.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 18 days ago
    Didn't think I had a dog in this fight, but I don't believe the government can erase the first amendment.  Unless we talk dollars or very specific strategies, how can we be muzzled?

    ------------------------------
    R. Coco AIA
    Senior Architectural Project Manager
    Midland TX
    ------------------------------

    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 13.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 18 days ago
    Has not the AIA performed a survey of what  fees members have and do charge for various types of projects and circumstances?  This would be helpful to less experienced firms and surely is not price fixing.   We have consulted such a survey called Guidelines prepared by Fred A. Stitt, Founder of the San Francisco Institute of Architects.

     
    James M. Copeland AIA , Principal 
    HUDSON DESIGN  
    Architecture & Construction Management
    Tel: (845) 424-4810 | Mobile: (914) 393-5062
    www.hudsondesign.pro

    Follow HD

    Facebook YouTube LinkedIn Remodeling and Home Design Architizer 




    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 14.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 17 days ago

    When the professional organization (a trade group) assembles and distributes this information it is regarded as collusion & price fixing and is enjoined by the anti-trust laws. Think of it as sharing price information among all the brick suppliers through the Masonry Institute.

     

    If a private publisher accumulates and sells this information, it is free speech.

     

    Jim Copeland is correct (see his chat entry). This is what Means does when they publish the cost of material and labor for different parts of the country.



    ------------------------------
    G. Drake Jacobs AIA
    Group One Partners, Inc.
    Melrose MA
    ------------------------------

    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now


  • 15.  RE: A'21 Chats

    Posted 16 days ago
    Good Clarification from G. Drake Jacobs.

    And, years / decades ago, when the AIA published fees that members were required to charge, it was even more clearly price fixing.

    Out here in Washington, the State publishes guidelines for fees for state-funded public work.  They are somewhat negotiable (especially if work will be done by consultants), but in effect are payment-fixing.  And that's considered OK.

    Whatever you decide to charge, be sure that part of your budget is profit.  You need that for buying new computers or putting in your pocket.

    --
    best regards,
    Joel Niemi
    - Architect
    425.422.4276
    jniemiarchitect@gmail.com
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/jniemiarchitect



    The American Institute of Architects 2021 Small Project Awards Recognizing the best in small project design view now