11 Questions a Client Asks an Architect Before Hiring Him

1. Would you design something contrary to some of the following: your understanding of good architecture, your conscience, good practice in construction, existing standards and codes?

a. Yes, in case I am paid for this.
b. Can’t be avoided , sometimes I have to.
c. Never, this is detrimental to the profession and the quality of the project. And the latter is not in the interest of the client.

2. Which are the design phases that you normally develop?

a. Preliminary and then technical design documentation. The construction is carried out based on the technical drawings.
b. Preliminary and technical design documentation for obtaining construction permission and detailed design documentation for the implementation.

3. How many detailed drawings and assembly plans you usually develop in the detailed design phase?

a. Between 1 and 5.
b. Between 5 and 20.
c. Over 50.

4. Do you know the investment costs of what you have designed?

a. No, this is never the designer’s responsibility.
b. Yes, precisely.

5. Which is the exact moment that your client gets to know the overall amount of investment costs for construction?

a. After the full completion of the design phase and followed by the tendering procedures.
b. From the early preliminary design stage.

6. Usually how frequent are your visits on site during construction?

a. 1 to maximum 5 times.
b. Between 5 and 20 times.
c. Over 50 times.

7. Are you capable of managing the construction of the buildings that you have designed?

a. I am not, as this is not a responsibility of the architect.
b. Yes, till final completion.

8. Do you receive commission money from suppliers and construction companies as a reward for your lobbying for their interest?

a.  Yes, this is the normal practice.
b. Sometimes it happens.
c. Never, this is not correct as is distorting the interrelations in construction business.

9. Do you perform solar studies for the analysis of shadows, cast from nearby buildings or trees?

a. No, this can be omitted, as modern technology for providing thermal comfort can handle lack of solar gains.
b. Yes, this is usually one of the first steps of design.

10. What is the usual amount of time that you need to complete the design of a Passivhaus standard building?

a. Never more than 60 days.
b. Over 120 days. Depends on the complexity of the task. I think this job cannot be done for a shorter time.

11. Usually your design and specifications are strictly adhered to for implementation or changes frequently arise during construction? Changes that you are not notified for and subsequently you tend to generally disagree with.

a. Frequently during implementation, in my absence, construction companies are deviating from the design documentation, as a rule deteriorating the qualities of the building.
b. My design documentation is implemented with no deviations, as I take special care of persuading the client that keeping tight to the design is in his primary interest.

Here are our answers to the questions above: