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    Get it right in competitive fee environments: ACA launches time/cost calculation tool

    Geraldine Chua

    The Association of Consulting Architects Australia (ACA) has finished rolling out its Architects’ Time/Cost Calculation Guide, with over 150 members attending the free seminars on the Guide.

    Developed based on the premise that the time, cost and resource needs for a project is vital to the business viability of every architectural practice, the Guide combines information supplied by users about their practice’s overheads, costs, expertise and project particulars with historic data about required hours to generate a suggested fee. It works to a four-step process:

    • Steps 1 and 2 allow practices to calculate their office overheads and office variables – this means that the cost calculations for each project are specific to the particulars of the individual practice. The data entered for Step 1 and 2 remain in place over time, and can be readily edited as practice circumstances change. 
    • Step 3 identifies the estimated range of hours required for the project, based on multiple sets of historic data for different project types.
    • Step 4 identifies a charge-out rate for the project based on the information supplied about the practice and the project. Individual practices must then make their own adjustments in relation to project hours – based on specific knowledge of the expertise and experience within the practice. This enables the architect to determine a fee appropriate to their circumstances.

    Available for free to all ACA members, the Guide has two levels of access:

    • Practice Directors
      Directors have access to all steps. This enables them to enter information about office overheads and variables into Step 1 and 2, as well as complete the project specific information for Steps 3 and 4.
    • Project Architects
      Project architects have access to Steps 3 and 4 only. This allows them to calculate time and costs for particular projects, without being privy to the office’s financial data.

    All questions, comments or feedback can be directed to [email protected].

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