Frequently Asked Questions

Who is an Architect?

An Architect is a trained, experienced individual who is registered, licensed or otherwise authorized to use the title "architect" and to practice architecture in a province or territory.

The most basic definition of an architect is a professional who is qualified to design and provide advice - both aesthetic and technical - on built objects in our public and private landscapes. But this definition barely scratches the surface of an architect's role. Architects serve as trusted advisors, their role is holistic, blending diverse requirements and disciplines in a creative process, while serving the public interest and addressing health and safety matters.

Perhaps, it would be best to describe architects as conductors who orchestrate and take the lead in reconciling all the goals for a building or other structure. Architects do this by providing solutions through the use of:

artistic imagination and creative vision to design spaces where their ideas and techniques-represented through form, light, textures, materials, and colours-combine to fulfill our aesthetic, spiritual, and cultural needs;

practical and technical knowledge to create spaces that are safe, efficient, sustainable, and meet economic needs; and interpersonal skills, psychological understanding and ethical practice to craft spaces that fulfill the complex, and sometimes conflicting, needs of clients, users, and the community.

{RAIC Website, 2009}

How do Copyright requirements relate to Architectural Services?

Payment of the architect’s fee gives you the right to use, once and for the intended purpose only, the plans, sketches, drawings, graphic representations, and specifications prepared by the architect as instruments of service. However, the copyright and ownership of both the design and these instruments of service belong to the architect and you may not use them for any other project, sell them or offer them for sale (or as part of a sale of property).Architects’ designs are protected by copyright.

{RAIC Website, 2009}

Do I need an Architect for my project?

The need for architectural services varies with each project. Architects are skilled at a wide variety of tasks from project analysis and intimate design details through to extensive building projects. It is recommended for each and every project you plan to undertake that an Architect be consulted to determine the potential scope of services.

What is the benefit in engaging the services of an Architect for my project?

There are many benefits available to every project that engages an Architect's services. These benefits include an aesthetic response, an articulated solution or improved resolution to a specific or general problem.

Architects contribute vast knowledge of design, construction and methods to each project. The inclusion of a professional with your project may assist you in reducing the overall floor plan resulting in a potential savings throughout the lifespan of the building: lower operating and maintenance costs, lower upgrading or rehabilitation costs based on the overall square footage, better use of available area. Operation and Maintenance costs over the life of a facility far exceed the professional fees on a capital project. A savings in this regard will remain in effect for the life of the facility.

We firmly believe that in order for a building to be sustainable, it must be loved; it must touch the soul. People—not just the current owners, but future generations—must find enough value in a building to continue to occupy and maintain it. Some of this is aesthetic, some performance, and some economics. The Roman architect Vitruvius told us that buildings must have "Firmness, Commodity and Delight". True today more than ever.David Arkin

Continue Exploring

Back to top