IDENTIFYING AN ARCHITECT IN KENYA.
By Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.
Identifying an architect in Kenya is simple. You can get a copy of the Yellow Pages or Directory and check out the Architects contacts page. Also,you can do a google search of which you will see several contacts of Architects.
You can also look out for construction sites in your neighborhood and ask for the contact for the architect who is supervising the particular construction.
CONDUCTING A BACKGROUND CHECK ON AN ARCHITECT IN KENYA
The easiest way to confirm if an Architect is registered to practice in Kenya is to call/email Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors of Kenya[BORAQS] http://www.boraqs.or.ke/ and ask the specific question e.g. is Francis Gichuhi Kamau of telephone number +254721410684 a registered architect with you e.t.c
BORAQS can conduct a background check on behalf of a client since this is the body mandated by Government of Kenya to regulate architecture-all disciplinary issues regarding architecture are forwarded to BORAQS and they have the power to de-register/discipline architects in Kenya.
OWNERSHIP OF DRAWINGS DONE BY ARCHITECT FOR CLIENT.
All architecture service worldwide is guided by a similar copyright law. The architectural work is used by the client but the copyright for the design remains the work of the architect. The client cannot re-use/re-sell/alter their own house designs without permission from the original architect who authored their designs.
SOURCING AND PROCURING THE SERVICES OF A BUILDING CONTRACTOR.
Architects advice clients on the best practice in procurement. It’s the role of their clients to take or reject the advice given.
So as the client can be able to compare oranges with oranges so to speak, the architect will come up with drawings and the Quantity surveyor will come up with unpriced Bills of Quantities [breakdown of all materials and labour for the building project]. With these documents, the client can be able to give the contractors who will all quote for the same quantities, standards and specifications, hence ensuring uniformity in the quotation.
The contract to construct a building is usually between the Client on one side and the Building Contractor on the other. The architect’s role is to act as a referee between the two sides and make sure that all parties keep their end of the bargain as per the contract.
3 TYPES OF PROCUREMENT .
Worldwide, there are best practices that are used by architects and their clients to source contractors. The procurement processes are categorized in 3 types.
1. Direct single-sourcing procurement:
This is whereby the client identifies a contractor he/she would want to use and asks the contractor to quote. This has the disadvantage of the client not being able to take advantage of competition which would otherwise have made the particular contractor to quote less or quote a faster time to complete the project.
2. Open procurement.
This is whereby the client uses mass media such as newspapers to advertise for contractors to quote for the works. The contractors are asked to collect the project drawings and unpriced Bills of Quantities from a particular location, visit the site and give a quotation within a specified time-usually between 2 weeks to 1 month.
In some cases, the contract requests that Bid bonds and Performance bonds issued by Banks are to be used to make sure that the contractors abide to whatever figures they quote in their final quotations. Failure to which the banks issuing the bonds will compensate the client with the amount stated in the bonds at the loss to the contractor.
This is because in an open procurement method, the client will receive very many quotes from all sorts of contractors and there will be a need to put a mechanism in place so that only serious contractors quote for the works.
3. Selective procurement method.
In this method, the client, through the advice of the architect, identifies a number of contractors who he/she has previously seen their works and is sure that they can handle a project of the specified magnitude to satisfaction.
These contractors are asked to pick up the drawings and Bills of quantities ,visit the site and return their quotations within a specified time.
The quotations are then analyzed by the architect who produces an analysis report which the client will use to award the contract.
This has the advantage in that it makes it easier to select the contractor and the risk of selecting a non-performing contractor is eliminated.
In Kenya and most countries worldwide, the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors regulates the fees that architects charge. The fees are charges as per Chapter 525 of the Laws of Kenya.
See a copy here
On average, the full fee for architectural services from design including supervision to completion of the project is in the range of 6% of the construction cost.
The construction cost is initially the estimated construction cost then once a contractor is selected, the construction cost changes to reflect the actual contract sum.
For some services off the main architectural service as described in Chapter 525 of the laws of Kenya such as arbitration, model making, marketing e.t.c, the architect charges on a per hour basis and the hourly charges are regulated by the BORAQS.
Architect Francis Gichuhi Kamau.