"A group of people who work together"
Collaboration has been at the core of the practice since its inception, whether it is within the practice, or with clients, contractors and consultants.
The practice was named 'Crew' to reflect this idea, where the team's efforts take precedence over individual contributions.
The name became even more significant in 2009 when the practice moved onto 'Tectonica' - a converted widebeam canal boat located on the Union Canal. We have since moved to a new location but the practice ethos is as strong as ever.
Why employ Crew?
When you choose Crew, you take the first giant leap towards achieving your project aspirations. Rest assured that you're in capable hands and we'll work tirelessly to bring your vision to life.
What services do you require ?
We offer a number of architectural services See our summary below.
Full Architectural Service
Crew offers comprehensive architectural services that cover every stage of the project,
Our traditional services include-
-planning permission applications
-building regulations/warrant applications
-construction drawings, contractor selection and tender operation
-contract administration through the construction process and handover
Crew will be there to support the client at each stage of the process.
Partial Architectural Service
At Crew, we understand that some clients may only require a reduced set of services, such as working up a design and obtaining planning permission, or even preparing drawings up to the building warrant stage before taking the project to the construction phase without our assistance.
For those clients, we can tailor a competitive fee proposal to meet their specific needs.
Design Feasibility and Input
In some scenarios, particularly when collaborating with developers, we receive requests to assess proposals for prospective development sites, renovation, or conversion projects.
We can prepare preliminary designs for a modest fee to ascertain the viability of the project, often prior to any purchase commitments.
We are open to offering a tailored fee structure for this service, which may involve an hourly rate service if multiple options need to be appraised.
We, as Sustainable Accredited architects RIAS, can provide you with helpful information and services for your construction needs. Our team includes an accredited on construction energy assessor who can analyse both new and existing buildings.
Moreover, for many of our projects, we are often requested to provide additional visuals to support them, especially during the planning stage. This is an additional service that we offer. We can deliver a comprehensive range of outputs, from sketch drawings to photorealistic presentations. Our clients highly value these visuals as they aid in their comprehension of their project.
The Construction Design & Management (CDM) regulations 2015 came into force on 6th April 2015 and applies to all parties including a domestic clients We can advise you on your obligations.
Under the CDM regulations, for non complex projects we can provide the role of Principle Designer throughout the Process.
Find out more here-
Understanding Architects Fees
At Crew, we believe in transparency when it comes to our fees. We want our potential clients to be fully informed about our fee structure before making any decisions. Therefore, we openly share information about our fees and how they are structured.
The way we structure our fees is set out below.
Our preferred payment structure is the percentage method.
Architects' fees are calculated based on a percentage of the construction cost. Larger and more complex projects generally require more work from us and will result in an increase in our overall fee. Conversely, if the scope of work and construction cost is reduced, our fees will also be reduced.
The percentages we follow adhere to the RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) suggested fee scales and can vary depending on the job type classification and whether it pertains to a new or existing building.
In certain cases where there is a higher level of certainty regarding the scope of works, we may consider a fixed fee for each stage of the project.
The advantage of a fixed fee is that it provides a greater level of cost certainty, should the project not change. However, if changes to the project occur, additional fees will be required, often at an hourly rate, which may not be as cost-effective as the percentage fee route.
For our fixed fees, we typically charge slightly higher than the costs for each phase on the RIAS fee scales.
To provide a competitive fee quote, we also refer to collated timesheets and fees from past jobs.
For certain feasibility or early design work that cannot be easily defined, it is common to charge an agreed hourly rate. This can be a cost-effective option for small parcels of work. However, it may not be as cost-efficient for longer projects and more certain projects.
Any additional work required as part of the percentage or fixed-rate routes will be charged on an agreed hourly rate.
To ensure accurate billing, all members of Crew keep detailed timesheets.
Percentage Fees Explained
Crew uses fee scales provided by the RIAS for both new build construction and existing buildings.
The fee charged by architects will be calculated based on an estimated construction budget for the project, at the very beginning of the project and are usually based on costings prepared by a quantity surveyor of an initial design. As the project progresses, the architects fee is continually reviewed and may be adjusted either upward or downward depending on changes in the construction budget and the scope of work involved. Any changes are reported to the client.
The indicative fees are for a full traditional service where Crew would be involved at each stage of the process. From initial design, construction and completion.
You may notice the increased percentage for existing projects compared to new build on the graphs below. This is a result of the added workload and uncertainty that comes with working on existing buildings.
New Works- normal services
New Works Example
Architects fees on 200k construction budget would be based on 8.7% = £17.400 for the full traditional service. This excludes any additional services and VAT.
Class 5 - Residential
Cost of Works (£000's)
Existing Works- normal services
Cost of Works (£000's)
Classification of Buildings
range from simple (1) to complex (5)
Houses and Flats for individial clients = class 5
Apartment blocks = class 4
Hotels = class 4
Public Houses and Restaurants = class 4
Community Centres = class 3
Existing Works Example
Architects fees on 200k construction budget would be based on 13% = £26.000 for the full traditional service. This excludes any additional services and VAT.
Class 5 - Residential
Percentage Fees. A worked example
Crew utilises fee scales provided by the RIAS for both new build construction and existing buildings.
The fee scales reflect a percentage increase for the same construction budget on existing projects due to the increased workload and uncertainty of existing buildings.
Percentage Fees- A worked example
It is important to understand the difference between the construction budget and total development cost.
While the construction budget pertains solely to the costs involved in the building process- how much it costs to physically build the design. The total development cost encompasses all project-related costs such as additional services, professional fees, VAT, and statutory approvals.
When a client discusses their budget, they are generally referring to their total development budget, which includes all the expenses related to the project, not just the construction costs. To determine the available construction budget, it's necessary to calculate it by subtracting the other costs such as professional fees, VAT, and statutory approvals from the total development budget.
Our first example shows when the construction budget is set at £200000 including vat and our second example shows when the total development budget is set at £200000 including vat. The examples are based on a class 5 residential project on an existing building.
Vat on existing buildings is normally standard rated for tax although there are exceptions. For the examples below the standard rate at 20% has been assumed. New dwellings, conversions, vacant dwellings and works to listed projects can be zero rated or reduced rated. Vat contributions can have a significant financial impact on any project.
For all projects, consultants fees are set at the standard vat rate.
To find out more on which projects qualify for exemptions please visit the following government link
If our clients have a budget of £200,000 to cover all aspects of the project, then the actual construction budget is expected to be slightly less than £140,000 +vat. Should the budget be set at £200.000 +vat construction cost then the total development cost will be around £285,000.
The above examples represent a scenario close to the worst case when dealing with a standard-rated existing building and with a full design team of consultants, (our fees can change/be reduced if working on a new build project or reducing the scope of our services such as working up to building warrant stage only) but it highlights the disparity between the two main figures.
For more information regarding these examples, please refer to our FAQ section.
Payment cycle for percentage fees
We set our fee payment structure commensurate with the amount of work that has been carried out within each section of the contract.
The Conditions of Appointment of an Architect in Scotland outline reasonable stages in a traditional contract where payments can be made. The percentages specified indicate the portion of the total fee that is expected to be paid at the completion of each stage.
Preparing the Design
Stage 0 Preparation of the Brief
Stage 1 Briefing and Appraisal
Stage 2 Initial design = 15 % total for stages 0 to 2
Stage 3 To Planning Consent Application = 15 %
Stage 4a To Building Warrant Application = 20%
Preparing to Build
Stage 4b Technical Documentation and Tender Administration = 25 %
Progressing the Build
Stage 5 Construction and Contract Administration = 23 %
Stage 6 Post Completion Work, Handover and Close Out = 2 %
Typical percentages are shown but the payment structure can change as agreed within the conditions of appointment.
Stage 7, monitoring of building in use not shown.
The above does not account for additional services that are outlined in the contract. Additional services include carrying out a building survey and preparation of existing drawings, topographical surveys any visualisations/presentation and CDM principle designer services.
All projects in a traditional contract follow the same linear process from the initial meeting and preparation of the brief through to handover of the project.
The RIBA has devised a plan for architects, which delineates the various stages involved in a building project and the collaboration between the design team and all involved. This plan provides a general framework for when specific actions should be taken and facilitates the coordination of information production and exchange throughout the duration of the project.
Please follow the link for more information
Preparing the design
Stages 0 -2 Brief preparation + Initial Design
The decisions taken during the initial phase of a project play a pivotal role in its overall success.
Our team collaborates closely with clients to meticulously scrutinise their requirements and transform them into an ambitious set of specifications.
These specifications are then transformed into preliminary sketches, which serve as a basis for further discussion, analysis, and design development. To ensure the feasibility of the project, we frequently seek input from planners, structural engineers, and quantity surveyors during this phase.
Broadly, the design is largely resolved by the conclusion of this stage.
To Planning consent application
Drawing and support documentation are prepared to support your planning application.
We often put together a planning support document or planning statement to better explain the design and how the design has evolved.
To Building warrant consent application
At building regulations and building warrant stage the drawings are populated with more technical information and specification in sufficient detail to support the application. The information added is required to show compliance with the relevant approved documents / technical building standards. Information provided by the structural engineer is also submitted.
This consent is required to begin building work. For some clients our input ends here and they take the project forward themselves with a contractor.
Preparing to build
Technical documentation and tender administration
The preparation of construction detailing and component drawings, specifications, and schedules is carried out to determine the tender price and facilitate the building process. Final decisions are made on details, finishes, and materials.
In collaboration with a quantity surveyor, a reliable list of contractors is identified and invited to submit competitive bids for constructing the project. After reviewing the bids, a contractor is chosen and a contract is prepared to establish the project requirements.
Progressing the build
Stages 5 and 6
Construction and contract administration
Handover and close out
The contractor will proceed with building works in accordance with the contract. In a traditional contract, Crew will assume the role of contractor administrator. In this role we will make periodic visits to inspect the general progress of the works, issue instructions to the contractor and reject any unsatisfactory work.
We report to the client on matters of progress, unforeseen elements on site, any variations in budget and programme and issue certification for staged payments due to the contractor.
When construction is completed, a practical completion certificate is issued with final payments due to the contractor organised following the defects liability period.
Frequently asked questions
Need to know more? Here you may find answers to any remaining questions