The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th Edition
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Architects must be proficient in a variety of business practices to contribute to, manage, or launch a successful firm. They are responsible for the same kind of legal, financial, marketing, management, and administrative activities as any other professional. Within these broad categories, however, there are many details, including professional standards and documents, that are unique to the profession of architecture.





About the Handbook.


1. Professional Life.

1.1 Ethics and Professional Conduct.

2004 AIA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct.

1.2 Participating in Professional Organizations.

1.3 Public Service and Community Involvement.

1.4 The Architect in the Political Process.

1.5 Participating in Architecture Education.

2. Legal Dimensions of Practice.

2.1 Architects and the Law.

Copyright Law for Architects.

The Architect as Expert Witness.

2.2 Regulation of Professional Practice.

Mandatory Continuing Education.

3. Professional Development.

3.1 Lifelong Learning.

3.2 Mentoring.


4. Firm Development.

4.1 Starting an Architecture Firm.

4.2 Firm Legal Structure.

4.3 Strategic Planning for the Design Firm.

4.4 Firm Identity and Expertise.

Establishing a Niche Practice.

4.5 Team Building  for Architects. 

4.6 Firm Peer Review.

4.7 Alliances.

4.8 Practicing in a Global Market.

4.9 Ownership Transition.

5. Marketing and Public Relations.

5.1 Marketing Strategy and Planning  .

5.2 Seeking the Project.

Proposal Development.

The Project Interview.

5.3 Public Relations.

6. Client Relations.

6.1 How Clients Select Architects.

6.2 Communicating with Clients.

6.3 Building Client Relationships.

7. Human Resources.

7.1 The Human Resources Management.

Architects as Employers.

Legal Requirements.

7.2 Recruiting and Hiring.

Staffing Alternatives .

New Employee Orientation.

7.3 Developing and Using Job Descriptions.

7.4 Staff Compensation and Benefits.

7.5 Staff Development and Retention.

7.6 Developing Leadership Skills .

7.7 Resignation, Termination, and Staff Reduction.

8. Financial Management.

8.1 Financial Planning.

8.2 Financial Management Systems.

Computerized Financial Systems.

8.3 Maintaining Financial Health.

8.4Acquiring Capital.

9. Risk Management.

9.1 Risk Management Strategies.

Risk Assessment Matrixes.

9.2Insurance Coverage.

9.3 Managing and Avoiding Disputes..

9.4 Dispute Resolution Methods.

10. Firm Operations.

10.1 Office Administration.

10.2 Computer Technology in Practice.

10.3 Information Management.

10.4 Developing and Managing Multiple Office Firms.

10.5 Retaining and Archiving Records.


11. Project Definition.

11.1 Defining Project Services.

11.2 Architectural Services and Compensation.

11.3 Negotiating Agreement.

11.4 Project Delivery Methods.

Construction Management.

Design-Build Project Delivery.

12. Project Delivery.

12.1 Programming.

12.2 Design Phases.

12.3 Construction Documentation.

U.S. National CAD Standard.


12.4 Building or Negotiation Phase..

12.5 Construction Contract Administration.

12.6 Project Closeouts.

12.7 Sustainable Design.

12.8 Environmentally Preferable Product Selection.

12.9 Research Methods for Architects.

12.10 Digital Architectural Survey Technologies.

12.11 Value Analysis .

12.12 Life-Cycle Costing.

13. Project Management.

13.1 The Effective Project Manager.

13.2 Managing Architectural Projects.

13.3 Project Controls.

Project Scheduling.

13.4 Managing Fast-Track Projects.

13.5 Construction Cost Management.

14. Quality Management.

14.1 Quality Management in Practice.

14.2 Maintaining Design Quality.

15. Building Codes and Regulations.

15.1 Community Planning Controls.

15.2 Building Codes and Standards.

The International Building Code.


16. Types of Agreements.

16.1 Agreements with Owners.

16.2 Owner Generated Agreements.

16.3 Project Design Team Agreements.

Joint Venture Agreements.

16.4Construction Contracts.

17. AIA Documents.

17.1 The AIA Documents Program.

2007 AIA Documents Documents.

17.2 AIA Contract Documents Synopses by Family.


A: Professional and Allied Organizations.

B: State Registration Boards.

C: Schools of Architecture.

D: Sample AIA Contract Documents.

E: Glossary.



"…includes major new information on programming, project management, construction contract administration, risk management, and ethics." (; 1/09)

"…includes for the first time in its nearly 100-year history, a section called "The Architect in the Political Process." The handbook describes why architects are uniquely qualified to make important professional contributions in the political area. The recognition that a political dimension exists in architectural practice is an important first step for the AIA, and I applaud them for including it in the handbook." (The Architect's Newspaper; Dec 2008)

"Note the fresh emphasis on integrated practice and team building. Indispensable." (, December 2008)

"The "Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice" has been the definitive guide to running an architectural practice for almost a century." (, 7/08)