Aberdeen Society of Architects

A chapter of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. We represent some 200 chartered Architects within the City of Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

The A.S.A’s main aim is to promote the interests of Architects and Architecture within this area.

The current council consists of 12 local Architects. We encourage local Architects with an interest in the chapter to get in touch.

History of the Association

What is an Architect?

...and the benefits of using an Architect.

A Chartered Architect must be a member of a professional body such as the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) or Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). As a member, he or she will uphold their ethics and standards of conduct and will have trained for a minimum of seven years. Only a qualified person who has undertaken approved courses and has passed the necessary examinations may call him or herself an Architect. The title ARCHITECT is protected in law.

It is unlikely that an unqualified person will hold insurances which cover their services, should the unthinkable happen and a problem occur with the project. A Chartered Architect must hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover such eventualities, and many may never have claimed on their policies after years of practice. Furthermore, the booklet ‘Architect’s Appointment’ provides the safeguard of ultimate reference to these professional bodies for help and advice.


An RIBA accredited Architect will usually undergo a five year university degree followed by a minimum of two years in practice before sitting the final examination to become an Architect. This seven year period is designed to familiarise the young professional with all aspects of the design and build process.
Whether you are looking for tradition or innovation, boldness or understatement, an architect can lift your project out of the ordinary.
Undertaking a building project, whatever its scale , can be a daunting experience, but the same basic criteria apply. When you use a chartered architect you are employing someone who has undertaken training that gives them incomparable skill and knowledge on the process.
Job Roles
Architects often undertake roles in design, visualisation, space planning and construction detailing of buildings. In Scotland, Architects also prepare drawings for both planning and building control in order to gain the correct permissions for construction.

Architect’s Fees and Services

The first or preliminary consultation with an Architect may be more cost effective than you first thought. Architect’s Services provide fair competition from tenderers allowing for good value for money. If the project is inspected on site by your Architect problems which could occur on site can be sorted out and not concealed. In some instances your Architect may even save you money by understanding how an unwary client can easily be caught out by an unscrupulous contractor. Architect’s charges are explained in the booklet ‘The Architect’s Appointment’, which a Chartered Architect will usually discuss with each client at the outset of a project. The Appointment lists the services of an Architect and provides the conditions under which he/she is engaged. Fees are usually charged as a percentage of the project’s final cost, and can also be a lump sum agreed at the outset of the project. Fees are usually payable in stages or instalments as design work progresses.

Town Planning and Consents

The approved preliminary design is developed for final approval by the client and subsequent submission for planning approval. After receipt of planning consent, the Architect undertakes working drawings and specifications for the construction. The Architect will prepare all the relevant material necessary for Building Regulation and other complex statutory requirements.

Tenders and Contract

The working drawings and Bills of Quantity comprise the contract documents on which tenders will be invited, normally from a limited number of contractors. This procedure will ensure that there is fair competition based upon common documentation which eliminates any ambiguities which may otherwise arise. The Architect will also advise on the form of contract most suitable for your own project.

Health & Safety

For the last few years and for the foreseeable future Health & Safety issues have and will be of prime importance on any building site in order to reduce the accident rate in the building industry. An Architect will be able to advise on this onerous legislation and advise on how to proceed.

How the contract works

The contract will specify the tendered building cost and the duration of the works. The client will sign the contract directly with the successful tenderer. During the course of the works, the Architect will visit the site at an agreed frequency. He will issue certificates authorising payments to the contractor. When the building has been completed, ready for occupation, the Architect issues a Certificate of Practical Completion; a period called Defects Liability then follows, during which all outstanding or defective work must be made good. The contract is concluded by the issue of a Certificate of Final Completion, and a small percentage of the contract sum, called retention, is usually held by the clients until Final Completion.


“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

– Winston Churchill –

What’s On


57º10 (pronounced fifty seven ten) is the name of the lecture series at The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and The Built Environment in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is a non-profit organisation run by students, which invites guest speakers to lecture in the School. Speakers are usually practicing architects of interest to students and to the school, and the society aims to create a link between architectural education and architectural practice. However, lecturers are also invited from related disciplines such as art, architectural photography and interior design.

57º10 Lectures take place at 17:00 on Thursday evenings, after which students are given an opportunity to pose questions to the visiting speaker; either at the end of the lecture or afterwards in the Basement, where members are invited for refreshments and a social gathering. It is now the largest society at the university, with over 200 members! Often, visiting lecturers are also invited to take part in School activities during their stay, promoting a natural and healthy interaction between practice and education.

More information can be found on their website


Chapter News Archive



Feel free to email us for more information we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Catherine McKeown, President, Aberdeen Society of Architects.

All rights reserved, Aberdeen Society of Architects 2014. All photographs by Tom Joy Photography.

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