The Architect in Kenya usually follows a standard process of creating the design that shall ultimately be built. As part of compliance with these set regulations, Adroit Architecture seeks to adhere to these regulations as much as possible. These stages of design form the basis of payment of professional fees. As each stage is completed, the client is responsible to sign off the work of the consultants and this becomes a benchmark of work done so far.

Architectural practice in the East African region is governed by legal statutes that have been ordained by Acts of Parliament. In Kenya for example, the Architects and Quantity Surveyors Act cap 525 stipulates various matters regarding architectural profession, including payment of professional fees. The Act also stipulates what aspects of the work is carried out under normal services and which are additional services. The following is a synopsis of what happens in the various stages as listed in cap 525.

Stages of Architectural Services Offered By The Kenyan Architect

PRE-DESIGN STAGE by the Architect



a)        Advising on Site Selection

  • Inspections, evaluations, comparative studies detailed study negotiations and reports to the Client. The detailed study may include topographic and sub-surface conditions, utilities, zoning and land use requirements, parking and traffic flow regulations, title restrictions, existing or proposed easements, public relations evaluation.
  • Analysis of site to allow optimum use, including review of existing conditions, services, if any, planning requirements to establish facility locations, site improvements, landscape.
  • Studies of requirements on-site and off-site, which may include electrical service and distribution, sewer and stormwater collection, drainage, water supply and distribution, fire control and alarm, emergency lighting, security protection, air-conditioning, pollution control, site illumination, telephone.
  • Determination of conformity with planning zones, preparation of material for and consultation with authorities, applications for approvals, re-zoning, attending appeals.
  • Technical appraisal, user study, planning and design study, statutory authority, financial study, reports, time tables, contract procedures.
  • Organize for investigations of surface and sub-soil conditions to determine the nature of the material, characteristics, bearing capacity, water table, ease of excavation.
  • Assessment of area requirements and functional relationships for the design brief, including consideration of client’s resources, technical requirements, physical requirements, site limitations, future facilities and requirements and setting the initial programme.
  • Preparation of brief and/or assistance in preparation of client’s detailed brief.
  • Preparation of drawings, reports, estimates and consultations.
  • Advising on appropriate means of procuring buildings and on types of building contracts available.
  • Advising on appropriate means of procuring plant and equipment and studying compatibility of the same.
  • Research, correspondence, discussion, management in providing predesign services.
  • Preparation of schematic design, illustrated by scheme drawings and/or reports, and provision of indicative estimates of cost.
  • Preparation of design development, including appropriate developed sketch drawings, reports, advice on preliminary designs of engineering and other specialist  services and provision of time program and estimates of cost. Submission of drawings to Statutory Authorities may form part of the work at this stage.
  • Preparation of detailed drawings to clearly illustrate construction details including the preparation of schedules for materials and finishes.
  • Calling and Reporting on Tenders
  • Calling of tenders in conjunction with or on behalf of the client and answering tenderers’ queries.
  • Analysis and advice in respect of tenders received.
  • Negotiation, preparation of documents and arrangements for execution of contract.
  • Additional services (where there is no Quantity Surveyor) may include preparation of documents for and calling of alternative tenders and/or administration of special tendering procedures.
  • Research, correspondence, discussion and management in providing design services.

b)        Site Use Studies

c)         Studies of Services

d)        Zoning Analysis and Authorities Consultations

e)        Finance and Feasibility Studies and Reports

f)         Soil Investigations

g)         Project Programming and Analysis

h)        Preparation of Brief

i)         Submissions for grants, subsidy and Fund Raising

j)          Building Procurement Advice

k)         Equipment and Plant Procurement Advice

l)         Administrative Services


a)        Schematic Design

b)        Design Development Stage

c)         Detailed Design Stage

d)        Tender Action

e)        Additional Services


a)         Administering the Contract

Administration of the contract and inspection of the works including, design, site meetings (to a maximum of two meetings per month) as appropriate, supplying information, checking claims and issuing certificates, negotiating variations and cost adjustments and dealing with claims for extensions of time and other matters included in the building contract.

b)         Detailed Supervision

  • Providing regular, persistent and continuous supervision on site during construction and ex-site during fabrication or assembly.
  • Where more frequent or constant inspection is required a Clerk of Works shall be employed. He shall be nominated or approved by the Architect, and be under the Architect’s direction and control. He shall be appointed and paid by the Client or alternatively may be employed by the Architect who shall be reimbursed by the client.
  • Where the employment of a resident architect is agreed he shall be employed by the Architect who shall be reimbursed by the client.
  • Providing drawings showing significant changes made in the work during construction, either re-drawn or marked-up drawings and/or other data appropriate.
  • Providing maintenance manuals for buildings, services and plant.
  • Providing assistance in the utilisation of systems and equipments, initial start-up and testing, adjustment and balancing, training of personnel and consultations.
  • Making periodic maintenance inspections, warranty reviews, estimations for insurance, operational reviews, approving and coordinating special tenant requirements.
  • Research, correspondence, discussion and management in providing post design services.

c)         Record Drawings, Maintenance and/or Guideline Manuals

d)         Commissioning Assistance

e)         Services during Defects Liability Period

f)         Administrative Services

Broadly put, the main stages are classified as the pre-contract stage where the architect carries out design and documentation work, while in the post contract stage the architect supervises the construction of the building project by a building contractor according to their designs and specifications. The Defects Liability Period is also put under the post contract stage.

These stages form the process by which an architect in Kenya accomplishes his or her work.