The American Institute of Architects has formulated the following basic principles for guidance of architects:
Advice and counsel constitute the service of the profession. Given in verbal, written, or graphic form, they are normally rendered in order that buildings with their equipment and the areas about them, in addition to being well suited to their purposes, well planned for health, safety, and efficient operation and economical maintenance, and soundly constructed of materials and by methods most appropriate and economical for their particular uses, shall have a beauty and distinction that lift them above the common-place. It is the purpose of the profession of architecture to render such services from the beginning to the completion of a project.
The fulfilment of that purpose is advanced every time architects render the highest quality of service they are capable of giving. In particular, the architect’s drawings, specifications, and other documents should be complete, definite, and clear concerning the architect’s intentions, the scope of the contractor’s work, the materials to be employed, and the conditions under which the construction is to be completed and the work paid for. The relation of architects to their clients depends on good faith. Architects should explain the exact nature and extent of their services and the conditional character of construction cost estimates made before final drawings and specifications are complete.
The contractor depends on the architect to guard the contractor’s interests as well as those of the client. The architect should reject workmanship and materials that are determined not to be in conformity with the contract documents, but it is also the architect’s duty to give reasonable aid toward a complete understanding of those documents so that errors may be avoided. An exchange of information between architects and those who supply, and handle building materials should be encouraged.
Architects, in their investments and business relations outside the profession, should avoid financial or personal activities that tend to weaken or discredit their standing as an unprejudiced and honest adviser, free to act in the client’s best interests. Permitting use of free architectural or engineering services to be offered by manufacturers; suppliers of building materials, appliances, and equipment; or contractors may imply an obligation that can become detrimental to the best interest of the client.
Architects may offer their services to anyone for commission, salary, or fee as architect, consultant, adviser, or assistant, provided the architect rigidly maintains professional integrity, disinterestedness, and freedom to act.
Architects should work together through their professional organizations to promote the welfare of the physical environment. They should share in the interchange of technical information and experience.
Architects should seek opportunities to be of service in civic affairs. To the best of their ability, they should endeavour to advance the safety, health, and well-being of the community in which they reside by promoting appreciation of good design, good construction, proper placement of facilities, and harmonious development of the areas surrounding the facility.
Architects should take action to advance the interests of their personnel, providing suitable working conditions for them, requiring them to render competent and efficient services, and paying them adequate and just compensation. Architects should also encourage and sponsor those who are entering the profession, assisting them to a full understanding of the functions, duties, and responsibilities of the architectural profession.
Every architect should contribute toward justice, courtesy, and sincerity in the profession. In the conduct of their practice, architects should maintain a totally professional attitude toward those served, toward those who assist in the practice, toward fellow architects, and toward the members of other professions. Daily performance should command respect to the extent that the profession will benefit from the example architects set to other professionals and to the public in general.