Architects' Time/Cost Calculator

16 April 2018

The ACA Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator provides a vital tool to help practices assess the time and costs involved in providing an appropriate level of service for a broad range of building types. 

Log in to the Architects’ Time / Cost Calculation Guide 2

The Calculator provides a fundamental knowledge base for practices when developing fee proposals, based in the specifics of their practice. It can be used by practices of all sizes for a wide range of building types, and accommodates a range of service levels and procurement types.

The Calculator combines information supplied by users about their practice’s overheads, costs, expertise and project particulars with historic data about required hours to generate a suggested fee. It enables practices to tailor this information and knowledge to the particulars of their office. 

The Calculator means that architects are better informed about the real time and costs associated with projects, and will, therefore be in a better position to negotiate fees that represent adequate time and resources to complete commissions to an appropriate standard. This is to the benefit of all.

The Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator is part of the ACA Business Toolbox, and is available to all members at no cost.

The Guide Process 

The Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator provides a four-step process:

  • Steps 1 and 2 allow practices to calculate their office overheads and office variables – this means that the cost calculations for each project are specific to the particulars of the individual practice. The data entered for Step 1 and 2 remain in place over time, and can be readily edited as practice circumstances change. 
  • Step 3 identifies the estimated range of hours required for the project, based on multiple sets of historic data for different project types.
  • Step 4 identifies a charge-out rate for the project based on the information supplied about the practice and the project. Individual practices must then make their own adjustments in relation to project hours – based on specific knowledge of the expertise and experience within the practice. This enables the architect to determine a fee appropriate to their circumstances.

If you have queries about using the Calculator please contact us at

We hope you find the Calculator useful. 

Paul Viney led the development of the ACA Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator on behalf of ACA – Vic/Tas, and Jeff Beach of Big Dog Software built it. The ACA thanks Paul and Jeff for the enormous commitment they have made to this project, which will become a highly effective tool for architects across Australia.