Guide letters

Guide letters provide advice about matters architects should consider when composing letters to the parties involved in architectural projects.

The letters emphasise the architect's role as leader of the professional design team and as responsible adviser to the client. The guide letters have been designed to encourage the letter writer to consider the circumstances relating to a particular project, to initiate research and investigation, analyse relevant information and then compose individual letters appropriate to the situation, using the guide letters as resource material.

The guide letters are not intended to cover every contingency, but are limited to predictable conditions. Nor does the sequence of the guide letters imply an order of use: the architect has to decide when to write after careful assessment of prevailing conditions.

In the guide letters each event has been identified and the critical areas requiring the architect's attention have been established. Where the letter writer is in doubt on a particular problem, appropriate advice should be sought.

The various sections within each letter are defined as follows:

Caution – warns the letter writer that this or a following step needs specific action

When and how – identifies the subject matter and when and how the letter writer should take action

Content – highlights the information which may be (or should be) included only after the architect has researched and understood the particular situation

Action – suggests what the architect should do

What happens next? – refers to action by the architect as a result of this letter – the consequences of your actions should always be considered

Are there other possibilities? – advises on possible alternative action by the architect (if any)

What can happen if you don't? – refers to the most obvious implications if the architect fails to act as suggested

Copies – suggests to whom copies of the letter should be sent

The guide letters are intended as a resource for practising architects. They will assist in developing the expertise of inexperienced practitioners and serve as a useful reminder for others.