Sarah McLeary

Ceramics and Architecture

the chappell show

It’s true; I passed my exams and am now qualified to add my name to the Register of Architects! It feels absolutely amazing. I worked so hard over the past year and I’m so pleased to be able to say ‘I am an architect!’

The first person I will thank is David Chappell, for writing most of the books I have read over the last ten months. In fact, I was sleeping with a copy of Construction Questions and Answers under my pillow. That probably swung it for me.

Over the weekend I was talking to friends who are looking to sit their exams this year, so I thought it would be useful to pass on some tips. So to ease you in here is my…

Part 3 Essential Reading

The Architect In Practice – this is really the one I read again and again; it sets out the role of the architect, the role in each stage of any project, general office matters such as employment law and running an office. Now in its 10th edition, it covers recent changes to the Architect’s Code of Conduct among other recent changes to legislation.

ARB Code of Conduct [and RIBA Code of Conduct] – do yourself a favour; print out the list and staple it to your forehead. Read it every hour on the hour. You cannot read the Code of Conduct enough, it is the basic basic thing that you need to recognise to go forth and practice. I would get HONESTY INTEGRITY COMPETENCE tattooed on my knuckles if I had enough knuckles.

The Architect’s Job Book – a stage by stage look at how a project fits together, with practical advice and checklists for all stages. Comprehensive lists of what should be done at every stage, whether you’ve been working on the project from the beginning, or you’ve been brought in at a later stage. Agendas for key meetings are also included.

JCT Contracts 2005 Suite – all the JCT ’05 contracts come with an accompanying guide, which goes through the contract clause by clause. The contract should be looked at first, with the guide as a backup. There’s no substitute for looking at the contract document itself.

Approved Code of Practice – all offices will have a copy of this. It gives clear guidance on the roles and responsibilities of parties with regard to Health and Safety. ACoP for short.

Which Contract? – not one to read cover to cover in one go, but a great book for getting a handle on the differences between the forms of JCT contracts.

Architect’s Legal Handbook – again, not one to read before bed, but an essential resource for the legal nitty gritty. I have read through this book  so I can tell you, you do not have to read this cover to cover for Part 3. You do need this book in your office.

Architect’s Handbook of Practice Management – this is a practical guide to day-to-day dealings of business, from employment law to health and safety policy. Good for getting to grips with Quality Assurance and Health & Safety, among others.

Architect’s Guide to Running a Job – a guide to how the architect fits into to the project, with an emphasis on the co-ordinating and administering role. A thorough investigation and explanation of best practice.

The RIBA Good Practice Guides – a fantastic resource, and very readable. Special mention to Keeping Out Of Trouble, which is particularly accessible and useful for a Part 3 student. All these guides are good; I would prioritise Keeping Out Of Trouble and Fee Management, but also recommend Employment, Inspecting Works and Extensions Of Time.

That’s the end of the essential reading list, but my hero Chappell has also written a number of useful guides and accessible Q&A books, such as Construction Contracts; Questions and Answers and Standard Letters in Architectural Practice.These are handy go-to guides for tricky situations, and the Q&A book really helped me remember that no one ever knows all the answers, and everyone needs specialised help sometimes.

There are any number of helpful texts for Part 3 students, and the best resource is the IHSti website if you’re lucky enough to work for a practice with a subscription. Remember, you can share reading material with other candidates for educational purposes. All the books above can be found there [apart from the most recent edition of The Architect in Practice] in searchable PDF format, along with many other useful texts I haven’t mentioned here. Our study group set up a shared uploading site where we could pool resources for those without access to IHS. I would really recommend getting a paper copy of The Architect in Practice for yourself, and encouraging your practice to buy some of the others if they don’t have up to date editions.

The essential information I had pinned to my bathroom mirror so I could read it while I brushed my teeth included the Code of Conduct [see above], the RIBA Plan of Work copied from the Job Book, the RIBA list of contract administration forms, the role of the designer under CDM regulations, copied from ACoP and the examination criteria, to steer you right.


4 comments on “the chappell show

  1. helen
    March 14, 2011

    It feels absolutely amazing. I worked so hard over the past […]year and I’m so pleased to be able to say I’m a […]

    this is a thought I need to hang on to. I can’t imagine being finished and I can’t imagine being proud. But one day I will get to say I’m Dr Hare. I have the envelope for the card two of my friends gave me when I left work pinned behind my desk…it says ‘the future Dr Helen Hare’….it’s got a bit lost behind pencil pots and lamps. Perhaps I should give it more prominence. might help a little.



    • sarahhalford
      March 15, 2011

      Thanks! I really thought it could go either way, I certainly wasn’t confident after the interview, but I’m just pleased I passed! Get that card stuck somewhere you can see it, definitely!


  2. Single Aspect
    March 14, 2011

    I’d like to be the second to congratulate you and say how good it is to have an architect to correspond with and offer professional insight into my amateur wanderings into the field of public housing. Many thanks and best wishes for the future.


    • sarahhalford
      March 15, 2011

      Thanks very much! I got your email and I’ll try and think of some more questions, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the importance of built in storage for everyday household items.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 14, 2011 by in architecture.
%d bloggers like this: