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UPA-BUA Union Professionnelle d'Architectes
Beroepsunie Van Architecten

FAB Code of Honor 1931

(translated from french)


Duties and obligations of the architect

Approved by the Royal Federation of Architects' Societies of Belgium, in its session of October 1st, 1931.
Adopted by the Professional Union of Architects S.L.B. in a constituent general meeting, January 10, 1937.

CHAPTER I. Towards himself

1 ° The architect is the artist who designs the work, the technician who prepares and directs the material realization; the administrator who ensures that this achievement is accomplished with the best conditions.
The main manifestations of the architect’s activity are: construction, decoration, furnishing, transformation and restoration of buildings and constructions; layout and design of cities, parks and gardens.
Expertises and arbitrations, measurements of building structures are also part of its activity.

2 ° The architect directs the various trades called to the execution of his designs and regulates all related matters, administrative, financial or otherwise, in the best interests of his client.

3 ° The architect exercises a liberal profession incompatible with all the commercial activities related to the activity of the execution of the works coming from his field. He is paid for only by fees, to the exclusion of any other source of profit; he prohibits himself any transaction giving rise to discounts or commissions and never undergoes the risk of gains or losses of the contractor (B).

4. The architect may have his name engraved on the facade of the building erected according to his plans.
He is allowed to announce occasionally the sale of land or buildings for which he would take charge for his client.
It’s tolerated for him to indicate by a modest board that he is the leading architect of a building site. However, in the case of work to be carried out at a building built by a colleague, it is advisable that he refrains from any indication.
The architect is forbidden to do any other kind of professional advertising.

5 ° The architect must observe the rules of professional secrecy (C).

CHAPTER II. Collegiality

6 ° The architect recognizes the quality of colleague to any architect exercising honorably the profession.

7 ° Architects owe each other respect, advice and professional help.

8 ° The architect must defend the honor and interests of his colleagues.
He will refrain from maliciously criticizing, in all circumstances, the works of his colleagues, their artistic concepts and their way of working.
He does not hire the employees of his colleagues without prior agreement.

9 ° The architect does not look for the situation or the customers acquired by a colleague. If he is called to collect this situation or customers, as a result of death, voluntary retirement or even dismissal, he still considers himself the guardian of the honor and the interests of this colleague.
In case of dismissal, he inquires into the effect of knowing the causes of the break, tries to smooth them out and accepts the mission only after agreement of the parties and respect for the rights of the ousted architect.
In the event of a serious fault committed by the first architect and in the case of a legal action having to hold the settlement of the fees, the second architect can not harm the interests of the client by persisting to recuse himself.
If the case is open to discussion, the dispute is brought before the Disciplinary Board of the Society of the Second Architect (D).

10. The architect who succeeds a deceased colleague must act vis-à-vis the widow and children as specified above, bringing, in addition, the moral obligations of a conscientious guardian.
He discreetly carries out the urgent interventions that might be imposed on him if the widow and the children were to find themselves in a difficult situation.

11 ° In the preceding case, the architect does not sign the work he has completed, even if he has completely modified it.

12 ° The architect refrains formally from plagiarism.
He participates only in regularly organized competitions, in accordance with the regulations of the Federation. He is fighting loyally.

CHAPTER III. To his clients

13 ° The architect dedicates to his client the assistance of all his knowledge and his experience in the study of the projects he has asked him, in the direction of the works, as well as in the advice and opinions to be given, as well as all his zeal loyal to the defense of the interests he has entrusted to him.

14 ° The architect does not lend himself to operations, even requested by the customer, which would be likely to compromise him or compromise third parties, to prejudice the rights of these or to cause accidents.
In this case, he warns his client of the inability to respond to his request.

15 ° The architect shall recuse himself if he is appointed legal expert in a case where one of his clients is involved.
The same is true if he has already given an opinion on the matter in dispute.
When he is appointed as an expert or arbitrator by his client, he assesses in all independence.
If he is called as a technical consultant in expertises by his client, he acts with zeal but keeping himself within the limits of good faith and love of truth.

CHAPTER IV. To employees and employees

16 ° When architects work in collaboration, they bring the same dedication and the same activity.
They freely regulate their collaboration apart from any other intervention. It is the same for the distribution of their fees.

17. When the architect employs young people at his house, as draughtsmen or clerks, thus doing a professional training course, he owes them all his experience and treats them with the respect desired by the confraternity.
He does not abuse their trainee situation.
It does not issue certificates of convenience.

CHAPTER V. Towards contractors, subcontractors and building staff

18. The architect exercises his moral authority with a view to ensuring perfect harmony and perfect correctness in the relations between all persons engaged in the realization of his conceptions.

19 ° The architect is prohibited from any constraint vis-à-vis the contractors or suppliers to obtain benefits exceeding their commitments. He does not claim from them any reimbursement of expenses, nor any indemnity which is not provided for in the contract of work and known to his client.
When auditing company accounts, he acts with fairness and independence; he avoids arbitrariness for the sole purpose of pleasing his client.

CHAPTER VI. sanctions

20 ° Architects submit themselves to the rules of this Code of Honor.
The Disciplinary Boards of the various Professional Unions have to hear complaints lodged with regard to their Union only (E).
Those relating to the members of another Union are submitted to it the Steering Committee of the complainant's Union.
Federated Companies - Professional Unions - may exercise their right of appeal at the Disciplinary Council of the Federation.



    A. The Code of Honor should not be confused with the Architect's Code and Fee Schedule.
The first, in a manner as simple and concise as possible, expresses the professional obligations the architect must respect; the second defends his material interests.

    B. The duties of a professor are not incompatible with the profession of architect.
The architect having the title of civil servant (as weel in public administrations as in private companies: banks, insurance, credit or real estate), has to reserve all his activity to the organization to which he is attached. He forbids himself any operation for his personal account.
The architect, author of the work, is the master of the building site; he can not, under any circumstances, let his overall direction be undermined.
The interference of generally whatever specialists must always be limited to special cases.
It is important for the architect to claim or defend the entirety of the prerogatives of his mission, not to allow ambiguity as to the titles and names of his specialist collaborators, who must work under his sole direction.
The architect, author of an invention, can seek a fair benefit of it but incidentally to his profession of architect.
The architect does not derogate by being part of the board of directors of a commercial or industrial company, as long as his name and profession do not serve as stars for the firm in question and he does not favor, by obligations planned, this firm at the expense of other companies.
If he deals incidentally with the sale of land, he can reserve the privilege of construction, provided he is personally the owner of the land.
In any other case, it is prohibited to reserve for its benefit the mission of architect or to condition the negotiation of these grounds to any advantages resulting from its intervention.
He responds completely and sincerely to price or other requests made by third parties.
He can not establish a real estate agency in any form whatsoever.
    C. The architect can not state the financial means of his client, mortgage conditions, etc. or other private testamentary clauses.
The architect has a moral obligation to join a recognized professional union.
He must take part in the collective work of his profession, he must contribute his share of efforts and initiative to raise the prestige of the profession.
He can not be indifferent to the study of corporate matters, measures to defend the practice of the Art of Building.
He must pay constant attention to the questions relating to the development of the architect's artistic education.
    D. Meetings between architects are preferably held in the older person's office; this one has priority for setting appointments.
    E. Societies or professional associations of architects admit as effective members only architects and must scratch those losing the said quality.