A collaborative project of AIA Kentucky, Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Association of School Administrators

Best Practices

Selecting an Architect - The QBS Process

QBS stands for Qualifications Based Selection. It is a flexible method that permits public owners to tailor the procurement of architectural services to meet their specific needs. QBS works for sophisticated owners who consult with architects often and owners who do not have prior experience working with an architect. QBS provides both groups with a selection process that is not only straightforward and easy to implement, but is objective and fair.

QBS recognizes that design professionals play a critical role in the public building process. The quality of design services provided by the architect or engineer is the single most important factor in determining the overall construction and life-cycle costs of a building. Since design services represent only a small percentage of the initial construction budget, it is in taxpayers’ best interest to ensure that the most qualified firms are selected for public projects.

As QBS is predicated on the notion that qualifications, not price, should be the determining factor in selecting an architect, it places fee negotiation at the end of the selection process. While price may have its place within the selection process, it alone should not be the determining factor.

Download this QBS Workbook to help you establish and carry out an effective selection process for your school project.

Reimagining the American Classroom

Recently, Slate Magazine conducted a competition titled “Reimagining the American Classroom,” receiving more than 350 submissions. The winning entry was from a member of the AIA CAE PK-12 Subcommittee, Greg Stack, AIA, who teamed with an intern architect in his firm to create a learning environment that “embodies the word connection.”  Read more at Slate Magazine… - American Public Radio interviewed Greg and one of the judges, a fifth grade teacher from Virginia. Listen to the podcast...

Six Elements of Educational Facility Design

Randall Fielding, AIA, of Fielding Nair International identifies six elements that when combined create engaging, innovative schools using best practices for school design.

Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools

The U.S. Department of Energy's Rebuild America program published Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools: Hot and Dry Climates to provide designers with checklists to promote energy-saving design practices.

Ten Key Factors That Affect Any Design

Each project has a different set of requirements, limitations, challenges, and opportunities that affect a project’s cultural, environmental, technological, and aesthetic contexts. The 10 factors presented below are among the most influential.




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