Architecture R&D Tax Credits – Where is the R&D in Architectural Design and Construction?
Architects have an immense influence on how we live and interact with the built environment around us. There is often a prolonged iterative process of design and development, before a single turf is turned. Most people would recognise that a lot of our architecture is the result of pioneering and innovative approaches to design and construction. The challenge for architects and others operating in the architectural eco-system, is in identifying where R&D tax credit and relief fits in. The scope is actually quite broad and it’s not only large scale projects that may benefit from architecture R&D tax credits. If there is an element of risk or uncertainty in how to achieve the desired result, or a standard approach is not possible, or there are questions over design and feasibility there may be scope for an R&D tax relief claim. But note that R&D incentives are only available to UK registered limited companies, so it will not be applicable if your company is an LLP.
Examples of R&D in architecture
It’s impossible to give a comprehensive list but here are some areas where qualifying R&D may occur:
- The identification of design constraints to resolve uncertainty in possible design solutions that can’t simply be deduced.
- Creating and testing mathematical formulas for different shapes or engineering challenges.
- Finding a feasible solution for a complex aesthetic requirement or to achieve ground remediation in a challenging physical location.
- Design and development of modular buildings or parts of buildings and building methods.
Visualisation and modelling:
- Prototyping activities (e.g. use of 3D printer and rapid-prototyping facilities) to physically test digital models and calculations.
- Development of tools and fabrication techniques to make accurate design models.
- Development or adaptation of software such as to achieve improved multidisciplinary workflows, or for detailed Building Information Modelling (BIM), or for the calculation of aerodynamics, light and shade around a building.
- Integration of emerging technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to building modelling to allow for rapid design changes and concept realisation.
- Adaptation or development of renewable energy solutions for integration into buildings, where there are technological uncertainties on how to achieve effective integration.
- Design and development of new processes to reduce the carbon footprint of projects in areas such as transport of materials and fabrication.
- Energy reduction (in construction methods).
- Energy saving or efficiency (once built. e.g. insulation, innovative use of waste energy….)
- Use of new green/environmentally friendly materials.
- Studying and testing the performance of materials (paints, coatings, cladding etc.) for non-standard uses.
- Finding ways of improving materials performance, or the creation of new materials or new techniques for how materials are used in construction.
How can RandDTax help?
We have experience of working with architects and detailed knowledge of the UK R&D tax relief and tax credit scheme. It only takes an initial, exploratory telephone call with one of our experts to identify whether any of your activities qualify for architecture R & D tax credits.
View four R&D case study snippets, showing architectural and construction R&D claims we have supported here.
Get in touch today regarding Architecture R&D tax credits