ARCHITECTURE and ENGINEERING

A&E firms are in a great position to claim federal and state Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits. As one of the most R&D intensive industries in the nation, A&E is also one of the most far reaching. The architectural industry is connected to over 18 percent of the US GDP and 20 percent of all American jobs. Many of the activities required to design and construct a new building, expand and improve an existing structure, asses the suitability of land and soil conditions, and provide general consulting and engineering services often qualify for R&D Tax Credits.

Most activities performed by project architects, engineers, and other design consultants are R&D intensive under the current tax law guidelines. Developing new or improved designs, assessing designs through various forms of modeling and computational analysis, structural engineering, and design of MEP systems are all activities that generally qualify R&D Tax Credits.

Other activities that typically qualifying include the consideration of different building materials, the selection of equipment, and the improvement of construction processes for increased efficiency and reliability. R&D Tax Credits are available to help support and stimulate innovation for architectural and engineering firms engaging in activities such as these. 

The following are examples of qualifying activities:

  • Developing new or improved designs

  • Evaluating alternative designs to meet or overcome complex client requirements, site conditions or building codes

  • Evaluating alternative designs and materials to optimize for energy efficiency and/or achieve LEED certification

  • Determining optimal designs for lighting or acoustical qualities within a structure

  • Using building information modeling and computational analysis tools to assess designs for various functional requirements

  • Developing schematic designs

  • Developing site plans, planning and elevation drawings

  • Designing areas for building systems

  • Developing environmentally friendly buildings