Architecture and R&D Tax Relief

The field of architecture is always developing and experimenting with the latest technologies and materials. Architecture encompasses many disciplines that can qualify for the UK Research & Development (R&D) tax relief. Our everyday life is shaped by architects, who continually push boundaries both from an engineering and aesthetic perspective. Yet, architects often miss out on the valuable R&D scheme, which was created specifically for those pushing boundaries through innovation.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have even created a guide urging architects to consider claiming R&D tax relief

Do you have a qualifying R&D project? Check below.

Design on its own is unlikely to qualify for R&D tax relief, however, when design seeks to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty, then there is potential for a claim. There is plenty of room for innovation within the architecture space. From sourcing and utilising new materials, to implementing sustainable technologies and the creation of buildings that adhere to unique environmental factors or legislation, the field of architecture is full of innovation.

Each new project brings the potential for a R&D tax relief claim. Challenges such as trying to find a more cost effective way to achieve a particular result, or resolving site-specific problems are likely to indicate that you have a project that qualifies for R&D tax relief. The reason for this is that this type of thinking usually requires scientific and technological ingenuity, and there are elements of uncertainty and creativity involved. 

In order to qualify for R&D tax relief, your attempt doesn’t have to be successful or even be a new building or product. A significant expense for architectural firms is incurred when creating models and prototypes to ensure that their innovations perform as expected. However, did you know that you can claim these costs back through R&D tax relief? This is only one of the many costs that you can claim through R&D tax relief allowing you to reinvest more money into your architectural business. Therefore, you can use the funds from R&D tax relief to help push your live projects the extra mile, and to have a buffer for experimentation.

What is R&D tax credit?

The UK Government’s Research and Development Tax Relief scheme is a way to encourage and reward companies that are investing in innovation.

What qualifies as innovation? 

For tax purposes, R&D takes place when you are creating something that will advance the overall knowledge or capability in the field of science and technology. In simple terms, if you are solving industry problems, creating new software, process or materials, you qualify.


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what qualifies?

Most architectural projects come with their own set of challenges. If you are creating new materials, techniques, technologies and ways to solve a problem that haven’t been done before then these can count toward an R&D tax credits claim.

Innovative Technology

  • Have you developed new technology that helps you overcome architectural or engineering challenges?
  • Are you applying advanced manufacturing techniques such as machine learning or AI to help you plan buildings or look for solutions to building specific problems?
  • Have you developed a new design software or computer modelling software?

Innovative Products

  • Did you create a new type of material that hasn’t been used before?
  • Have you researched and undertaken tests that studied different material performances?
  • Have you incorporated a new type of material in construction that hasn’t been used before?
  • Did you have to redesign a particular product in an innovative way to fit it in the constraints of a building project that included uncertainty as to whether it would work?

Innovative Processes

  • Are you using existing materials but in a new way not done before?
  • Improving the heat management of a building in an innovative way.
  • Have you created an innovative way to combine two materials that have not been done before?
  • Are you creating a building that utilises novel sustainable designs?
See whether your company projects qualify for R&D tax relief

R&D tax relief scheme is remarkably inclusive but HMRC has specific guidelines on what companies can claim the benefit. Find out whether your project qualifies by clicking on the eligibility quiz button.

Project qualifies?
Create a FREE account in Novel and start making your R&D tax relief claim.

Novel was created and developed by R&D tax relief consultants with decades of experience to help businesses support and sustain their operations by claiming R&D tax relief.