DPLG Architect : A closer look at their roles and activities

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The DPLG architect is an expert in their field. Whether it's for construction, extension, or complete renovation, the services of an architect are often necessary. This is true even if you plan to do some of the work yourself. Indeed, creating plans requires specific skills, and a construction site is generally governed by strict regulations. Thus, an architect is capable of meeting all the necessary forms and requirements for the work. They take charge of overseeing the projects and provide informed advice based on your desires. Additionally, the term "DPLG architect" (Graduate by the Government) often comes up when searching for such a professional. So, what are their specificities? And what are their areas of expertise?

They are true experts who have undergone years of extensive studies

A DPLG architect is an expert with a postgraduate diploma, which includes authorization for project management. It takes seven years of study at an accredited national school of architecture to earn the title of DPLG architect. Obtaining this designation ensures professionalism and expertise.

It's important to note that the term "DPLG architect" hasn't been used since 2007. Indeed, as part of the European harmonization of degrees under the Bologna Process (Bachelor-Master-Doctorate), the diploma was changed to DE (State Diploma). Therefore, it's important to clarify that the path followed by a graduate architect is different from that of a DPLG architect.

The role of a DPLG architect 

When we discuss the role of the DPLG architect in construction or renovation, it is essential to recognize the significant impact that a qualified professional can have on the success of a project. Indeed, the DPLG architect possesses a set of qualifications and skills that are crucial at every stage of planning and managing construction sites.

DPLG architects excel in design. Their ability to visualize transformed spaces, integrate innovative architectural elements, and harmonize form and function is invaluable. By engaging such an expert, you ensure that your construction project becomes a true work of art, both aesthetically pleasing and functional, meeting the client's needs.

Another essential aspect is the DPLG architect's ability to comply with regulations. Regulations and legal constraints can be complex. Certified professionals are well-versed in these requirements, ensuring that your project meets all safety, construction, and urban planning standards. This expertise saves you a lot of trouble and potential delays because your project is in expert hands.

Finally, DPLG architects master budget management. Construction can quickly become costly if not properly planned and monitored. Qualified architects are adept at project management, meaning they can help you maximize the value of every euro invested. They can develop realistic budgets, track expenses, and make adjustments along the way, ensuring that your construction or renovation stays within the financial boundaries you've set. In summary, DPLG architects bring a dimension of professionalism, creativity, and efficiency to any architectural project. 

Areas of expertise of a DPLG architect

In general, a DPLG architect has many areas of expertise. They can draw plans for buildings, houses, parking lots, or green spaces.

A complete mission

In the context of construction, the DPLG architect is often tasked with overseeing all aspects of the project. In other words, they are responsible for coordinating the various companies involved and ensuring the comprehensive supervision of the works until the keys are handed over. Additionally, it's important to note that the tasks assigned to architects can vary widely depending on the specific requirements.

However, if the client demands a complete mission, the architect must perform the following tasks :

      •  – Study and design of cross-section and sketch plans ;

      •  – Development of two and three-dimensional plans as per requirements ;

      •  – Consultation of Quotation and companies for reporting;

      •   – Application for building permits, mandatory prior declarations, and submission of administrative documents ; 
      •  – Drafting of the General Administrative Clauses Book (CCAG) and drafting of the Special Technical Clauses Book (CCTP) ;

      • – Continuous monitoring of operations ;

      •  – Reception of works.

    It should be noted that it's also possible to contract with a DPLG architect to perform a specific mission. Thus, you can delegate certain tasks to reduce the bill.

    A partial mission

    Besides being designated as the project manager, a DPLG architect can also handle specific missions.

    APS or Preliminary Draft Project

    DPLG architects can handle preliminary draft project studies (APS). Thus, they ensure the feasibility of operations considering topography, budget, and urban planning rules, whether indoors or outdoors. For construction projects, the preliminary draft project includes the following elements:

        •  – The precision of the overall composition in plan and volume ;

        •  – Evaluation of the interior volume and exterior appearance of the structure ;

        •  – Proposal of possible technical arrangements ;

        •  – Development of a schedule for implementation or segmentation into functional phases ;

        •  – Calculation and establishment of a provisional estimate of the anticipated cost of the works.

      Thus, DPLG architects can present a mass plan and sketches. The client can then make a choice based on the expert's informed advice.

      Detailed or Final Preliminary Draft Project

      As part of a Detailed Preliminary Draft Project study (APD), the DPLG architect must determine the detailed surfaces of all program elements. They must also define in plans, sections, and elevations the appearance and dimensions of the work. Following this step, they must predefine construction principles, technical installations, and materials. They can thus establish a definitive estimate of the expected cost of operations. This will allow the client to definitively finalize the program and establish the fee in accordance with the contract.

      DCE or File for Consulting Companies

      En général, les architectes DPLG se chargent de faire un appel d’offres. Ainsi, le DCE ou le dossier de consultation des entreprises regroupe les pièces nécessaires à la consultation des candidats au marché. Le rôle des architectes est d’interroger différents prestataires et sociétés pour obtenir le meilleur rapport qualité prix.

      Work Supervision

      It's possible to contract with a DPLG architect solely for work supervision. Indeed, they handle the entire organization of trades and work to ensure the smooth progress of the project.

      Measurements

      You can also request a DPLG architect to perform measurements. Indeed, the professional can establish precise measurements of built or to-be-built surfaces, whether for renovation or sale purposes.

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      Reasons to Hire a DPLG Architect

      The services of a DPLG architect are essential in the majority of architectural projects. Therefore, you should engage this professional if you plan to build a house or a building with an area greater than or equal to 150 square meters. Calling upon this professional is also mandatory for construction initiated by associations or economic interest groups.

      Furthermore, it's important to note that the services of a DPLG architect can be useful even if the construction is less than 150 square meters. This is especially true for the construction of an individual house. To ensure compliance with current regulations and a perfectly executed project, the presence of an architect can be invaluable. You'll be able to make the most of the available space with a detailed plan to facilitate the operation.

      It should be noted that consulting with an architect belonging to the National Order of French Buildings is necessary in certain cases. Renovation and construction of a house or building in a classified area are among these cases. If you wish to carry out work near a historic monument, within the perimeter of a heritage site, or on a building listed as a historic monument, the presence of an architect is mandatory.

      Difference Between a DE, DE-HMONP, and DPLG Architect

      The terms DE, DE-HMONP, and DPLG qualify architects based on their training. Here are the details of what each of these terms means.

      The DPLG Architect

      The term DPLG architect is the original designation for architects with a diploma. To practice the profession, obtaining this designation and registration with the architects' order were mandatory after 1977. This was because architects had rights and duties upon taking an oath.

      The DPLG diploma was awarded after 7 years of study and a period of testing until 2007. It is a title that allows for independent project management. Thus, an architect with a government-issued diploma can take on all responsibilities in the execution of a project with an area exceeding 150 square meters. However, possessing insurance is necessary in the profession to cover potential damages.

      The DE Architect

      Since 2007, the DPLG architect diploma has been replaced by the DE (State Diploma) following the university reform under the Bologna Process. Thus, after 5 years of higher education at a national school of architecture (ENSA Paris, INSA, or ESA), a student can obtain the State Diploma. However, it's important to specify that this diploma is not equivalent to the DPLG diploma. Furthermore, it allows for practicing the profession within an agency or as a civil servant.

      The DE-HMONP Architect

      The equivalent of a DPLG architect is a DE-HMONP architect (State Graduate – Authorized to Practice Independently). Indeed, this designation allows for practicing at the same level as a DPLG architect, after taking an oath with the Architects' Order. An DE architect can obtain this authorization in two ways:

          •  – After completing 150 hours of alternating courses in an architecture school and undergoing a 6-month professional internship ;

          •  – After accumulating 3 years of experience in an architecture firm as a DE architect, notably within the framework of a VAE (Validation of Acquired Experience).

         – Like a DPLG architect, a DE-HMONP architect can work independently or within an architecture firm. However, subscribing to a ten-year or two-year insurance policy is mandatory to guarantee the repair of any damages after the completion of construction sites.

        Guarantees Provided by a DPLG Architect

        Engaging a DPLG architect provides several guarantees for a construction project. Firstly, the profession offers a two-year guarantee on the equipment installed under the contract. The architect also offers a guarantee of perfect completion. In other words, it's an insurance that protects the client from any defects until all reservations are lifted. It's also important to mention the ten-year guarantee, which is valid for ten years on all structural work.

        How to Find a DPLG Architect?

        Finding and hiring a DPLG architect for your project can be an essential step for its success. Here's how you can proceed and why collaborating with this specialist is invaluable.

        To find a DPLG architect, the first step would be to consult the Architects' Order. This organization regulates the profession and can provide you with a list of experts in your area. It's a reliable source for finding experienced DPLG architects. Another option is to consult professional associations, specialized websites, or ask for recommendations from friends, colleagues, or neighbors who have worked with a DPLG architect.

        Once you have identified potential candidates, you should review their portfolios. Experienced DPLG architects should have a strong track record to present, including similar projects. This will allow you to get an idea of their style, expertise, and ability to meet your specific needs.

        An essential aspect when searching for a DPLG architect is to meet the candidates in person. A face-to-face meeting allows you to discuss your ideas, goals, and budget. It's also an opportunity to assess the compatibility between you and the architect, as a harmonious collaboration is essential for a successful project.

        One of the major benefits of working with a qualified DPLG architect lies in their ability to turn your ideas into a concrete reality. Their extensive training and expertise in architectural design enable them to create spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. They can also help you navigate regulations and standards, which is essential to avoid legal issues and delays. Moreover, their rigorous budget management helps ensure that your project stays within the financial limits you've set. Ultimately, collaborating with a DPLG architect brings assurance of quality and professionalism to your renovation project.

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        The fee of a DPLG architect

        The cost of hiring a DPLG architect can vary depending on several factors, including the nature and scope of the project, geographic location, and the architect's level of expertise. However, it's essential for homeowners to understand the typical costs associated with hiring a DPLG architect, as well as ways to manage their budget effectively.


        DPLG architect fees are generally determined based on different calculation methods. Some architects charge a percentage of the total project cost, which can range from 8% to 15%, depending on the complexity and size of the project. Others prefer to charge an hourly rate, which varies depending on their experience and geographic region.

        • – The average salary of a DPLG architect in France is €43,000 per year or €24 per hour.
        • – Those starting out in the profession earn a salary around €35,000 per year.
        • – Experienced architects, on the other hand, earn up to €60,000 per year.


        The benefits of hiring a DPLG architect typically justify the cost. Their expertise in design, project management, and compliance with standards can help save money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes. Additionally, their ability to optimize space usage, maximize energy efficiency, and create timeless designs can increase the value of your property.


        To effectively manage your budget while working with a DPLG architect, it's recommended to openly discuss your financial constraints at the beginning of the process. The architect can adjust the project accordingly and propose solutions that fit your budget. Additionally, it's wise to request detailed quotes and keep regular track of expenses throughout the project to avoid budget overruns.


        In some cases, it may be advantageous to choose an architect who offers comprehensive project management services, as this can streamline the coordination of all aspects of the project and avoid hidden costs. Ultimately, to effectively manage your budget while benefiting from the services of a DPLG architect, open communication and thorough planning are key. This approach will allow you to successfully complete your project without worrying about unexpected expenses.


        Real Estate Renovation with a DPLG Architect: Our Advice

        The DPLG architect is an essential and valuable player in the success of renovation and construction projects. Their extensive training, expertise in architectural design, adherence to standards, and ability to manage the budget effectively make them an essential professional for realizing your projects.


        The value of a DPLG architect lies in their ability to design spaces that combine aesthetics, functionality, and durability. They are also well-versed in the latest trends in design and technology, allowing them to integrate modern elements into their projects.


        Engaging a DPLG architect is not just an investment in quality; it is also insurance against costly errors and potential delays. Their willingness to adhere to standards and navigate regulations is crucial for avoiding legal issues. Furthermore, their rigorous budget management helps ensure that the project stays within the financial boundaries you have set.


        We strongly encourage homeowners to seriously consider hiring a DPLG architect for their future projects. By collaborating with these experts, you will benefit from invaluable expertise that will help bring your dreams to life efficiently, aesthetically, and in compliance with standards. Do not underestimate the positive impact a DPLG architect can have on the success of your project. Their contribution can make all the difference between an ordinary renovation and a truly remarkable transformation.

        Mathieu Amara

        Mathieu Amara

        Graduated in political science, I have always been passionate about renovation and construction work.

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