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# RE: Design fee guidelines

• To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
• Subject: RE: Design fee guidelines
• From: Robert Rollo <rrollo(--nospam--at)TEAM-PSC.com>
• Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 15:06:55 -0600

Title: RE: Design fee guidelines

We usually use a simplified "in house" method of 1/8th of total fee (usually 6-7%, 0.75-0.875%) based either upon project budget, or actual awarded bid for Struct and we "throw in" cost estimating.  It really hurts having to send a check back to the owner when the bids are extremely favorable ! This method would make the 10% of the fee rule about right without including the cost engineering.

A current contract negotiation has struct fee at 1/2 of architects percentage applied to the total "structural" cost (DIV 2, 3, and 5) from the GC's request for payment similar to the typical MPE fee structure.  We figure that the type of building that one is (multiple story library) means roughly the 0.6% mentioned below. (1/2 of 6% * 20% of the total building cost).  That is assuming that the "structure" is 20% of the total building, which is probably at least 2 to 5% high !  Assuming struct @ 17.5% of total, that means 1/20th of the total 6% design only fee, or 0.5% of the total construction cost, certainly less that RS Means thinks we are to get.  Does MEANS include construction admin as part of the 1%?

How about the ethic concern, in that i consider it part of my job to maximize the value of my clients \$, meaning in effect, design the least expensive structural system that i can given the parameters (loads, codes, etc. as well as experience) available.  With this type of contract, it seems as though it would tend to tempt many a structural engineer be awfully "conservative" with his systems, thereby increasing his fee directly, wouldn't it?  Does this type of contract really serve the owner best, versus negotiated fixed fee?

This is serendipity to post this topic, as this particular contract is under negotiation today !

-----Original Message-----
From:   Mike Brown [SMTP:mike.brown(--nospam--at)cshqa.com]
Sent:   Monday, November 02, 1998 2:38 PM
To:     'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
Subject:        RE: Design fee guidelines

I'm interested in this information as well.  I have seen in the '97
Means for Building Construction Cost Data that the structural
engineering fees are 1% min. to 2.5% max. of the project cost.  But I
got to be honest, I work for an A&E firm and we're lucky if we get 1% of
the construction cost (Usually only for complex jobs like hangers and
pavilions).  Usually we're only budgeted for 10% of the total design
fees set by our architects.  This usually amounts to about 0.6% of
construction costs.

Of course the best way to determine structural design fees or any fees
for that matter is based on past experience for similar projects.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Coburn [mailto:bauengrg(--nospam--at)bautech.com]
Sent: Monday, November 02, 1998 12:03 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Design fee guidelines

We are attempting to find design fee guidelines with fees determined as
a percentage of the construction costs, as designers, construction
manager and/or design/build.  Obviously a  percentage on a parking
structure would be higher than an residential or commercial structure.
Can anyone suggest a source for this type of information?  Naturally
these percentages could not be project specific and will be used as a
guideline/starting point only.
We would also be grateful to anyone who could provide information based
on past projects they have been involved with, i.e., cost for services
vs. cost of construction.  I can be reached directly at Bill(--nospam--at)Bautech.com
or Dan(--nospam--at)Bautech.com

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