Fees and resourcing
This article needs more work. To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article'.
They can be based on:
- Empirical data: practice records of previous costs.
- Calculating the cost of the resource and other requirements (renders,printing, travel etc…) of the project on stage by stage basis.
- A tool such as the RIBA fee calculator based on the cost of the resource and other requirements.
 Types of fee
Fees calculated as a percentage of the final construction cost:
- Suits straightforward building projects of relatively short duration.
- Can appear to reward design consultants for an overpriced design.
- Risk to the consultants that the construction cost could be lower than anticipated.
- Can be used as a basis for fee calculation rather than a 'set in stone' agreement.
Lump sum fees:
- Appropriate when the scope of the project/ required services/ programme and cost clearly defined from outset and are unlikely to change.
- It is possible to agree lump sum separately for each work stage.
- Variations may allow additional fees.
- Appropriate when resources or time scale cannot be predicted accurately. This is often the case in the early stages of a project.
- An agreed hourly rate per staff category / named individual.
- May include a provision for increases with inflation (12 monthly).
- Standard appointments generally have provision for additional fees.
- Beware of bespoke appointments that limit additional fees to client instructions.
- Licence fees for the design if the developer uses it on other sites.
- Client experience/ knowledge/ reputation. It may be appropriate to carry out a credit check and speak to other firms to find out how quickly they pay/ whether they observe payment terms and so on.
- Project definition: Are the requirements clear or uncertain?
- Scale of project: Impacts planning timescales/ resource/ programme.
- Complexity of the project.
- Whether similar work has been done before.
- Programme: scale/ planning/ resource/ uncertainties such as repairs for survey/squatters.
- Other resource requirements: if a project is overseas, it may be appropriate to work with a local consultant to benefit from their knowledge.
 Key influences on resource requirements
- Type of procurement and scope of services.
- Project size
- Extent of works to existing buildings
- Repair / conservation of historic buildings
- Degree of design repetition
- Practice size and overheads
- Practice reputation.
- Specialist skills.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
What is energy storage, what are the different types and what is its future?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a state-of-the-art concert hall in Beijing.
Take a look at BIG's designs for two twisting towers in New York City.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.