- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 18 Jun 2018
Fees and resourcing on design and construction projects
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
- 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.
- 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.
 Risks and uncertainties
- Client experience/ knowledge/ reputation/relationship. 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.
- Local opposition/support
- Requirement to appoint sub-consultants
 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
- Geographic proximity
- Business expansion.
- Enhanced profit.
- Employ existing staff
- New market/sector
- Quality of work
- Prestige/enhanced reputation
 Key influences on brand value
- Practice reputation.
- Specialist skills.
Whilst using the points above to aid a resource-based approach to calculate feed, cross-checks are recommended to ensure that a sensible outcome has been reached. Such checks include comparing the fee to be proposed against previous similar jobs and benchmarking the proposed fee against other projects when expressed as a percentage of construction cost.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
There are many ways of classifying types of building. Have a look at our range of building articles.
BSRIA have launched the 'major update' of the go-to design framework guide for building services.
How to get results with building life cycle assessment.
Government publishes a prospectus inviting proposals for new 'garden communities'.
The Morandi motorway bridge in Genoa collapses during rainstorm while undergoing maintenance works.
'Developed design' is a phrase coined by the RIBA for their 2013 Plan of Work. But what does it actually mean?
New green paper published aiming to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents and tackle stigma.
RIBA calls for a comprehensive ban on combustible materials.
Lump sum contracts can be referred to as ‘fixed price’ contracts, although strictly this is not correct. Find out more here.
Ramboll offer guidance to civil engineers on how to make projects 'off-site ready'.
Government announces its Rough Sleeping Strategy, with further funding for social housing.