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Fee breakdown

Fee breakdown

Fee breakdown

Many years ago I worked as an assistant project manager overseeing architects and structural, civil, MEP, and specialty engineers during the design of building projects.  We typically based our overall fees as a percentage of construction cost with certain percentages due for SD, DD, CD, CA.  We also had loose guidelines for what percent of the fee went to us the PM, the architect, the structural engineer, the civil engineer, the MEP engineer, etc...

Now I am presented with the opportunity to be the project manager on building projects again and would like to see what others use for guidelines to get their fees as the engineer or architect.  I realize that fee percentages vary with the type of building and its end use, but any groupings of buildings would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts...

RE: Fee breakdown

Over the years the rules of thumb have changed somewhat.  And coming from a Design-Bid-Build background where the GC was responsible for all construction coordination we didn't have the CM part of the up front costs until the last 10-15 years.

Traditionally the Architectural fees for new construction commercial/institutional/civic work was in the range of 8%-10% of the overall construction costs.  This included all fees for building Civil, (no off-site utilities, roads, improvements, etc...), MEP, Structural and any specialty consultants deemed necessary such as lighting, kitchens, interior design, medical equipment, etc....  Each discipline generally speaking, (I know we did for MEPS), based the fees on the construction costs for that trade, (e.g. the Electrical Engineering fee was 5-6% of the overall electrical contract amount including all power, lighting, telecom, emergency power, etc...).

The advent of the Construction Manager, really muddied the waters.  What with them being part of the Design team, (but having zero liability), and carrying through into the construction phase, (where he would morph into a general contractor whom evidently forgot everything said at all the "partnering" sessions), and get paid from the construction budget as well.  I never did understand how those fees were structured, I just see them as being well funded without a specific line item that can be readily identified and evaluated.  Most large projects are now done with the CM model.  It relieves the owner of a lot of responsibility and day-to-day decision making.

I don't have a good number for the CM costs.  But I hope the above is of some use in your data collection.


RE: Fee breakdown

davidrosa, your first link did not work.  If you could repost a valid link I would appreciate it.

Your other link is interesting.  I wonder why they do not include general civil/site or environmental discussions they give for structural and MEP. Any thoughts?

1 to 2% of construction cost for those discplines seems low.  I'm not sure about structural and MEP.

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