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Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy
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pankaj.bhakkad
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy Reply with quote

Dear SEFIans,

I come along with the industry experience of 5 years and willing to start my own consultancy firm.
However when I discuss this with my seniors and colleagues who are in the same profession, I realized a genuine problem which I thought I should share with you.
I am not sure though if this is right place to put this question.

Now days, in Maharashtra cities like Pune, Nasik, and Aurangabad etc. fees structure for the structural consultancy is normally Rs 2/sqft for residential structures and Rs 3-5/sqft for commercial structures. But few well known consultancy firms are taking very minimal charges (even less than Rs 2/sqft) for their consultation in order to attract more customers and break the market rates.

Now with the similar profession, architect charge approx. 4% of construction cost. If we consider Rs 600-800/sqft construction cost then it goes to Rs 24-30/sqft for their consultation. Even local centering contractor charge Rs 50/sqft for his service.

I wanted to raise the question that how fair this is? How should a structural engineer take the structural responsibility with the less charges and still survive in the competition? How should one start his career in such a competitive environment?

I would highly appreciate if you share your thoughts and provide some guidance for the person like me.
Thanks in anticipation.

Best regards,
Pankaj

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Prakash H M
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Pankaj:

You have raised a very very valid question here. I find that there is not much business ethics in our field, if you are designing typical buildings. I heard that some contractors can build buildings without any detailed drawings. The local City municipal government body also does not need any detailed plans for getting permit. All they need is a simple site layout and you are given permission to go ahead unlike in countries such as US where you need a 50% or 60% drawing set to get it appproved.

Also, it is unfortunate to see that there is no guidance or reply to your question here from the seniors.

Even the daily labor demands his minimum wages but it cannot be so in this profession until and unless you have made a name in this field or there is a new law.

Even Doctors and Lawyers are working for lesser salaries initially but once if he/she is famous then they demand. Once you start counting the buildings you have designed all by yourself and get noticed then you can charge higher.

I think there is only one route for you....beat the competition and start taking as much as you can and try to find a good partner who is like minded and you can grow soon. My feeling is its kinda tough to succeed if you are alone.

Let me know if you want to share the work load!

Hope I did not discourage you.

Prakash
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knsheth123
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy Reply with quote

Dear Sefians
 
For this point raised by the young engineer, I would quote Prof. Habibullah, (UOS, Berkley, SAP-2000, ETAB fame) :
 " I would rather my son to be a building brocker than becoming a Structural Engineer. The Brockerage is more than 4 times  Engineers' fees. Once the deed is complete, his responsibity is over. For 1/4 of the fees, a Str. Engineer is responsible till he lives."
 
But the fact remains, once in the main stream, one has to swim.  
 
K. N. Sheth
 

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suraj
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject: Structure Services Fee? Reply with quote

Structure Services Fee?
Well, it is one of right platforms to raise the relevant issue.
It is true that there is no regulation about fee for SEs services so far, yet, it is the SE to sell one's professional market. It also depends on the sharable responsibility.
It is SE alone to respond to all failures of structures while, an architect would earn good work reputation alone.
It is also right to accepty that there is no meaning in defining fee as 2 Re per sq foot of construtable area. It is the fault of any SE to accept these low profile fees.
All SEs should make a decision to accept fee no lesser tha 4 % including supervision services, of cost of struture per sq foot of constructable area. It is right that structure cost is around 500 to 600 / sqft.
There should be no question of juniority or seniority to an extent & as contractually or conventionally or professional good practice demanded service. Prison sentence shall not be awarded based on experience of SE.
Dear SEs, make yourself stalwart in selling professional services by quoting required & reasonable fee. SEs are expected to make their own standards around. SEs should not expect others to help them
Regards

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spsvasan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy Reply with quote

Dear Er.Pankaj Bhakkad,

The structural design fees at Madurai, Tamilnadu, is also in the range of Rs 3 to 6 per sft depending upon the size and the complexities of the project.

On two occasions, a few like-minded engineers decided to raise our fees by about 50%. On both occasions we soon ran out of projects and had to accept lower fees in order to meet our overheads.

Competition is very severe and it is very difficult to raise one's fees unless one gives some sort of specialised structural design - like prestressed concrete, bridge etc.

I have learnt to improve the efficiency of my office and thus attend to a large volume of work. Hence I am able to survive despite the pitiable fees structure.

The satisfaction of producing decent structures keeps one going.

With best wishes
S.P.Srinivasan
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suraj
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Design services details Reply with quote

Design services details
Dear Eng S.P.Srinivasan,
May I know what type of documents of designs are being served based on Re 3 to Re 6 per sqft of constructed area?

Dear Eng Pankaj,
May I know what type of documents of designs are being served based on Re 2 to Re 3 per sqft of constructed area?
Regards

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santoshbiraj
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya I do agree that we are paid way to less in the construction industry. If we want to become developer also we cant coz it requires quite a good amount of investment. Moreover we are in such a tight competition that everybody of us are willing to compromise on our fees. That's why you can see a developer generally employs architects not structural engineers. Coz we charge on sq.ft basis and not on the construction cost. Just you can imagine a 100 crore project can yield a fees of 4 crore to a architect whereas we still fight amongst ourselves to grab the project from  other consultant to stay in the competition in other words lowering our own professional status. We are responsible coz we have not set a proper benchmark for our fees.
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spsvasan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject: Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy Reply with quote

Dear Er.Suraj

We issue following details:

Foundation layout with grids, eccentricity details, footings and columns shown to scale.
Footings - Tabulation of dimensions and reinforcement along with detailed typical reinforcement details
Columns - Tabulation of dimensions and reinforcements along with detailed typical reinforcement details for each type of column.
Plinth beams - LS with cross-sections, usually at 2 or 3 locations per span
Staircase - Plans at each floor level including landing levels; Section through each type of flight indicating tread riser sizes, bar cranking and cutoff distances  
Lintels - For each floor layout of lintels and cross-sections of typical lintels
Shuttering layout - Shuttering layout with grids, dimensions, slab thickness, soffit levels, beam sizes, soffit levels, detailed sections wherever necessary - separately for each type of floor
Floor slabs - Layout with grids, including slab rebars indicating crank points and extension distances for each type of slab, detailed sections wherever necessary - separately for each type of floor
Floor beams - LS of beams including grids, sections, cross beams etc - separately for each type of floor
Headroom details - shuttering layout, slab details and Beam LS
Lift machine room details - shuttering layout, slab details and beam LS
Water tank details - shuttering layout, base slab details, wall sections, cover slab details, details at manholes
Sump details as for water tank details above.

In addition, we issue a technical document indicating requirements of concrete mix, cover, laps, welding, shuttering tolerances, deshuttering instructions, bar bending tolerances, cube casting, curing & testing details, pre-cautions in the case of expansive soil, etc etc.

With best wishes
Yours sincerely
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suraj
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject: Design services details Reply with quote

Design services details
Dear Eng S.P.Srinivasan,
Well. from your reply posting, it is clear that design drawings structural general arrangements as well as general specifications + project specifications are issued for a fee of Re 3 to 6 each sq ft that amount to somewhere between 0.5 to > 1% of structural estimated cost.
It is also indicated that rebar working details in BBS format are not issued.
It is also indicated if I could rightly understood that, disciplinary coordination is not conducted during generation of structural general drawings.
It is also understood that supervision operations from deciding factual soil parameters to the supervision of construction are seperately charged.
In such a situation, I am of opinion that >1% fee may not look that bad for such services if other expenses of stationary as well as service tax charges be paid additionally.
An exclusive requirement should be that designer should supervise structural part of project absenting which, SE stands at loss. May be I am not correct at your detailed statement appraisal.
Regards

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Fees Structure for Structural Consultancy Reply with quote

Dear All,

When I was having my office 6 years ago in Chennai, the rental value and staff salary was much less. Now all these have sky rocketed and with a fee of Rs. 3 per square feet it is impossible to get profits. Present day offices should be equipped with costly software(thought the cost of hardware has become affordable, the software costs have gone up considerably). Moreover, one important point is that many clients will not pay(they promptly pay the first installment in order to get the drawings).

I think we discussed about this matter in the forum earlier also.

My friend Er Srinivasan is a reputed consultant in Madurai and is able to survive because of the special projects, such as bridges, executed by his company.

Best wishes
Subramanian

spsvasan wrote:
Dear Er.Suraj

We issue following details:

Foundation layout with grids, eccentricity details, footings and columns shown to scale.
Footings - Tabulation of dimensions and reinforcement along with detailed typical reinforcement details
Columns - Tabulation of dimensions and reinforcements along with detailed typical reinforcement details for each type of column.
Plinth beams - LS with cross-sections, usually at 2 or 3 locations per span
Staircase - Plans at each floor level including landing levels; Section through each type of flight indicating tread riser sizes, bar cranking and cutoff distances  
Lintels - For each floor layout of lintels and cross-sections of typical lintels
Shuttering layout - Shuttering layout with grids, dimensions, slab thickness, soffit levels, beam sizes, soffit levels, detailed sections wherever necessary - separately for each type of floor
Floor slabs - Layout with grids, including slab rebars indicating crank points and extension distances for each type of slab, detailed sections wherever necessary - separately for each type of floor
Floor beams - LS of beams including grids, sections, cross beams etc - separately for each type of floor
Headroom details - shuttering layout, slab details and Beam LS
Lift machine room details - shuttering layout, slab details and beam LS
Water tank details - shuttering layout, base slab details, wall sections, cover slab details, details at manholes
Sump details as for water tank details above.

In addition, we issue a technical document indicating requirements of concrete mix, cover, laps, welding, shuttering tolerances, deshuttering instructions, bar bending tolerances, cube casting, curing & testing details, pre-cautions in the case of expansive soil, etc etc.

With best wishes
Yours sincerely
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