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slstructural
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

With regards to Mr Kaushikar , I wish to put forward the following.
Whether to blame structural engineer  for Ahmedabad earthquake-
Answer is yes & no. Yes because of compromising on principles of design
No because lack of direction on the seismic design front for Zone I around that time.
We should blame builder only if he changes the drawings at his will without the approval of the designer. This seldom happens.
I donot want blame builder and it is not wrong on his part to aim for savings provided some one is taking responsibility of the design. 
It is our call to be competent and be convinced about designs. Only professional integrity & competance can bind us together not individuals greed. 

Rangarao

On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM, dssisodiya <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
[quote]            respected all,
namaskar,
hearing to all learned ones its clear that strucutre engineers are  getting least importance and least fee as well.
the reasons may be many but structure engineers do not look back into their weaknesses.
first we have to look in the market what it understands and what it demands in India.
1 most of the medium level clinents (particularly home owners)need a planner whether an architect or an engineer.
2 they think the hired planner ( whose qualification ranges from dtaftsman/mech diploma/interior decorators/non technical vastu consultants/civil diploma/civil engr/architect/ structures engrs/tplanners) will provide all services including structure details.
3 builders run behind an architect/architectural consultant who has done mostly builders works and is good in
getting the approvals .established builders run behind name of an architect and make rest secondary.
4 builders do not want to deal second consultant directly but expects principal consultant to deal with second line of consultants including structure consultant.
5 builders offer a lumsum fee to architects and architects try to minimise their structure cost and as per economizing and optimizing  there is nothing wrong in it.
6 after getting some experience architects opt not to get structural design for small houses/medium projects upto four floors where sign of structure engineers in not must (its so in M.P. and C.G) and copy paste existing structure drawings.
7 architects exploit unstable strucuture engineers to accomplish their work at minimum cost.
8 architects know that clients do not have much awareness of importance of structure engineer which is a plus point for their profession.
 
 So as per the demand in  India clients expect architectural qualities in engineers and understanding this demand pattern many civil engineers in districts and many bigger cities shifted their business to a complete consultant and they are very successful in this business and at present the major business in medium cities is with the graduate civil engineers .
Think what these civil engineers have done in towns/cities to be successful ?
they sensed the market and developed skills for planning (though its not taught in depth in civil engg )
they cater all necessities of a construction related client and are very well able to share the market from architects.
with the development of a city architects come in picture at a later stage and these civil engineers are already established to do roll of an architect, a project manager/ engineer and also as a structure engineer.
Now think on your own.
1 where does a structure engineer stands ?
2 dependent all the time on architects and blaming the system.
3 ask why do not you have developed architectural skills (may be you have to work with some architect to learn
planning/detailing)
4 why do structure engineers opt not  for full consultancy by adding architectural wing with them?
(fresh and experienced  architects are available at ease. can outsource architectural work as well)
but the structure engineers so far have opted to be away from all these business and want to get business at their desk and that too at their rates and with minimum detailing and services.
the reason is that structure engineers do not want to put their hands in mud but want clear cut neat money in their pockets. the architects take a lot of pain to extract money from the clients why the same can not be done by structure engineers on their own by asking the architects to get direct deal with the client and not through the architect.
(some architects charge their fee and introduce a structure engineer directly to the client and the structure engineer gets direct deal with the client which helps him in future prospects)
5 structure engineers do not diversify their business and stick to  only designing though there are many avenues related to structure engineering in construction as well.
 
 
I started as a graduate civil engineer in 1990 and sensed the trend, learnt autocad first and then started architectural consultancy .with time I have learnt very good skills in architerural  field and with these I added structural skills as well by joining a structure engineer and learnt related softwares(staad and struds)
after learning struds  I added computerised structure design then strud marketing and training of struds.
Over the years I had  done number of projects as a complete consultant by providing complete consultancy .
got PG at a later stage and now get structure jobs as well for multistories but still I prefer to complete consultancy jobs over structural jobs.
I am choosy on structure works and put some of my technical conditions on minimum column width (like 300 mm for more than 5 m span), direct deal with the client, direct fees from private clients  and thats why not so many works of structures but still I am very happy and never blame any one .
what structure engineers need to do?
1 as per demand mould your product to a full fledged consultancy firm.
2 Add architects with you or develop architectural skills over the years.
2 diversify the buisness
  avenues for diversification
a: add interior wing
b: add project management team
c: do one or two  turn key works( if you do 2 or 3 houses/bunglows in a year you will get enough money
for your whole year . one of my junior stopped structural designing and moved to turn key with own consultancy including interior  and charges 70 to 200 rs per sq ft)
d:restrengthening and rehabilitation of structures
e:  structure software training to architects/ civil engineers
f:industrial designs ,steel structure design, plant and chimney designs which is now a days being done by mech engrs
g: make groups to do multidisciplinary consultancy which is in shortage even today in India.
(like civil, mech, electrical, MEP,water resources related structures,metallurgy,interior,architecture,turnkey,project 
 management)
3 be bold enough to dictate your terms to architects and learn to get paid well in time before delivery of drgs.
4 look business in medium and upcoming cities (migratory birds move from siberia to india in colder season , they are 
  more intelligent than us.why not we?)
5 create awareness in clients for the importance of structural engineering .
6 be united to raise the fee. (divided we die united we survive)
7 cut establishment costs by becoming expert on software tools(autocad/zwcad,nisa,strap,strud,staad n bentley tools,
  dimension solutions for foundations and other soft tools as per your liking and demand)
8 be brave to face the existing system and instead of blaming ,understand the demand and be a successful one by becoming fit in the demand of the market.
9 make your own pathway to tread and trade easily to fulfill your goals as well as your structural ambitions.
 
D.S.Sisodiya
Sisodiya and Associates
structural and building engineers
3 F.F.Ashirwad Bhavan Raipur  (C.G.)
 
 

 
On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM, arunkashikar forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org))> wrote:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

My dear Mr Kashikar

I am responding to your and Mr Maitrey’s email collectively, wherein you have clearly washed off your hands by saying who are we if the structural consultants quote so low?(it is as if someone is driven to jump in a well, and you are closing your eyes to the problem?). Are you not aware that one of your Prequalified Consultants had quoted, for Proof Checking a fees of Rs0.50 per sq feet, and later reduced it to half during negotiations? What kind of services do you expect to get if the fee is such a pittance? Surely as experienced Structural Designers, you at Tata Housing do understand the concept of a minimum workable fees? Or is it so difficult to understand? How else does a Structural Consultant hire the best brains, buy the best(reasonably) hardware and ETABS(original) and pay for AMC and overheads if he’s not getting paid enough to cover his expenditure on your Project? Why is it too much to ask at least the educated and experienced SE Professionals as Clients to understand and appreciate that there is a basic minimum price of doing a good job and to put it bluntly, at the price of a donkey you cannot expect to buy a quality stallion? What Value engineering are you expecting if the poor SE cannot afford to make both ends meet and therefore carries your Project with him into a big mess!
I hope this shows that the ongoing discussions are leading to nothing useful as everyone of us here understands what a good structural designer ought to do, but the Clients conveniently close their eyes to what a good Client ought to pay, for a good job! To quote my friends in Germany, they charge a flat 10% for a structural design and PMC job and no one even dares to argue, bargain or talk about free market forces! You cannot expect to get Gucchi or Prada if you shop at footpath stalls!
I hope I have made my point without hurting any sentiments.
Regards
Sangeeta Wij

From: arunkashikar [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: 28 January 2013 12:15
To: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is good to see so much discussion on my mail related to developers view on structural consultants fees. Since it appears there are lot of miss-interpretations of what I have written, I would like to clarify some of the presumptions for clarity and for healthy discussion, which can benefit all.

1) I never said in my mail that peer review is done to reduce the cost of structure. I , and most of the developers know the difference between peer review and value engineering. Off course objective of peer review is second check regarding safety, serviceability and constructability of structure. But, while doing a peer review, if peer review consultant come across additional margin or even more reinforcement than required provided by error ( we can’t say this cannot happen, as no peer review is required if all consultants are sure of error free design always!) is it not the responsibility of main consultant to revise his drawings. Unfortunately, in most of the peer review we get done, we have experience consultants are over conservative is their design are no peer reviewed.
2) No change in framing plans or structural system is which required re-analysis and redesign is expected in peer review, this is expected in value engineering, where we link the fees to saving achieved by value engineering. There is fixed fee in caser of peer review, which is paid irrespective of saving done or not, though most of the peer review result is saving by removing over conservatism in the design.
3) We, at Tata housing do not select consultant by lowest per sqft fee, we have a consultant prequalification process, which is very detailed and proven process. My point was, among the prequalified consultants, if all consultants stick to their professional integrity ( no compromise on safety, serviceability and constructability of structures) if we select the one with lowest fee, how it is wrong?
4) I completely agree that in general current fees of structural consultants are too low, but who is to be blamed for it? In my opinion, root cause of the issue is, for getting the job, consultants compromise on the effort required by them to design the structure economically in addition to meeting safety, serviceability and constructability of structures. ( I never said these can be compromised , and this is the reason we appoint peer review consultants for each of our project)
5) I again emphasize here that consultants need to become sensitive toward economy of structures while maintaining their professional integrity while demanding the fare fee.

Regards.


Arun Kashikar
Head - R&D

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.,
Tel.: (D): +91 22 - 66614988 | Mobile: +91 9819055576

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From: swamikrishnan [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:16 AM
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is surprising to me that PEER REVIEW is being used by developers for the purpose of cutting project costs. PEER REVIEW, by definition, is a process of "self-regulation by a profession" or a process of evaluation by peers (competent individuals in the same field) for the purpose of "improving quality, upholding standards, identifying vulnerabilities and eliminating them". Structural engineers should not allow this important means of "oversight" to be used by developers for purposes that the process was never intended to be applied for. The use of a structural engineer for the purpose of cutting costs on a project is perfectly legal. However, it is termed "Value Engineering" and NOT "Peer Review". It is our responsibility as structural engineers to ensure that the term "Peer Review" is not misused in this fashion.

Regards,

Swaminathan Krishnan
California Institute of Technology
http://krishnan.caltech.edu

On 01/25/2013 01:02 AM, arunkashikar wrote:
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sangeeta Madam,

We need a "Like" button as in Facebook for posts like yours. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:56 pm    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear All,

I can not agree with Sangeeta more. She has hit the bull's eye (Diagnosed the problem correctly).


But what is the solution ? What is the lesson learnt ?


DO NOT EXPECT CLIENT'S (BUILDERS, OWNERS) TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS. WE HAVE TO SOLVE IT OURSELVES. SOLUTION LIES IN BRINGING ALL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDER ONE ROOF AND MAKING SURE THAT NO ONE QUOTES LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED BY THE GROUP.


I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN NEAR FUTURE.


Best Wishes


Alok Bhowmick 

On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM, SANGEETA WIJ <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
Quote:
           My dear Mr Kashikar

I am responding to your and Mr Maitrey’s email collectively, wherein you have clearly washed off your hands by saying who are we if the structural consultants quote so low?(it is as if someone is driven to jump in a well, and you are closing your eyes to the problem?). Are you not aware that one of your Prequalified Consultants had quoted, for Proof Checking a fees of Rs0.50 per sq feet, and later reduced it to half during negotiations? What kind of services do you expect to get if the fee is such a pittance? Surely as experienced Structural Designers, you at Tata Housing do understand the concept of a minimum workable fees? Or is it so difficult to understand? How else does a Structural Consultant hire the best brains, buy the best(reasonably) hardware and ETABS(original) and pay for AMC and overheads if he’s not getting paid enough to cover his expenditure on your Project? Why is it too much to ask at least the educated and experienced SE Professionals as Clients to understand and appreciate that there is a basic minimum price of doing a good job and to put it bluntly, at the price of a donkey you cannot expect to buy a quality stallion? What Value engineering are you expecting if the poor SE cannot afford to make both ends meet and therefore carries your Project with him into a big mess!
I hope this shows that the ongoing discussions are leading to nothing useful as everyone of us here understands what a good structural designer ought to do, but the Clients conveniently close their eyes to what a good Client ought to pay, for a good job! To quote my friends in Germany, they charge a flat 10% for a structural design and PMC job and no one even dares to argue, bargain or talk about free market forces! You cannot expect to get Gucchi or Prada if you shop at footpath stalls!
I hope I have made my point without hurting any sentiments.
Regards
Sangeeta Wij

From: arunkashikar [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: 28 January 2013 12:15
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure




It is good to see so much discussion on my mail related to developers view on structural consultants fees. Since it appears there are lot of miss-interpretations of what I have written, I would like to clarify some of the presumptions for clarity and for healthy discussion, which can benefit all.

1) I never said in my mail that peer review is done to reduce the cost of structure. I , and most of the developers know the difference between peer review and value engineering. Off course objective of peer review is second check regarding safety, serviceability and constructability of structure. But, while doing a peer review, if peer review consultant come across additional margin or even more reinforcement than required provided by error ( we can’t say this cannot happen, as no peer review is required if all consultants are sure of error free design always!) is it not the responsibility of main consultant to revise his drawings. Unfortunately, in most of the peer review we get done, we have experience consultants are over conservative is their design are no peer reviewed.
2) No change in framing plans or structural system is which required re-analysis and redesign is expected in peer review, this is expected in value engineering, where we link the fees to saving achieved by value engineering. There is fixed fee in caser of peer review, which is paid irrespective of saving done or not, though most of the peer review result is saving by removing over conservatism in the design.
3) We, at Tata housing do not select consultant by lowest per sqft fee, we have a consultant prequalification process, which is very detailed and proven process. My point was, among the prequalified consultants, if all consultants stick to their professional integrity ( no compromise on safety, serviceability and constructability of structures) if we select the one with lowest fee, how it is wrong?
4) I completely agree that in general current fees of structural consultants are too low, but who is to be blamed for it? In my opinion, root cause of the issue is, for getting the job, consultants compromise on the effort required by them to design the structure economically in addition to meeting safety, serviceability and constructability of structures. ( I never said these can be compromised , and this is the reason we appoint peer review consultants for each of our project)
5) I again emphasize here that consultants need to become sensitive toward economy of structures while maintaining their professional integrity while demanding the fare fee.

Regards.


Arun Kashikar
Head - R&D

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.,
Tel.: (D): +91 22 - 66614988 | Mobile: +91 9819055576


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From: swamikrishnan [mailto:forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)]
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:16 AM
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org) (general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org))
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



It is surprising to me that PEER REVIEW is being used by developers for the purpose of cutting project costs. PEER REVIEW, by definition, is a process of "self-regulation by a profession" or a process of evaluation by peers (competent individuals in the same field) for the purpose of "improving quality, upholding standards, identifying vulnerabilities and eliminating them". Structural engineers should not allow this important means of "oversight" to be used by developers for purposes that the process was never intended to be applied for. The use of a structural engineer for the purpose of cutting costs on a project is perfectly legal. However, it is termed "Value Engineering" and NOT "Peer Review". It is our responsibility as structural engineers to ensure that the term "Peer Review" is not misused in this fashion.

Regards,

Swaminathan Krishnan
California Institute of Technology
http://krishnan.caltech.edu

On 01/25/2013 01:02 AM, arunkashikar wrote:
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sangeeta Madam

Please remember I am a structural consultant like you are however I am just trying to emphasize that changes have to be on both sides and any change if you wish to implement needs a clear policy which I call as regulatory framework.

We as consultants always have an option of saying no to a job if we feel that fees are too less. We have done this consistently and are still doing it. According to me if a client has gone to a consultant who has quoted lower fees it is their risk and their mess. In the current framework in our country this is going to happen and arguing about it or criticizing it is not the solution.

If you have a suggestion to improve which I feel I had made please feel free to share your thoughts.

Regards
Maitrey Talati
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maitrey wrote:


In the current framework in our country this is going to happen and arguing about it or criticizing it is not the solution.



Dear Er Talati,

If we find that it is the current framework that is the problem, then it must be criticised and every attempt must be made to change it. I hope that a large (though informal) body of engineers like SEFI can be instrumental in helping to bring about legislation to protect the profession.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Hi I am entering into this discussion for the first time.
my opinion on structural engineering faternity and attitude of clients and builders to structural engineering is as under ( I am replying wrt quote from Arun and replies from Sangeeta and others)
FEES :
1. Structural engineers are not respected by clients in our country. This I am comparing with Doctors, Architects, Govt officers and fashion designers.
2. Even in poor countries like Yemen, Structural engineers are valued.
3. Gujrat disaster was man-made and not nature. Eq of far more power have struct chile, newzealand and many  more countries.
4. Developers and structural engrs escaped after eq because of our lax attitude to respect for law. Money buys everything
5. My opinion is today also many buildings in Gujarat including ahmedabad are being desinged sub-standard to resist eq.  There will be repeat of manmade disaster should eq strike again. Maybe Maitrey Talati will be in better posn to comment.
6. When I am driving by in Navi Mumbai a basic look tells me the engineering happening there in zone IV location.
6. Fees for structural engrs today in Mumbai ranges for few Rs. per sft for a strugling engr to many times more for established engrs. Only few structural engrs in Mumbai can command premium.
7. Once you cross mumbai toll, rates drop to atleast half what you get in Mumbai.
8. even if str engr is lucky to get Rs. 10/- per sft on Built up area, it is hardly any percentage of Rs. 15000/- per sft of sale price onn BUA in cornermost corner of Mumbai. The total amount spent on getting approvals (liasoning and otherwise) is probably 20-30 times more than the amount charged by all consultants (arch, str engre, plumbing and fire fighting, supervision) put together for a residential bldg project.
9. I do try to explain to general public (like my clients etc) abt role of structural engrs in society and their importance. Most of the people in India are unfortunately born Civil Engineers and Structural engineers.
PEER REVIEW AND PROOF CHECKING
1. Our country, seems to be made of hypocrites and of people unable to make judicious independent, just decisions. The judgement of Juvenile board a few hours back is a classic case.
2. Proof checking means, one structural engr gets licence to pull down the other structural engr just like a story where the Indian was exporting crabs in open basket. On being asked why he was not covering the basket, he replied : they are indian crabs. the moment one goes up, the other pulls him down.
3. When the proof checker is checking designs and dwgs, the comments will be so innocous and un necessary. For eg - provide all calculations like moment and shear from first principles, write again and again all clauses on sheet, spel(?)ing mistakes etc. The proof checking is not for all these things, but for checking safety and whether all loads have been taken etc.  This they do only to prove their existence to client. The client being not aware, will only see red marks on sheet and assume that the principal engr is dumb..
4. However many a times, I do have faced a proper proof checker, wherein we have combined to give a very good product to the client
5. Peer review : peer review also means providing inputs to principal engr on difficult structures. So peer review is not necessarily cost saving, but very important part in difficult structures.

Path forward :
1. Currently Structural Engineers have to register at multiple locations separtely to operate like Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, All Muncipal Corporations around Mumbai, Pune etc etc. How much we can run around !
2. As Engineers have put forth in this forum, the time has come to separately register Structural engineers from across the country. Probably IE can organise a Practicing Engineer certificate after due training etc (In Mumbai we need to work atleast for 3 years under Registered Structural Engineer. The certificate can be valid to work all over India. Gradation and classification can be provided.
3. We have to get together and pressurise law makers for a common law like Parliament act for Architects

rgds
Girish Wadhwa






SANGEETA WIJ wrote:
Thanks a lot Mr Kashikar for putting forth a frank perspective of Builders and Developers and I tend to agree with most of what you’ve mentioned(although the peer review Consultant’s suggestions for economy are normally accepted by main consultants these days, unless they are already squeezed and have no resources left in their kitty to do a complete rework!).
I would like to mention again my earlier suggestion to you: why don’t you have a minimum fees worked out internally, and keep that in mind while empanelling and awarding work to Consultancy firms.

The biggest problems with award on lowest fees is that sometimes the Consultant is too desperate and quotes ridiculously low fees to get work(and lands himself and the Client into a Big mess) or he’s genuinely not in position to correctly visualize all the likely costs and quotes a ridiculously low figure(and again lands himself and the Client in a big mess). Either way, the Client and the Project suffers, in terms of design quality and inordinate delays! Both the main and proof Consultants could be offered a cut on the savings they bring in together as a team, to ensure that the Project does not suffer and the Clients get the best and most optimum designs.

Regards
Sangeeta Wij

From: arunkashikar [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: 25 January 2013 14:32
To: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



Though I agree with the view expressed by Satish and others, I thought, I should also put developers perspective across.

1) As developer is selling homes on per sqft basis, anything for him including consultants fees are per sqft figures, and this is unlikely to change.
2) Lowest per sqft fee will be favored unless consultant can prove that higher fee demanded by them can result in safe but economical structure. Unfortunately, many consultants are not sensitive towards the cost of structure they are designing. They are not ready to go extra mile to make the structure economical, ( of course without compromising the safety and serviceability of structure) , if this need extra effort.
3) Now a days, most of the developers get their designs peer reviewed. If suggestion by peer review consultants results in saving, they are normally not accepted by main consultant as this need extra effort, or need accepting that the design was uneconomical. In my opinion uneconomical designs should be treated at par with unsafe design.
4) If all consultants stick to their professional integrity, by refusing to compromise on safety and serviceability of structure, award of job on ‘kg/sqft of reinforcement’ is in line with fare competition


Regards,

Arun Kashikar
Head - R&D

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.,
Tel.: (D): +91 22 - 66614988 | Mobile: +91 9819055576

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7 Switch off as you go | qAlways recycle | P Save a tree... think before print.... Go green


From: satish_jain [mailto:forum@sefindia.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:49 PM
To: general@sefindia.org (general@sefindia.org)
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure



Good point on Inflation! I have been making the same point to several structural engineers. Keeping low fees(in sq. ft terms) will certainly kill our firms in the coming 4 to 5 years, if you work on the same fees today and 5 years from now.

Real estate prices increase over the years and our fees gets depreciated - way to go for a country like ours. I have to agree that even I have to take fees in terms of sq. ft as that is the demand no matter what from the clients but we probably reject 5 jobs in 10 just because of low fees offered. We revise our asking rate from year to year based on the inflation and take only those jobs where the client can understand that to provide good engineering, I have to keep good staff and that costs MONEY!


Regards,
Satish Jain

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM, efficientdesign forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org) (forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)))> wrote:
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Thanks Alok,I think together we can do it and we will do it someday soon!RegardsSangeeta- from Vodafone
From: "bsec" <forum@sefindia.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 21:41:02 +0530
To: <general@sefindia.org>
ReplyTo: general@sefindia.org
Subject: [SEFI] Re: consultancy fee structure

     Dear All,  I can not agree with Sangeeta more. She has hit the bull's eye (Diagnosed the problem correctly).   But what is the solution ? What is the lesson learnt ?   DO NOT EXPECT CLIENT'S (BUILDERS, OWNERS) TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS. WE HAVE TO SOLVE IT OURSELVES. SOLUTION LIES IN BRINGING ALL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDER ONE ROOF AND MAKING SURE THAT NO ONE QUOTES LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED BY THE GROUP.   I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN NEAR FUTURE.   Best Wishes   Alok Bhowmick   On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM, SANGEETA WIJ  wrote:        --auto removed--

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swamikrishnan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Er. Bhowmick has crystallized the problem and the solution in one sentence.

Self-organization is the key. As I had noted in my concluding notes on the Tall Bldg e-conference, there are two important organizational initiatives that we should consider:

(i) an active National Structural Engineering Association, that is both the mouth-piece of the SE community for the outside world as well as the home for SE activities by the SE community (including seminars, webinars, networking, training, capacity-building, code recommendations to the BIS, etc.). This has to be a national initiative, with state and city chapters that have their own activities (TEDx could be a great model).

(ii) a Board for Professional Engineers that has the charge of regulating structural engineering (and other forms of engineering as well, but we can start with SE). If we can have a Board of Control for Cricket in India, we should most certainly have a self-regulating Board for Structural Engineering. Of course, it is our responsibility to ensure that it is structured in a way that it cannot become a corrupt agency and that it is rigorous and fair in its certification process. Once we have such a rigorous process in place, we will be able to honestly pinpoint and address Er. Kashikar's legitimate and valid question on the responsibility of the SE in failures such as those observed in the Bhuj earthquake.

I would also like to point out that unionization of some kind invariably leads to better pay and work conditions (cases in point are the Teachers Union and the Writers Guild in the US). This has the potential to address the unreasonably low consultancy fees and uplift our profession.

Sincerely,

Swaminathan Krishnan
California Institute of Technology
http://krishnan.caltech.edu

bsec wrote:
Dear All,

I can not agree with Sangeeta more. She has hit the bull's eye (Diagnosed the problem correctly).


But what is the solution ? What is the lesson learnt ?


DO NOT EXPECT CLIENT'S (BUILDERS, OWNERS) TO SOLVE PROBLEMS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS. WE HAVE TO SOLVE IT OURSELVES. SOLUTION LIES IN BRINGING ALL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS UNDER ONE ROOF AND MAKING SURE THAT NO ONE QUOTES LESS THAN THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED BY THE GROUP.


I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN IN NEAR FUTURE.


Best Wishes


Alok Bhowmick



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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: consultancy fee structure Reply with quote

Dear Er Sangeeta,

I wish to appreciate you for your bold and honest comments!

Best wishes and regards,
NS
SANGEETA WIJ wrote:
My dear Mr Kashikar

I am responding to your and Mr Maitrey’s email collectively, wherein you have clearly washed off your hands by saying who are we if the structural consultants quote so low?(it is as if someone is driven to jump in a well, and you are closing your eyes to the problem?). Are you not aware that one of your Prequalified Consultants had quoted, for Proof Checking a fees of Rs0.50 per sq feet, and later reduced it to half during negotiations? What kind of services do you expect to get if the fee is such a pittance? Surely as experienced Structural Designers, you at Tata Housing do understand the concept of a minimum workable fees? Or is it so difficult to understand? How else does a Structural Consultant hire the best brains, buy the best(reasonably) hardware and ETABS(original) and pay for AMC and overheads if he’s not getting paid enough to cover his expenditure on your Project? Why is it too much to ask at least the educated and experienced SE Professionals as Clients to understand and appreciate that there is a basic minimum price of doing a good job and to put it bluntly, at the price of a donkey you cannot expect to buy a quality stallion? What Value engineering are you expecting if the poor SE cannot afford to make both ends meet and therefore carries your Project with him into a big mess!
I hope this shows that the ongoing discussions are leading to nothing useful as everyone of us here understands what a good structural designer ought to do, but the Clients conveniently close their eyes to what a good Client ought to pay, for a good job! To quote my friends in Germany, they charge a flat 10% for a structural design and PMC job and no one even dares to argue, bargain or talk about free market forces! You cannot expect to get Gucchi or Prada if you shop at footpath stalls!
I hope I have made my point without hurting any sentiments.
Regards
Sangeeta Wij

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