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Not so chirpy cheap bleat


News in last week's NCE of £45/hr fee charges for senior chartered engineers is shocking. My car mechanic charges £60/hr!

The Government is calling for better design for public buildings and the best practice philosophy confirms that better design and early project planning can lead to significant benefits for clients.

If, as always, you get what you pay for, why do clients try to reduce design fees and then still expect cheaper and better buildings? More importantly, why do engineers sell themselves so cheap, particularly at a time of chronic skill shortages and lots of work.

If partnering is to work for all parties, clients must reward designers well and expect innovative and money saving designs. Our practice jumps through hoops for clients which pay well and promptly - it is only common sense.

There are some tremendous examples of good design but it is quite clear that reducing design cost is not the way for clients to receive cheaper or quicker buildings. Designers must charge good fees for great design and give clients a top quality service.

Simon Pole, Pole Associates, Wimbledon simon@pole. co. uk

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