Thursday, 5 March 2009

ola from aussielia


my name is richard. i am a graduate of taylor's SABD and one of ian's ex student. he agreed to let me stay on this blog so i may once in while pop by and let you guys have first hand insight of an architecture student's life in melbourne and the expectations we go thru. and trust me, ITS NOTHING YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE... lol... kidd...

so as time passes by i will likely post my stuff here for ian to crit and all you guys are welcome to post comments

here is a email i sent ian and he requested i post it on the blog. it will benefit u reading this, especially if you are coming to melbourne university. you will likely get the same kind of subject and the same lecturer and likely he will give you a similar kind of assignment.

so here is the letter... ian i added stuff to it so pls do read thru once first? XD


hey ian

i arrived safely at melbourne. all is well and pretty exciting. about 20 over of us arrived. we started uni this week and already we have assignments to complete by next week. pretty hectic i must say.

well i have a few questions...

we are doing a subject called architectural practice. and we were told to write a fee negotiation letter. as we all know, the fee negotiation letter is very crucial in the process cos it will somehow determine the course of the project. cos if we under budget, then, no money no project. or rather we as architects suffer. so we were given this scenario and im wondering if you could give ur input perhaps or your perspectives on this matter as a practicing architect.

one of the main problems that most of us are having is with the determination of the fees. in melbourne they no longer follow the RAIA percentage "rate" graph anymore coz it was made illegal. so now they have to either charge in bulk OR charge by the hour. the thing is we have zero working experience.. how would we know how much to charge per hour? and wats more is how are we to know how much a director, lets say, would charge per hour and how much would a draftsman cost per hour. and what about consultatants? how would they charge? this is something that perplexes us and we dont know how to start. how would we know if we are charging the right amount?

secondly, the client is interested in DESIGNING and BUILDING and 15 3 STOREY units EACH with A SMALL SWIMMING POOL. and they have a budget of AUSD 7,200,000 including all fees. how are we to know if this is asking too much or just nice?

some of us actually went to the RAIA office and got a guide for practicng architects to he them in determining the right fee. unfortunately the proposed method only simply suggest and informs us on how to calculate the total expenditure in year (including profit percentage, overheads etc). so yea.. assuming in a year we have to make "this much" profit but then that doesnt really solve the problem coz not all projects last a month. even if assuming we have only one job for the whole year, we cant possibly only have one job that will last us the whole year rite?

so, how much is the reasonable price and is the client proposing too little a fee?

thirdly, the scenario also states that the client has a COUSIN who is a LOCAL BUILDER and HE told them that it can be easily built? is such a person a threat or a potential problem to the contract? will ties between the client and this cousin post potential problems to us as architects?

fourthly, what would be considered a design contingency?

any coments? haha.. but really, what bothers most of us is really the fees part cos we are just clueless how much to charge..


1 comment:

ian ng said...

oh wow! this sounds like a full blown tutorial...and in IP,

Hourly rates: no big deal. One possible source is the Situations Vacant section in the national newspaper for personnel salaries. Factor that into the no. of personnel u need to do and run the job, u'd get you manpower cost. Multiply all that by a factor for perks, benefits, etc.

Fixed costs like premise rentals, utilities, office equipment, insurances, etc. should be all factored in.

Add finance cost to keep all that going.

Add a percentage for ur profit and u more or less have it.

It doesn't matter how many jobs u have running. Ur trying to cost this particular project so that u can decide on a profit and quote your fee.

You have to work out the arithmetics of the DesignandBuild project you mentioned. Noody can say until they've worked out the construction cost. That's ur homework, i

The Cousin Builder thingey...he only said's that gonna be a threat?

Design contingeny, if ur talking about project planning, would mean a sum of money factored in just in case the design turns out to be more complex and therefore costlier to design or build or both. You have to make an intelligent guess on this one.

I guess between the 20 of you you'd be able to work all that out