Architectural Fees - 2020


What are reasonable industry standard fee ranges for the following large scale project typologies in the private sector (developer clients)? is a great resource but every time I try to point a client there, they say "that's not official looking enough", and then I have to go down the rabbit hole discussion about how "official" doesn't exist because of the AIA antitrust lawsuit crap and blah blah blah...

I ask because I'm seeing more cases of push back from potential clients who develop multiple project types who claim to have other A/E bids as low as 2% to 3% for full services on $30-$50 million dollar developments and I'm wondering if they are being truthful and too many architecture firms continue to be self depreciating, or if they are mixing practice areas in their expectations. (I've generally been in the 5%-6% camp for most project categories at that scale).







Before you freak out about the US government cracking down, please know that there is NOTHING wrong with individuals, apart and separate from any organization discussing this topic.

Sep 4, 20 5:07 pm

I am aware of asswipes in my market who will do multifamily, office and hospitality for 2-3% all day long.  However, it is all cookie-cutter design with ugly forms and cheap materials.  MEP on the stuff is all design-build, so the architect isn't carrying that aspect of the design work in the design fee.

In my experience, the people seeking low design fees will also want a cheap shitty building.

The medical clients in my community seem to be willing to pay decent fees.  They seem to understand that you get what you pay for.

Sep 4, 20 5:34 pm  · 
3  · 

Can't mess around with medical facilities. Housing and mixed-use on the other hand ...


There's job near me where the person basically ran off with our SD drawings and started building. They didn't want to pay for anything more than SD and thought they could figure all the rest out. At this point, they have spent several times what our full design fee would have been on work scope we could have helped them avoid by working with building officials and the landlord.


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