Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees
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TOPIC: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees

Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 17 May 2014 15:59 #8640

  • BPopov
  • I am an ecologist in the Ukrainian Carpathians invoved with ecosanitation
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I am myself involved with bringing sustainable sanitation approaches especially waste water treatment to the rural regions of Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. When I work as a consulter\designer and supervise construction (including actually making critical details myself) I charge on the working time basis (per hour or per day). However I sometimes heard that more sensible would be to charge some fixed percentage from the total budget of project ( like some architect\builders do).
What do you think about this? What are the standart practices around the world?

Re: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 20 May 2014 08:26 #8667

  • ben
  • Water and sanitation engineer
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Dear Bpopov,

I like your idea and I'd love to qualify ourselves "architects" rather than "shit designers", but honestly I never saw any experts in development project getting a percentage. However, there is definitly many people getting percentages in projects but they're not the one actually doing the job.


Re: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 21 May 2014 13:50 #8690

  • cecile
  • Moderator
  • Free lance consultant in the field of environment and ecosan. Formerly worked as business developper for Ecodomeo (vermicomposting toilets), as coordinator of a sanitation project and in several emergency projects.
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Dear BPopov,

In the projects I have been involved in, I have never seen the building company deciding themselves how to charge the project. Quite often we have managed the supervision by ourselves and employed the staff. In other projects I have encountered, we simply ran a tender with the builing companies making an offer for their services.

I agree with Ben, that I have never seen anyone getting a percentage of a development project. It would be akward because development projects are not only about infrastructure building but include often what we call "sotware" : community approach and community needs identification, trainings, capacity building, hygiene promotion, M&E, dissemination etc.

If the project is funded by a development donor or development bank the organisation managing the project will then run a state of the art call for proposals for subcontracting and the financial proposal accounts for a percentage of the grade given to the applicants ...

This is not specific to ecosan but to also to infrastructure building in development projects in general.

Maybe you could tell us more about the projects you are involved in ? What is the sustainable approach you are using to treat waste water in the carpatian mountains of Ukraine ?

Best regards,
Cécile Laborderie
MAKATI Environnement
Last Edit: 21 May 2014 13:55 by cecile.

Re: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 22 May 2014 22:33 #8706

  • BPopov
  • I am an ecologist in the Ukrainian Carpathians invoved with ecosanitation
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Dear Cecile! Dear Ben!

Thank you sharing you thoughts.

I wish oneday I will be able to use the softaware approach you are talking about which involves comminity strategies. Unfortuantely at the moment I work mostly with the private ownners (realatively affluent compared to most of the rual people in the region) and use this opportunity to create practical examples of the working systems.This is the situation in Ukraine. But I hope to do this sometime for a school, a villlage, communal laundry and such.

I have asked the question because I sometimes felt that charging fees of sustainable systems designer should somehow correspond to the size and compllexity of the system designed. Something like what landscape designers do when they have the price of their work per square metres or what I heard when some architects charge about 10 percent from the total budget of the project.

My work now is mostly around constructed wetlands designed specifically for the mountain conditions which are competitive by their price and efficiency with aeration systems (SBR reactors) now on the market. Also I design and build dry toilets.
Last Edit: 22 May 2014 22:59 by BPopov.

Re: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 25 May 2014 10:08 #8723

  • AquaVerde
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There are "roughly" two approaches:
quantity or performance driven

1. international payments of consulting fees are quantity driven:

International Federation of Consulting Engineers (commonly known as FIDIC, acronym for its French name Fédération Internationale Des Ingénieurs-Conseils)
in Germany: The costs for project planning are determined on the basis of a special fee structure for architects and engineers (HOAI) and are directed towards the scope [quantity] of planning desired.
extreme example:

The mentioned regulations are just a guide not a must! But if customer/founder desired to go for it, the consultant can only "take it or leave it".

2. performance driven payments of consulting fees:

The payments are based on promised performances (e.g. real O&M costs), conditions negotiated between customer and consultant. This is often used by "green" architects who pursue a holistic philosophy, not architectural excesses.
See good example of Thomas RAU

Sanitation-Solutions without external energy
Low-Tech Solutions with High-Tech Effects
"Inspired by Circular Economy"
Last Edit: 25 May 2014 10:11 by AquaVerde.
The following user(s) like this post: BPopov

Re: Ecosanitation consulting/ designing fees 28 May 2014 13:20 #8765

  • BPopov
  • I am an ecologist in the Ukrainian Carpathians invoved with ecosanitation
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Thank you very much Detlef!

These are interesting approaches for me to study. I like very much the idea of perfomance driven payments. This creates preconditions for responsible planning on real sustainable basis which is about economy of resources and making the systems *small and beautifulll". This is not what most of the architects in Ukraine do whose basic motivation is to make the budget as big as possible.
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