1. At what stage of the design process should I involve the engineer?

    The most significant cost savings in a project are to be gained at the conceptual design stage.  Early discussions between the architectural designer and consulting engineer can lead to significant time and cost savings during the build.

    The selection of the most appropriate structural system and materials, at the start of the job, is critical to minimising overall cost and build time.

  2. How do I know what’s been allowed for in my quotation so I can compare “apples with apples”?

    It is important that your engineer has a well-established working relationship with the Project Architect or Architectural Designer, and has significant experience at documenting similar projects, to ensure that an adequate level of documentation has been allowed for.  If in doubt, ask for a breakdown of the services to be provided at each stage of the project, to accompany the quotation. 

  3. What level of documentation is required for my project?

    When obtaining quotes for consulting engineering services, it is important to be clear on the level of documentation that will be provided, and what consultation, co-ordination and conceptual design process has been allowed for.

    Good quality, comprehensive documentation will provide substantial time and cost savings during the construction process by minimising delays and costly re-working on site.

    Relative differences in engineering fees are very small, compared to potential construction cost-savings that will result from good quality, thoughtful design and documentation.

  4. How do I know what size engineering firm I should engage for my project?

    A medium sized consulting practice has the backup staff necessary to ensure the smooth progress of the design and documentation process, and can provide the prompt and reliable service necessary during construction.

    A medium sized consulting practice does not have the large cost overheads and bureaucracy that may be associated with large consultancy firms.

    At Perrett Simpson the directors are personally involved in the design process, and are readily available to Clients, their designers and builders.

  5. Don’t all engineers provide the same answer?

    Perrett Simpson has 30 years of experience working with Architects to achieve cost-effective, buildable, structural solutions that meet the Architects vision for the building, and the Clients budget and quality expectations.

    Whilst a significant portion of design engineering is science, and functions within the constraints of design standards and regulations, there remains an important art in understanding and interpreting the Architect’s vision, and an essential depth of experience necessary to determine the most appropriate engineering solution that will meet all of the projects needs.