Very little research has been done anywhere on the important relationship between design fees and document quality. One notable exception is CSIRO. Paul Tilley and Stephen McFallan of CSIRO conducted a survey program in the late 1990’s, on behalf of a coalition of Australian construction industry sponsors, who sought to quantify these relationships and their consequences. Their research was presented at a 1999 conference in Capetown, and published in 2000.

Research methodology

CSIRO surveyed contractors and designers, receiving 491 responses from architects and 327 from contractors. The study was designed to investigate changes in design and documentation quality over the previous fifteen years and to determine whether there is a causal relationship between reduced design fees and increased project costs due to a reduction in design quality, that could cause problems downstream in the construction process…

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