Architects and engineers characterize themselves by their creativity, high capability of innovation, and strong professional ethics. Their knowledge and skills provide the basis for high building quality, but therefore require an appropriate salary. Even though the requirements are high, the Austrian market for planning services forces professionals to give enormous discounts on their calculated fees. To figure out the consequences of this price pressure on planners’ fees, quantitative and qualitative analysis methods of empirical social research were applied. Research shows a relationship between price pressure on planners’ fees and the loss of quality of their planning services. With inadequate planners’ fees, planners reduce their service effort to such an extent that the costs of planning correspond to the price achieved on a supply-driven market. Lack of detail of the project description, frequent change requests, and slow decision-making by the clients additionally pose restraints on the sufficiency of planners’ fees. The resulting loss of planning quality leads to a low planning depth or inaccurate planning, possibly even errors and defects and, ultimately, inefficient solutions. It furthermore translates into a lower quality of the building and higher total building costs.
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