Performance areas
Land use planning
Changes affecting more than one discipline
Changes to the general regulations


As discussed in "Revision of regulations on architects' and engineers' fees due in 2013", the seventh revision of the schedule on architects' and engineers' services and fees is planned for 2013. The sixth revision of the schedule in 2009 initially concentrated on the fundamental preservation of a state pricing ordinance and the implementation of the EU Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC). However, due to time limitations it was not possible to include the necessary further-reaching reform to update the performance areas and carry out a differentiated review of the sufficiency of the fees. For this reason, in the coalition agreement of 2009, the German government promised to continue the modernisation of the schedule.


According to the Federal Council, the goals of the reform are to:

  • modernise and harmonise the performance areas defined in the schedule, in light of current construction technology;
  • remedy the defects that were noted in the 2009 revision of the schedule; and
  • adjust the fee structure and the sufficiency of the fees again, in light of changes in career patterns, environmental concerns and engineering principles, with a view to increasing the fees.

The focus of the seventh revision of the schedule is also on:

  • moving consulting services from Appendix 1 back to the binding part of the schedule, after a critical review of the decision to move it to the appendix;
  • rethinking and revising of the provision for fees for planning and building in existing contexts in Section 35; and
  • introducing new performance areas (eg, fire safety, urban development and building site regulations).


The final report on updating the performance areas(1) and a rough timetable for the seventh revision of the schedule have been available since September 2011. A report on the review of the fee structure will follow in April or May 2012, to allow sufficient time for the legislative process. The presentation of the draft law is planned for September 2012; in the following two months the federal states and associations will be heard and departmental coordination will take place. The decision of the German Cabinet is scheduled for December 2012 and by March 2013 the mandatory participation of the Federal Council will take place. The decision of the Federal Council is then planned for the end of March 2013, so that the new schedule can be published in the Federal Law Gazette in April or May 2013.

Performance areas

The final report on updating the performance areas was compiled under the leadership of Professor Lechner and coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs in cooperation with the public client representatives from the national government and federal states, local community associations, Deutsche Bahn AG, the Fee Structure Commission of the Engineers' and Architects' Associations and Chambers, the German Chamber of Architects and the German Chamber of Engineers. The planned changes will be presented as briefly as possible on the basis of the summary of the report.

Land use planning(2)

When updating and synchronising the performance areas, it was observed that land use planning is increasingly regulated and subject to greater public participation, and thus it requires more extensive documentation and coordination. This means that all land use planning services now require more time. The special services were adapted and extended due to changes in planning practices and the resulting new performance areas (eg, urban designs; environmental reports; studies of compatibility with EU directives on flora, fauna and habitats; and species protection surveys). Landscape execution planning is now included with the performance area for outdoor facilities. Finally:

  • the tables of fees for all areas of land use planning performance were consistently based on the ground area;
  • a joint catalogue of special services was developed; and
  • the performance areas were restructured to reflect the realities of land use planning.

Changes affecting more than one discipline

In practice, there were many complaints that the 2009 schedule had become unwieldy because some parts had been moved to the appendices and, in particular, services and special services had been separated. For ease of application, it is therefore recommended that:

  • the performance areas with all associated regulations (ie, special services, lists of project types) again be presented together;
  • many of the appendices be omitted;
  • the concept of basic performance again be included; and
  • the parts on basic performance and special services again be placed next to each other – to this end, Section 3(2) of the 2009 schedule ("other" services) will be deleted and the fees for performance ordered by the client after conclusion of contract will be limited to the provision in Section 7(5).

The performance areas have also been updated and revised. For example, the need for close coordination of the results of the appraisal and planning with the client in Work Stages 1 to 3 has been recognised, so the basic performance of "Summary of the results/documents" has been changed to "Summary, explanation and documentation of the results". Since the reliability of costs and deadlines has become increasingly important, the performance areas have also been supplemented and defined more precisely in this respect. For example, the requirement for schedule planning in the course of the planning process has been integrated into the performance areas. In the performance area of cost planning, instead of the previously required cost estimate in Work Stage 6, the concept of the "specifications priced by the planner" has been introduced. This aims to ensure that before the tender documents are sent out, it is checked whether the possible contract award totals are within the budget set in the cost calculation. The performance listed in Work Stage 9 has also been revised. The documentation obligation which was previously included has now been moved to Work Stage 8. As "supervision of the remediation of defects which occur within the periods of limitation for claims arising from defects" involves a variable amount of work and is therefore unsuitable for remuneration through a flat percentage rate, this item of performance has been classed as a 'special service' so that the fee can be freely agreed. To ensure that the client is not left alone to make an evaluation when enforcing its claims against the contractors or planners, a new item of performance has been included: the "technical evaluation of defects occurring during the periods of limitation".

In addition, the lists of project types have been updated, supplemented, restructured and compiled in tables. This revision aims to provide users with a faster overview and a clearer allocation of the buildings and structures that fall within the individual fee bands. Finally, the work stages have been assigned new percentage weightings.

Changes in project planning(3)
In the 2013 schedule, the designation "structural extensions and fittings" will be replaced by the term "interior rooms", to reflect the career specialism of interior architects. If the performance for buildings and interior rooms is rendered in the course of a planning assignment, it can constitute a project; thus, a separation of the performance areas is not recommended. Instead, in a deviation from the principle in Section 6(1) of the schedule, the provision from Section 25(1) of the 1996 version is reintroduced, whereby no separate fee can be charged if the project planning and the interior rooms are assigned at the same time.

While there was previously speculation that a separate performance area for fire safety planning would be created, this idea was rejected. This decision is justified by pointing out that not all planning services by the planner of the building to implement the goals of fire safety can be classed as 'special services' or 'specialist planning work' – in many cases, they also form part of the basic performance. Therefore, a clear distinction was preferred between fire safety services which are rendered in the course of the basic performance and services which can be freely agreed as special services.

Performance for outdoor facilities will be presented separately, to make it easier to deal with specific aspects of the discipline. This is because planning here is focused not only on creating the structure itself: since natural processes and plant growth mean that the process is constantly changing, so the planning must reflect this continued development.

In the performance areas for civil engineering and transport construction projects, the concepts of independent project and specialist planning have been introduced. In addition, local building supervision will once again be defined as binding. A model has been developed for local site supervision which enables average measures to be charged at fixed percentages and which also contains opening clauses for measures involving below-average or above-average work. In civil engineering structures, plant and machinery will in future be charged as part of the chargeable costs of the engineering structures. Also, the definition of 'machinery' and the term 'planning of plant and machinery' from the official reasoning for the 1996 schedule will be restored. Due to the increasing volume of public procedures to obtain building permits, a special provision has been added to the percentage evaluation of Work Stage 4: permission planning. In addition, the "water engineering rules" provision, which is currently listed as a special service in Appendix 2.8.5 in this work stage, will now be listed as an optional service. This is because the remuneration rate is defined and the service is not subject to free negotiation as for the special services. To evaluate the performance area of traffic facilities, the provision in Section 53(3) of the 1996 schedule will be restored. Further, it is recommended that the special basis for calculating the fee should be revised in light of the technical circumstances for traffic facilities.

Changes in specialist planning
One of the main aims of the new schedule is to move the performance areas listed in Appendix 1 of the 2009 schedule back into the binding part of the ordinance. The departmental representatives were unable to anticipate the binding positions of their ministries in the legislative process, so in the final version they abstained from voting on the recommendations. According to the report that is currently available, the only performance areas which will be included in the specialist planning in Part IV of the 2009 schedule are geological engineering, construction physics and surveying services.

In the performance area of planning of load-bearing structures, initially the term 'load-bearing structure' will be defined. Also, the calculation of chargeable costs will be simplified. In addition to the introduction of a special provision for a percentage valuation of individual work stages, the calculation methods for assigning projects to fee bands have been adjusted.

In the 2013 schedule, the term 'geological engineering' covers soil mechanics, earthworks and ground engineering. However, these services do not apply to earth structures because they are assigned to project planning.

In the performance area of technical equipment in Work Stage 5, the performance item "checking the installation and workshop plans of contractors for compliance with the execution plans", which was previously listed as a special service, has been included in the basic performance list. To demonstrate the distinction between the necessary performance for thermal installation and the area of construction physics, a new performance area has been added to the category of "technical equipment" in Work Stage 4: "listing all installations with technical data and details" (eg, for the energy balance). The energy balance itself has been included as a basic service in the performance area of construction physics. In the three specialist disciplines which form part of construction physics (ie, thermal properties of buildings, sound insulation and room acoustics), specific detailed tables of fees have been developed as a suggestion for review.

In the process of updating the performance area of engineering surveying, technical developments in surveying were also taken into account. The number of work stages was adapted to reflect current surveying procedures. In future, the calculation of fees will be separated from chargeable costs and used as a separate reference value for charging units which are determined by the size of the area to be measured and the density of the measuring points. However, the fee suggestion remains to be reviewed.

Changes to the general regulations(4)

As a result of the technical updates to the performance areas, the committee of experts deemed that a revision of parts of the general regulations in the 2009 schedule was necessary. The main focus was on specifying the details of the surcharge provisions for performance involving existing structures (Section 35 of the 2009 schedule). In practice, it has become apparent that the goal of appropriate remuneration cannot be achieved merely by granting a surcharge as envisaged in Section 35 of the existing schedule. In addition to the surcharge provision, in future the substance of the structure to be worked on will also be taken into account in the fee calculation. The potential for disputes over the valuation of the substance of the structure to be worked on should be avoided by the introduction of performance-specific reduction factors. It is also recommended that the list of definitions in Section 2 of the schedule be streamlined and the definitions of individual objects be included in the performance areas. In the revision of Section 11, "Assignment for several projects", it is recommended that the fundamental idea of the status report 2000+ be used.


The summary of the report on the revision of the performance areas, which comprises more than 400 pages, initially gives the impression that the performance areas have been changed only in isolated places and therefore constitute only a moderate adaptation of the existing performance requirements. It remains to be seen whether the revision will be regarded as a success after the national associations and the federal states have been heard. It could well appear from the summary of the report that – with the one exception of the increased fees – the committee of experts wished to reinstate the old schedule.

For further information on this topic please contact Christian Felix Fischer at SIBETH Partnerschaft by telephone (+49 89 38 80 82 39), fax (+49 89 38 80 82 04) or email ([email protected]).


(1) Published on the website of the Fee Structure Commission of the Engineers' and Architects' Associations and Chambers.

(2) Part II of the 2009 schedule.

(3) Part III of the 2009 schedule.

(4) Part I of the 2009 schedule.