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Oasis Design Agreement for Professional Services

Note: The consulting calender is very tight; see Consulting.


Summary: This is the standard agreement, rates and terms for Oasis Design consulting work.

Please print a copy of this agreement, sign it and mail it with your initial payment and background info.


Consulting fees are:

$130/ hr for design/supervision/meetings/research/calculations/reports/writing policy/off-site preparation and follow-up.

$300/ hr for research, calculations reports, depositions for expert witness service

For residential design and construction supervision, fees may be adjusted up or down depending on the square feet per person of structure. We charge less and are more likely to take jobs that have less than 300 square feet per person, and generally will not work on residences with more than 1500 square feet per person.

We generally don't give further discounts for innovative projects, as almost all our work has this characteristic.

____ is the agreed hourly for this job.

Travel hours are charged to the job, but not the other way.

There is a three hour minimum charge per job. Because integrated design is so context-specific, it typically takes an hour or two just to orient to the context and connections between the systems.

The minimum initial payment to begin work is for three hours, or $390. (if you're in a rush, a larger initial payment may speed work flow. It will not be spent without authorization as described below). This initial payment serves as retainer and authorization to proceed in accordance with the terms described in this agreement.

Billing will be on a time and expenses basis. Any estimates are approximate and non binding. Any additions to the scope of projects are to be approved before commencing extra work or adjusting the fee.

To minimize your risk, a comfortable "meter tick" will be agreed upon. The default "meter ticks" are at three hours, six hours, 12 hours, and each 12 hours thereafter. The first few increments are set smaller as we learn each other's work style. The meter ticks should be set large enough that I can finish a work phase without having to stop to receive permission to continue, but small enough to be comfortable. If you would like a different meter tick, write it in here:___________________________________________________. (Note: This has proven to be an efficient way to assess compatibility; I can just start working, and if it is a good fit and you are happy with the value received, we'll continue and adjust the scope as agreed. Integrated design of innovative projects is not suited for bidding.)

Unless requested otherwise, consultations will be followed up by a written report with recommendations, sketches, etc. This follow up typically takes roughly half of the total hours and is often when important design issues are resolved. Note: text and graphics are "draft" quality by default. Higher quality text and drawings take dramatically more time; please indicate if presentation of publication quality graphics are required: ____y/n.

About pioneering

Virtually every project we take on is at the growing edge of the state of the art. Pioneering new designs takes more time and has more uncertainties than following conventions. We approach design conservatively, but at the growing edge of the state of the art, slowly and carefully, with a history of good results. The opportunity to innovate is the main reason we do consulting, and our clients almost always have found us because that is something innovative is what they are looking for, and are willing to take on the risks inherent to innovation.

These risks include the certainty that design and implementation will take longer, legal compliance will take way longer if it is forthcoming at all, and it is not assured that the design will perform to expectation (this is the nature of innovation)

(We are conservative with design and have a good track record for getting innovative things to work, with most functioning better than conventional designs in many respects and overall cost including externalities, even on the first try. Though we will make every effort to assure this outcome, we do not guarantee it, and in any case our liability is limited—see below).

Reimbursable expenses

Reimbursable Expenses are in addition to the fees above and include the following:

This project includes travel _____ (Yes / No)



Expense for overtime work or rush services requiring higher than regular rates will be charged only when authorized by the owner in advance.


Payment terms

Statements are issued monthly and/ or at agreed upon "meter tick" increments above.

Each statement is due on presentation. Past due amounts will be charged interest at 1.5% per month. Work may be suspended on the project pending resolution of late payments. In the event of failure to pay, Oasis may seek to collect the balance due plus 1.5% per month interest and any collection expenses incurred.

(One goal and advantage of the "meter tick" arrangement is to never owe or be owed more than one "meter tick" worth of money; this tends to reduce opportunity for misunderstanding. For intensive projects which result in many "meter ticks" being attained in rapid succession, experience has shown that the smoothest work flow is achieved by the client paying ahead with each check, and Oasis working ahead between checks. This way instead of building up a huge bill, we alternate between owing and being owed a small amount).


Ownership of designs

Clients are purchasing one-time individual use rights to the design for their specified personal use. The consultant may reuse all or part of the design, including photographs, for any other purpose, including design of another project, print or electronic publication. Agreement to these terms constitutes agreement for the publication of any resulting designs. (This is one of the ways we keep our design service more affordable).

Identification of the client or project by name or address must be with the clients' permission given below, or in a separate agreement, only. Initial here if it is OK to use the:

Project name__________Owner's name_________Address______Contact info_______ in print or electronic publications.


Client privacy

Client privacy is important to us; if no items are initialed above, any published description of the design will be crafted to protect the client's privacy.


Limitation of liability

The client agrees to limit consultant's liability to the client and/or other contractors/subcontractors on the project to the total fee for services rendered or $10,000, whichever is less.


Dispute resolution

If any dispute arises under the terms of this agreement, the parties agree to select a mutually agreeable neutral third party mediator/ arbitrator to assist them in mediating it.
Any mediation undertaken will be conducted for a maximum of four hours or as determined mutually by the parties at the time. If the parties have failed to resolve the matter after the allotted mediation time allowance, the mediator shall become the arbitrator and, after a short break as mutually agreed to or as determined by the arbitrator, the parties shall commence a one hour arbitration hearing, if the parties and the mediator all reside within two hours drive of each other, otherwise, mediation/ arbitration will be by a "documents only" submission through e mail. The fee for the mediation and/or arbitration will be split equally by the parties and paid before the award is issued. In the event the arbitration is by hearing, the arbitrator will present his or her award verbally and immediately at the hearing and the parties will comply with the award immediately and at the hearing. If by e mail, the arbitrator will present his or her decision by e mail and the parties will comply as directed by the arbitrator. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final. (This avoids the possible expense and hassle of going to court).


Client's printed name