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Specifiers' Library Bidding and Contracting Requirements
THE PATH TO SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS

When an Owner wishes to obtain competitive bids for a construction project, a set of documents is prepared that includes both the proposed contract documents and the procedures for submitting bids for the contract. The latter are referred to as Procurement Requirements (MF04) or Bidding Requirements (MF95). Procurement requirements commonly include documents that are not intended to be incorporated into the contract documents

Specifiers are commonly responsible for preparing Procurement Requirements but the method of procurement and procedures required are usually determined by the Owner. Since the bidding process is intended to determine the cost of the construction, Owners are vitally interested in using the best tactics to get the "best" bids.

There are no widely accepted standard forms of procurement documents, except for AIA Document A701 - Instructions to Bidders. The best resources for preparation of procurement requirements and documents are listed below.

Resources for Preparing Procurement Requirements

highly recommended MasterFormat 2004 Edition, Division 00 -- Procurement and Contracting Requirements

  • 2004 Edition
  • Published by Construction Specifications Institute and Construction Specifications Canada, www.csinet.org
  • Free pdf copy with just the numbers and titles is at www.csinet.org/masterformat.
  • Buy the print publication and CD-ROM on-line.

SpecLink referenced document MasterFormat Division 00 constitutes the best outline available of potential procurement documents and is an excellent checklist for supplementary project information that might need to be provided to bidders as well as unusual contract forms.

highly recommended AIA G612 - Owner's Instructions to the Architect Regarding the Construction Contract

  • From American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents, www.aia.org
  • Part C is specifically about Bidding Requirements; use this to get the Owner's instructions.
  • Get a free copy here.

highly recommended CSI Project Resource Manual / Manual of Practice, Module 6, Bidding/Negotiating/Purchasing

AIA A701 - Instructions to Bidders

  • From American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents, www.aia.org
  • Includes an instruction sheet.

Preparing the Procurement Documents

The normal way to use AIA G612 is to send it to the Owner as a formal request for information. A sample cover letter is included, which is itself instructive.

SpecLink includes the most common procurement documents, which can be tailored to the specific project conditions. See the Catalog Listing, Division 00.

Coordinating the Specifications with the Procurement Requirements

SpecLink's master text does not assume any particular procurement method. It can be used with competitively bid and negotiated, stipulated sum (fixed price) and cost-plus contracts. It is carefully written to avoid as much as possible the necessity of tailoring the language to any particular procurement requirements.

However, some issues usually require attention in both the procurement requirements and the specifications, including:

  • Substitution limitations and procedures.
  • Allowances, if applicable.
  • Unit prices, if applicable.
  • Alternates, if applicable.
  • Closeout activities.

SpecLink referenced document Note: The above discussion refers to the SpecLink construction specifications. The Short Form specifications do not include any procurement documents and do not assume any particular procurement method. The PerSpective performance specifications are entirely different; for Design-Build, the procurement and contracting documents assume a fixed-price, best value competitively bid contract with terms based on DBIA documents.

The Specifiers' Library is provided as a service to our customers by Building Systems Design, Inc.