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 some 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
- 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.
- AIA G612 - Owner's Instructions to the Architect Regarding the Construction Contract. Part C is specifically about Bidding Requirements; use this to clarify and confirm the Owner's instructions for the project.
- CSI Construction Specifications Practice Guide.
- AIA A701 - Instructions to Bidders; from American Institute of Architects (AIA) Contract Documents, www.aia.org. Refer also to the 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 commonly used procurement documents, which can be tailored to the specific project conditions.
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.
Note: The above discussion refers to the SpecLink construction specifications. The Design Criteria 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.