Close cookie policy popup window
This site uses cookies for analysis purposes only. This helps us understand how you and other visitors use our site. To see a complete list of these cookies or to opt out please access our cookie policy page.

You will see this message only once, but you will be able to find more information about our use of cookies or opt out at any time.
Quantity Surveying - Building Procurement by Tender - Method

Quantity Surveying - Building Procurement by Tender - Method

Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2007

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS FOR A PROJECT OF £1M - £2M VALUE

Date Of Article – Summer 2007


1. Measured Bills of Quantities

    Description

  1. Architect/Designers prepare firm drawings and Specification.
  2. Quantity Surveyor (QS) prepares firm Bill of Quantities (BQ) based on firm designs - some items  may be provisional if information not available.
  3. Tenderers price BQ and submit their tenders.
  4. Contractor is appointed, usually on the basis of lowest tender.
  5. Most widely used form of contract is Joint Contract tribunal (JCT) Standard Form of Building Contract 2005 Edition  with Quantities (there are others).
  6. Design responsibility rest with the Architect/Designer although it is possible to pass design responsibility for certain parts of the design to the Contractor by means of a  Contractor Design Portion Supplement.    
  7. Contract price is adjusted for variations and remeasurement of provisional items.
  8. Most BQ items are not remeasured.

    Typical Timescale

  1. Design/planning would take around six months from brief.
  2. BQ preparation five to six weeks.
  3. Tender period five weeks.
  4. Acceptance period and mobilisation - usually around six weeks.
  5. Construction period would depend on the project but likely to be around 12 months.

2. Without Quantities

    Description

  1. Architect/Designers prepare drawings and Specification.
  2. Typically a Schedule of Works or some sort of pricing document is prepared by Architect or QS.
  3. This document is much simpler than a BQ and tenderers would need to take off their own quantities to prepare an accurate price.
  4. Contractor is appointed, usually on the basis of lowest tender. 
  5. Most widely used form of contract is JCT Standard Form of Building Contract without Quantities (there are others).
  6. Design responsibility is as for (1).
  7. Contract price is adjusted for variations. Contractor takes responsibility for his own measurements and these would not normally be adjusted in the event of an error.

   Typical Timescale

  1. Design/planning would take around six months from brief.
  2. Add a further one or two weeks for preparing a pricing document.
  3. Tender period six to seven weeks.
  4. Acceptance period and mobilisation - usually around six weeks.
  5. Construction period would depend on the project but likely to be around 12 months.

3. Bills of Approximate Quantities

    Description

  1. Architect/Designers prepare drawings but these are not developed to a sufficient stage to  take off firm quantities.  This often occurs through time constraints.
  2. QS prepares Bills of Approximate Quantities which reflect the design. Frequently the  main items can be measured reasonably accurately but often the detail is not available.
  3. Tenderers price BQ and submit their tenders.
  4. Contractor is appointed, usually on the basis of lowest tender.
  5. JCT have a special contract to cover this situation.
  6. Design responsibility is as for (1).
  7. The whole of the works are remeasurable.
  8. There is, therefore, less price certainty, particularly as much of the detailed design occurs at a later stage than methods 1 and 2.
  9. It is important that the detailed design is developed while the scheme is being tendered  and before work starts on site.

   Typical Timescale

  1. The usual period of around six months for design and planning can often be reduced using this method. If outline planning has already been obtained time savings of two or three months might be achieved.
  2. BQ preparation would take about three weeks.
  3. Tender period five weeks.
  4. Acceptance and mobilisation - usually around six weeks.
  5. Construction period would depend on the project but likely to be around 12 months.
  6. Sometimes lack of information can give rise to claims for Extension of Time.

4.  Design and Build

     Description

  1. A set of Employer's Requirements are prepared.  These would normally be accompanied by preliminary drawings but this is not essential.
  2. It is usual for the Employer to obtain at least an outline planning consent before going to tender but this is not essential to the process.
  3. Tenderers would prepare their bids on the basis of the Employer's Requirements and their own interpretation of those requirements.  Clearly the more the Employer's Requirements are defined the less room there is for interpretation.
  4. Tenderers will seek to gain advantage in the tendering process by providing the cheapest solution which meets the Employer's Requirements.  This often makes it  difficult to evaluate  tenders.
  5. Design responsibility rests with the Contractor who may use his own 'in house'  designer or employ an Architect and/or Engineer.
  6. Most widely used form of contract is JCT Standard form of Building Contract With Contractor's Design 2005 Edition (there are others).
  7. The Contract Sum is adjusted only for variations which tend to be more expensive under this  form of contract.

Typical Timescale

  1. Ignoring planning, a set of Employer's Requirements could normally be put together in around  four weeks.  If preliminary drawings are prepared they would normally take around five weeks.
  2. To allow tenderers to do their preliminary design work the tender period should be around eight weeks.
  3. Evaluating tenders can often take three or four weeks plus a mobilisation period of at least  three weeks.
  4. Construction periods can often be shortened when the Contractor has full control of all  design issues. Typical reduction - say three weeks.

5.  Develop Design and Build

     Description

  1. The Employer uses an Architect to prepare a preliminary design sufficient to obtain planning  and to draw up a set of Employer's Requirements.  There is a condition in the Employer's  Requirements that the Architect is novated to the Contractor following appointment of the Contractor and the fee payable by the Contractor is usually stated.
  2. This ensures continuity of design and other issues and saves another learning curve.
  3. It also helps to ensure that the design is not compromised.

    Typical Timescale

  1. Ignoring planning, preparation of preliminary designs and the Employer's Requirements would typically take around nine or ten weeks.
  2. Remaining timescales would be as (4).

6.  Two Stage Tender

      Description

  1. This method is used to secure the early appointment or involvement or a Contractor whilst  still keeping some competitive element.  It is mainly used to save time.
  2. It is unusual to invite more than three or four Contractors at first stage.
  3. A tender enquiry is put together on the basis of preliminary information sufficient to select  a Contractor and to set out the rules for second stage negotiations (normally a  tender on  Preliminaries, Overheads and Profit is sought).
  4. There is a Code of practice governing the use of this procedure but not surprisingly there  are many adaptations. 
  5. Sometimes the Contractor starts on site before final prices for every element are agreed. This is where time can be saved but the process is not without financial risk.

      Typical Timescale

  1. Advocates of this system believe that time can be saved by using this method.  Many claim  that time savings of one or two months are achievable.