SCI-Network - Sustainable Construction @ Innovation through Procurement

SCI Network - SCI-Network - Sustainable Construction @ Innovation through Procurement
Choosing your procurement model

Choosing your procurement model


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Construction procurement can be a highly complex procedure, and present some significant challenges for procurers – not least due to the scale of the works being procured, and the variety of professional services typically required for project delivery.

A variety of different procurement models are applied by public authorities for construction works – and typical practice also varies considerably between countries. Of particular significance is the level of separation/integration of design and construction works, how these services are procured, and who is responsible for contract supervision.

There is, however, no “one-size fits all” model which can be recommended, as the appropriate model is highly dependent on the nature of the project itself, the level of in-house expertise and the authority’s priorities.

You can browse through the recommendations and snapshots of this chapter by clicking on the below expandable sections. You can also download the chapter in pdf by clicking here.

Recommendation 5.A: Identify a procurement model which ensures sufficient integration and co-operation between design and construction teams.

Recommendation 5.B: If tendering for construction work separately from design, ensure detailed quantitative, performance based specifications (such as the maximum primary energy demand per year) are included, based on the final design. Consider also offering additional points at the evaluation stage for bidders offering to exceed these standards.

Recommendation 5.C: When tendering for design services, request evidence of the quality of work from the bidders, not just a list of relevant projects. This should include the extent to which project sustainability and cost targets and time schedules were met. Focus on the quality of the references rather than quantity to provide greater opportunities for smaller, more innovative firms.

Recommendation 5.D:
Where the award of multiple contracts is envisioned, consider establishing a framework agreement or panel, or make use of an existing one. Ensure that targets for innovation and sustainability and monitoring of these plays a role in the award of individual contracts and, where possible, the selection of participants.

  • Snapshot: Interactive model - Thor Heyerdahl College in Larvik, Norway - The construction of one of the biggest new schools in Norway was intended to act as a social and educational lighthouse project with the help of innovative architectural solutions. The Norwegian interaction model for construction procurement was applied by Vestfold County Council whereby the contractor participates in the planning of the building in direct collaboration with the design team. The contractor was selected based both on their proposal and interviews with the project team. Both facility managers and end users were also involved in both the design and construction phases, with a representative working full time within the project team. The main achievement of the project was the 35 % reduction of space, in comparison to other similar school projects at the time, as well as achieving an energy demand of 110 kWh/m2/year.
  • Snapshot: two-stage tendering in the Netherlands - For the renewal of the historic Koemarkt (market square) in Purmerend, Netherlands, a two-stage cost-led procurement approach was used. A maximum budget of €2.4 million was set, with contract award to be based solely on quality. The authority used a two-stage design and build contract and employed a consultant to support them as the public authority had little experience of this previously. The tender procedure involved a prequalification process following which the top five bidders remained. These five integrated bid teams were invited to develop a preliminary design from which the list was reduced to three tenderers. These three bid teams produced a detailed design, from which a winning bidder was chosen.  It was interesting that in this procurement process was that the local population of Purmerend was invited to choose the winner in a referendum.  All project targets were achieved. The project was €3,000 under budget. This included a bonus of €15,000 built into the contract for early delivery which was successfully achieved by the contractor.
  • Snapshot: Separate design & build in Austria - For the renovation of the 1964-built offices of Weiz District Authority in Austria, an ambitious energy target was set – to obtain the A+ Austrian energy certificate. A planning and design team of architects and specialist consultants was procured initially, based on the experience of individuals with energy efficient construction. This team was then responsible for preparing detailed technical specifications for the procurement of construction work (materials, u-values, specifications for an innovative facade solution, etc.) and the building services (e.g. output power and performance of the HVAC system). They were also then responsible for assessing the compliance of the bids received. Construction was completed in 2011 and is estimated to have achieved an 80% reduction in heating energy requirements. Detailed energy monitoring is being carried out to evaluate the renovation measures.