Construction Bid Process
The construction bid process is the process in which a general contractor (and, in some cases, the architect), is selected to work on a construction project. In some cases, the only thing that matters in the construction bid process is presenting the lowest price to the owner; in other cases, the contractor's qualifications are as important, if not more important, than having the lowest dollar amount.
For the construction bid process on projects built using the design/bid/build approach, an architect or engineer oversees the project. They handle the design, produce construction drawings, oversee bids and contracts and the building process itself. The links between the architect, the client and the main contractor are direct. The contractor can win a project through the lowest blind bid, as their qualifications are largely irrelevant, as long as they can deliver the project designed by the architect.
In the construction manager at-risk (CM at-risk) delivery method, the price tag is not the only thing that matters in the construction bid process. The contractor is required to do more in the CM at-risk process, as they are involved from the pre-construction process as a representative of the owner. They must prove that they are capable of being the owner's voice during the process before construction begins. The contractor guarantees to deliver the large construction project within a guaranteed maximum price.
The design-build method has been increasing in popularity over the past decade in the construction bid process. In design-build, the owner doesn't hire an architect to design the project, then seeks bids from a contractor. In this case, the owner solicits bids from a architect/contractor teams, who develop their own designs and include complete design and construction costs in their bids. This is different from the traditional process, where the architect completes the design before the contractors put in their bids.
In the construction bid process, the owner has the right to select any contractor they desire, but price normally plays a major role in their decision-making process. If a contractor has a good past history with an owner, this may give them a leg up in the construction bid process.
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