BIDDING AND AWARD
BIDDING AND AWARD
As the contract documents are completed, a bid date is established and the preparation of the bidding documents for the project manual is coordinated with the architect. Every project manual contains the Board of Regents standard bidding and construction documents. These standard documents were authored by a joint committee from the three Board of Regents universities and are used by all of these institutions when bidding construction projects. These standard documents are modified for each capital project to address the unique characteristics of each project. The documents include the following:
Once Contract Administration has prepared these documents for the project, they are transmitted to the architect for inclusion in the project manual that is issued to the bidders.
Contract Administration makes sure that the legal requirements for advertising capital project bid openings in accordance with the Code of Iowa and the Board of Regents Procedural Guide are met. They coordinate the bid date with other major projects bidding in the area and notify construction industry plan rooms, FP&M personnel, and other appropriate university personnel of the project bid opening. Targeted Small Business Program contractors are also notified of projects where their services could be utilized. A public hearing is scheduled prior to the bid opening for each project in accordance with Iowa law to allow for any objections to the proposed project to be filed.
As the bid date approaches, Construction Management provides tours of the site for prospective bidders and a pre-bid meeting is conducted to allow bidders a chance to meet with the architect and university ,personnel to ask questions or request clarification on items in the bidding documents prior to bidding. Items of clarification are issued to all plan holders as an addendum to the documents by the architect.
On bid day, a representative from Facilities Planning opens and reads the bids at a public opening. A bid tabulation is prepared to record the bids along with the architect’s estimate of construction cost. This bidtabulation is distributed to interested parties and is available to thepublic. If there are any irregularities in the bidding, they are reported onthe bid tabulation. The bid tabulation must be forwarded to the Board Office within twenty-four hours of the bid opening for projects with a budget exceeding $250,000.
After the bid opening, the bids are reviewed and a determination is made as to whether a recommendation for award of contract will be made to the low bidder. The following items may be considered:
The review of the bids will generally include the client, the architect, and Facilities Planning staff. In some cases, consultation with the Vice President for Business and Finance or with the Board Office may be required. If a decision is made to proceed with a bid that exceeds the project budget, the client department must identify and commit additional funds before the recommendation for award can be made.
When a decision is made to proceed, Contract Administration prepares the recommendation for award and forwards it to the Board Office or Vice President for Business and Finance. When approval is received, the Notice of Award and contracts are prepared and forwarded to the contractor for signing. When the contractor returns the signed contracts, they are forwarded to the Board Office or Vice President for Business and Finance for final signature. Projects with budgets of $250,000 or more must be forwarded to the Board Office for approval and award.
Once the award has been made, Contract Administration tracks the receipt of contract related submissions such as subcontractor lists, insurance certificates, Hazardous Chemical Right-to-Know Law forms, etc. and Construction Management is informed on the status of this information.
A pre-construction meeting is scheduled once the award has been made. The pre-construction meeting includes the prime contractor and the major subcontractors. At the pre-construction meeting the contractor is introduced to the project team and the project client and the requirements and objectives of the project are reviewed along with various project procedures and processes.
The construction of the project is the phase where the goals identified during the planning and defined during the design are implemented. Transforming a project from two dimensional paper images to three dimensional steel and concrete forms requires the incorporation of materials, equipment, and skills into an orderly sequence of activities designed to achieve the finished project. As the three dimensional form emerges, it is constantly evaluated against the images created in the minds of the client during the planning and design. How well the finished project matches these images is the criteria against which the project will be evaluated.
As the project enters the construction phase, the construction manager assigned to the project becomes the primary contact for the client, architect and consultants and the successful prime contractor. The goal of Facilities Planning during the construction phase of the project is to be a pro-active presence on the project and a partner to all of the other team members on the project. Although the construction manager has become the primary contact for most project communications, the project manager remains an essential member of the project team. The project manager remains the primary decision-maker for any issues related to the building program or major client requested scope changes. The project manager also remains responsible for monitoring the over-all project budget. The construction manager is responsible for recognizing the issues that require the input from the project manager and keeping the project manager informed of project progress and issues.
The construction manager is expected to be involved in the project on a daily basis to manage and coordinate university operations related to the construction phase. They serve as the liaison and primary university contact for the project team as well as any university entities involved in the construction process. The construction manager works to facilitate communications between these parties and resolve questions or disputes that may arise. They are also responsible for coordinating the activities on the project with university activities, operations, or events, and minimizing disruptions.
Job Site Observations
Although the architect and associated consultants are expected to make periodic visits to the site during the construction period to observe the progress on the project, the construction manager is a much more constant presence on the site. They assist the architect in assuring that the work on the project is performed in accordance with the Contract Documents, university standards, and applicable codes. The construction manager monitors contractor performance through field observations, shop drawing review, etc. If deviations are noted, they are reviewed with the appropriate project professionals, reported to the contractor, and corrective action is tracked until the work is corrected. The construction manager maintains a daily journal that documents the activities on the projects that are assigned to them.
With an active project load that normally is in excess of 100 projects, making timely payments to the contractors is a major task and the efficiency of the payment process is an important consideration. Facilities Planning has addressed this by creating our own format that is processed by spreadsheet software to generate the monthly pay requests. The form we use generally follows the AIA pay request format but has been customized to meet our requirements. Processing payments this way has shifted some of the paperwork tasks from the contractors to Contract Administration but this is more than offset by the advantages of maintaining consistency from project to project.
Before the first payment can be made, the contractor is required to prepare and submit a Schedule of Values to the university and architect for approval. The Schedule of Values is reviewed to assure that the level of detail is adequate to accurately determine the value of work in place. Once the Schedule of Values has been approved, it becomes the basis of monthly pay requests.
The architect, construction manager and contractor meet at the project site to discuss and agree on the appropriate percentage of completion for each line item listed in the Schedule of Values. Prior to the meeting, the contractor must complete the Pay Request Worksheet provided by Contract Administration for each pay request. A final copy of the pay request is produced by Contract Administration from the information agreed on at the pay request meeting. The pay request is signed at the regularly scheduled monthly construction meeting and Contract Administration forwards it to university accounting for payment. It takes approximately ten working days for the university to process the payment and issue a payment to the contractor.
The Code of Iowa limits the retention from each monthly payment to not more than five percent of the payment amount. In addition, it requires that interest be paid to a contractor on amounts retained for thirty days or more. The Code of Iowa also allows payments to be made without retention until ninety-five percent of the contract amount has been paid on contracts where a bond is required and in place. As a result of these requirements, the university has made the decision to make payment to the contractor of 100% of work in place plus stored materials until the payments on the project have been made to an amount equal to 95% of the current contract amount. Once this point has been reached, no further payments are made to the contractor and the remaining 5% of the contract total is retained. This retainage is maintained for a minimum of thirty days after acceptance of the contract.
Shop Drawing and Submittal Review
The architect for the project is required to prepare a complete list of required shop drawings/product data/samples and transmit this list to the contractor and the university. This list becomes the basis for the shop drawing logs that are tracked by the architect and the contractor. Both are required to update their logs prior to each project meeting and be prepared to discuss the status of the submittals.
Submittals are forwarded directly from the contractor to the architect for review. After they have completed their review, the architect forwards submittals that are stamped "No Exceptions" or "Correct As Noted" to Construction Management for review. Submittals that are stamped "Resubmit" or "Rejected" are returned directly from the architect to the contractor for resubmittal. Construction Management reviews submittals for compliance with university standards, constructibility, and general compliance with the contract documents. This review is not intended to replace the comprehensive review of the submittal that has been completed by the architect.
In addition to the above, submittals on building systems that require careful coordination with existing university systems or activities are forwarded to Facilities Services for review. These systems and materials are typically items such as automatic temperature control systems, fire alarm systems, doors, and hardware.
If discrepancies are noted during the ISU submittal review that have not been commented on by the architect or consultants, the construction manager will contact the architect and discuss the discrepancies. At this time, it will be determined whether the submittal will be returned to the architect for additional review and comment or be forwarded to the contractor with marks or comments added by ISU. Once this has been determined, or if no discrepancies are noted, the shop drawings are stamped appropriately by Construction Management and returned to the contractor.
Construction Project Meetings
Construction project meetings are scheduled at least once a month. More frequent project meetings are accommodated and encouraged where the project size, complexity, or other factors warrant it. Each contractor is required to be represented at these meetings by a principal and the superintendent assigned to the project. The major subcontractors are also required to attend the meetings. The agenda for each meeting includes current and past progress, schedule status, submittal status, pending and approved change requests, and safety issues at a minimum. The architect is responsible for composing and distributing meeting minutes.
Change and Budget Management
As with all large and complex construction projects, the proper management and attention to changes is a challenge for Facilities Planning. We have made every effort to put a system in place, which allows the orderly and systematic tracking of changes without creating a system, which is unnecessarily burdensome.
The vehicle that is used to identify and document changes during construction is a Change Request. Change Requests may be initiated in the following three ways:
All change requests are assigned a justification. This assignment of justifications allows the nature of the changes on a project to be evaluated. The justifications we use are as follows:
Cost proposals forwarded by the contractor in response to Change Requests must be itemized to indicate unit price and unit quantity for materials, equipment, man hours, and hourly rate for labor. Once the pricing submitted is determined to be acceptable, it is approved. Multiple Change Requests are accumulated and combined into Contract Change Orders. The Board of Regents must approve change orders in excess of $50,000. Typically Change Requests are allowed to accumulate up to a dollar value of between $25,000 and $50,000 before they are included in a Contract Change Order. This process is sanctioned and encouraged by the Board Office as a method to reduce project paperwork.
As Change Requests are initiated, they are logged into the Project Administration System for tracking purposes. This system is a computerized information management program maintained by Facilities Planning to provide regularly scheduled project budget and progress reports to Facilities Planning personnel, university administrators and the Board Office. The system provides the data base and reporting structure for the weekly Capital Project Budget Report which is used internally and the Capital Project Semi-Annual Report which is distributed to the Board of Regents and the Iowa Department of Management. Contract Administration is responsible for the management of the Project Administration System.
Once the architect has completed the final inspections and the contractor has corrected the items noted during these inspections, the closeout of the construction contract can proceed. We have maintained a firm policy that acceptance of the contract is contingent upon all contract requirements being completed, including all paperwork and submittals. This includes items such as warranties/guarantees, certifications, maintenance manuals, contractors' statements (tax forms), Targeted Small Business Reporting forms (if applicable), etc.
Once the contract has been accepted, a thirty-day period begins as required by Iowa law before the five percent retainage can be released. Iowa law prevents the filing of liens against the university but allows subcontractors/suppliers to file claims against the prime contractor at any time before the expiration of thirty days immediately following the completion and final acceptance of the project. If a claim is filed against a contract, the university is required to maintain retainage in the amount of the claim until all disputes have been resolved.
One of the most important set of items of close-out paperwork are the Contractor Statements. The contractor and all subcontractors are required to submit Contractor's Statements at the completion of the project identifying the sales tax and/or use tax paid on all supplies and materials incorporated into the Work. Once these forms are received and reviewed by Facilities Planning to assure they are complete and accurate, they are submitted to the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance. They evaluate these forms and then return a refund of the sales tax to ISU. The sales tax refund is typically between 1.5% to 2.0% of the total construction cost of the project, a significant amount – especially on large projects! It usually takes about two to three months for this refund to be returned and credited to the project budget.
It is important to note that the closeout of the construction contract or contracts on the project is only one step in the closeout of the project. It is not uncommon for capital projects to remain active for several months while equipment continues to be purchased or work is accomplished under other contracts or by in-house personnel to complete the work on the project.
Once all expenditures for a capital project have been processed and the sales tax refund has been received, a Final Report of Project Expenditures is prepared for the project. Final Reports on projects over $250,000 are included in the university’s CIBT Register for Board of Regents approval. It is not unusual for this to occur several months after the construction contract has been accepted. Once the project final report has been approved, the capital project fund and account is closed on the university’s accounting system.
Once the project contract requirements have been met and the project has been accepted, the project enters the post construction phase. Facilities Planning remains closely involved with the project through the project warranty period and well beyond. Often a project becomes a career long assignment as the Facilities Planning team involved with a client and project are involved in follow-up projects and modifications years later.
The construction manager monitors the project during the one-year warranty period and is responsible for managing contractor callbacks following contract completion. As defects in the work are discovered, the construction manager is notified either directly by the client or by the FP&M Service Desk. They investigate the issue, notify the contractor if corrective action is required, and work with the client and contractor to coordinate access and scheduling for the work.
The project warranty period expiration dates for all projects are tracked and, as the warranty period expiration date nears, the construction manager is notified. At this point, the warranty request files are reviewed to verify that all warranty work requests have been completed and the project client is contacted to identify any new items that require attention. The architect’s agreement also requires that the architect and all professional consultants retained by the architect make a visit to the project with the Facilities Planning personnel prior to the expiration of the warranty period to conduct a post occupancy inspection. The contractor is normally invited to attend this inspection too.
Once all work on the project has been completed and a final report has been filed with the Board Office, the project files from all Facilities Planning units are merged to create a permanent file for all capital projects administered. The reproducible record drawings for all projects are maintained in flat files for reference in future remodeling and renovation projects. After two years, most correspondence files are microfilmed and archived.
During this period, the management responsibilities for the facility transfer from Facilities Planning (Construction Services) to the Facilities Management branch of Facilities Planning and Management. The daily maintenance and building services activities become a part of the routine services provided by FP&M.