Design/Bid/Build (or why I haven't been posting lately)

Tocci doesn't hard bid projects often, but we recently did so. Although my position mostly relates to BIM, I am still involved in cost engineering efforts. For this particular project, I "owned" Divisions 5, 7, 8 and 9.

This isn't the first hard bid I've participated in, but during this project specifically, I realized how flawed the process is: The architect designs the building and drafted a set of documents (perhaps with the input of a CM). Then, the drawings are issued to GCs/CMs (in this case, to a select list of them).

The GC/CM has about 3 weeks (although in this case, it was extended to 4) to:
  • issue invitations to bid to subcontractors,
  • distribute drawings and specifications to interested subcontractors,
  • understand the full scope of the documents and specifications,
  • review and scope subcontractor bids, and
  • assemble and review a pricing program.

During this process, addenda are issued to clear up discrepancies and provide more information. Those addenda need to be distributed to appropriate subcontractors and reviewed internally. In this case, there were 10 addenda, several of which were issued 3 business days before the bid was do.

The process is very time consuming and, as I said before, flawed. After 3-4 weeks, does a GC/CM have enough of a handle on a project to be able to accurately cost engineer it? Is that enough time for planning? Doesn't it seem a bit rushed?

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