Last edited 23 Apr 2017

Furniture fixtures and equipment FF&E

FF&E refers to the procurement of furniture, fixtures and equipment.

This might be procured separately to the main construction contract (or elements of them), particularly by clients that already have systems in place for procuring fixed and loose furniture, fittings and equipment; for example schools, universities, or hospitals.

It is very important under such circumstances to define very clearly which contract every element of FF&E is within (for example there may still be unusual or large items that it may be more sensible to procure under the main contract).

It is also important to ensure that any building work required for the installation of such items is identified and procured, that any services required (such as power or drainage) are identified and that the installation of FF&E is properly integrated into the main contract.

Requirements that affect the main contract might include:

  • Built-in equipment requiring mechanical or electrical connections, such as fume cupboards or drinks stations. A description of built-in equipment should include; location, size, and requirements for power, air, water, drainage and telecommunications connection.
  • Built-in equipment that does not require services such as cupboards or shelving. These should be described in terms of their location and size.
  • Stand-alone loose furniture and equipment requiring services, such as washing machines, coffee machines and scanning equipment in hospitals. These should be described in terms of their location, size, and requirements for power, air, water, drainage and telecommunications connection.
  • Stand-alone loose furniture and equipment not requiring services such as tables and chairs. These should be described in terms of their location and size.

It is also important that any elements that are outside of the main contract are included in the client's cost plans.

FF&E can be procured from specialist suppliers, or suppliers with whom the client already has a long term relationship. This may include maintenance arrangements. Some elements may be specially designed by FF&E designers or sourced by FF&E consultants.

In managing the procurement of FF&E, consultants take on the complicated and time-consuming task of coordinating with the design team, external vendors and internal departments for the following:

  • Programming and planning.
  • Sourcing.
  • Project procurement strategy and risk analysis.
  • Request for proposal (RFP) document development.
  • RFP process management.
  • Contract negotiation and buy-out.
  • Order expediting and tracking.
  • Installation, product acceptance and close-out.

For more information, see FF&E consultant.

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