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Packaging is normally associated with general contractors who split a large project into a series of work packages suitable for obtaining tenders and placing orders with the subcontracting and goods supply chain, thereby transferring risk for delivering some elements of the works to others.
However, the design team, generally advised by the cost consultant, may elect to preempt a general contractor by selecting specialist systems required for early inclusion into the evolving design.
This creates a built in package requirement.
A package can include any or all of the following activities:
- Manufacture and/or supply.
- Pre-fabrication and delivery.
- Site installation.
- Operation and maintenance.
 Package contracts
The conditions of the package contract will vary depending on the main contract arrangements.
Under a traditional contract the main contractor will split tender documents into subcontractor packages that are geared to the most competitive returns, which are then included in the main contractor’s tender offer to the client.
Under a management contract the client’s cost consultant and the management contractor, in co-operation with designers, decide how to package the works and direct the team as a whole to produce package designs suitable for obtaining subcontracts under the terms of the management contract.
This method of procurement allows parallel working on design and construction. For example, work on the foundations and superstructure can commence before the design for the whole building is complete.