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Last edited 13 Dec 2022
Tender documentation for construction projects
 What are tender documents?
A tender is a submission made by a supplier in response to an invitation to tender. It makes an offer for the supply of goods or services. Tender documents are prepared to seek offers from potential suppliers. Tender documents may be prepared for a range of contracts, such as equipment supply, the main construction contract (including design by the contractor), demolition, enabling works, and so on.
 Why should tender documents be broken down into packages?
Ideally, tender documents should be broken down into a series of packages (even if there will only be one main contract) each with its own design drawings and specifications suitable to be issued by the tier 1 supplier (often the main contractor) to potential sub-contractors. This makes the tender easier for the contractor to compile and price and easier for the client to compare with other tenderers.
It is important, when this is done, to ensure that the interfaces between packages are properly identified and clearly allocated to one package or another. Having too many packages increases the number of interfaces and so the potential problems. The cost plan (pre-tender estimate) should also be re-assembled package by package to allow easy appraisal of tenders received.
 What should tender documents include?
- A letter of invitation to tender.
- The form of tender (a formal acknowledgement that the tenderer understands and accepts the terms and conditions of the tender documents and any other requirements that are stipulated). For more information see: Form of tender.
- Preliminaries: including pre-construction information and site waste management plan (if required). Preliminaries provide a description of a project that allows the contractor to assess costs which, whilst they do not form a part of any of the package of works required by the contract, are required by the method and circumstances of the works. For more information see: Preliminaries.
- The form of contract, contract conditions and amendments. For more information see: Form of contract.
- A tender pricing document (or contract sum analysis on design and build projects). This sets out the way in which the client wishes to review the breakdown of the overall tender prices provided.For more information see: Tender pricing document.
- Employer's information requirements for BIM. Defining the information that will be required by the client from suppliers for the development of the project and for the operation of the completed built asset. For more information see: Employer's information requirements
- Design drawings, and perhaps an existing building information model.
- Specifications describing the products, materials, and work required.
- Tender return slip. A label that is fixed to the tender for it to be returned to the tenderer. It will usually state that it is not to be opened before a certain time and date. The return slip can also include the title of the contract, the return address, a tender checklist and instructions for the tenderer.
- Invitation to tender for construction contracts
- Form of tender
- Typical tender process for construction projects
- Specification for construction
- Tender pricing document
- How to prepare tender documents
- Tender processes for construction contracts
- Construction contract
- Preliminaries in construction
- Design drawings
- Bill of quantities BOQ
- Construction contract conditions
- Main contract.
- Employer's information requirements EIR
- Contract documents for construction
- Pre-construction information
- Tender submission.
- Tender works programme
- Pre qualification questionnaires and PAS 91.
- Pre-tender estimate for contracts
- Construction work packaging
- Bid writer
 External references
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