Last edited 26 Jul 2021

Tender documentation for construction projects

A tender is a submission made by a contractor 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.

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, etc.

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 main contractor to potential sub-contractors. This makes the tender easier for the contractor to 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.

See also: Common mistakes in construction tenders.

Tenders documents may include:

Copies of the tender documentation should be kept for records.

See also: Things to avoid when tendering.

It is good practice to send relevant documents direct to sub-contractors named in bills of quantities and to tell tendering contractors that this has been done, so they know they do not have to.

NB: On construction management contracts, tender documentation for trade contracts might include the construction manager's master programme.

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1) What are the alternative tender pricing documentation formats used for different procurements available.Also in your opinion and experience what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?

Answering this question is not straight forward and would take a lot of research.

There are number of articles on the site that might be useful to you, in particular; Contract sum analysis, Tender pricing document and Schedule of rates. Others may also be of interest, such as; Bills of quantities, Pre-tender estimate, Measurement contract, Procurement route and so on.

Sorry not to be of more help.

2) In which tender package (TP) would one put "Sliding automatic doors"? Is it Electromechanical (EM), like lifts and escalators? Who specifies them? The architect or the EM engineer?

Generally we would expect them to be in their own separate package with the builders work in the electrical package. Specified by the architect probably using a closed specification based on a preferred manufacturer.

3) Is there a publication of some sort that associates 'work results' (WR) with the corresponding generally expected TP? (although one realises that the allocation of WRs to TPs is to some degree project specific).

Not to our knowledge. A good client team ought to provide tender feedback to unsuccessful bidders.

4) What are the advantages and disadvantages of including detailed information in a tender document on the types of inspections the Engineer will carry out on the Contractor's workmanship and marterials?

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