Tender documentation for construction projects
A tender is a submission made by a prospective 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 tenders (offers).
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.
Tenders documents may include:
- A letter of invitation to tender.
- The form of tender.
- Preliminaries: including pre-construction information and site waste management plan (if required).
- The form of contract, contract conditions and amendments. This might include a model enabling amendment for building information modelling (BIM), making a BIM protocol a contractual document.
- A tender pricing document (or contract sum analysis on design and build projects).
- Employer's information requirements for BIM.
- Design drawings, and perhaps an existing building information model.
Copies of the tender documentation should be kept for records.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Best value.
- Bid writer.
- Construction contract.
- Contract conditions.
- Due diligence when selecting contractors or subcontractors.
- Form of tender.
- Mid-tender Interviews.
- OJEU procurement rules.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Pre-tender estimate.
- Pre-tender interviews.
- Private Finance Initiative.
- Tender negotiations.
- Tender preparation programme.
- Tender processes.
- Two stage tender.
- Tender settlement meetings.
- Tender works programme.
 External references
- CPIC the Construction Project Information Committee, responsible for providing best practice guidance on the content, form and preparation of construction production information.
Featured articles and news
Read the story behind the world's most iconic festival stage, Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage.
First ever BREEAM Communities innovation credit is claimed by Temple Farm Development.
Read the story of Ronan Point, another disastrous event which had profound consequences for the construction industry.
CIOB to help conservation specialists gain recognition for their expertise with launch of new Certification Scheme.
A brief introduction to Building Information Modelling - is it the future of construction?
Have a look at Francis Kéré's 2017 pavilion, based on the concept of the tree as a place of shelter.
CIOB announce new commission to assess what more it and the industry can do to tackle build quality issues.
As the UK enjoys a heat wave, read all about the daylight factor.
Not only is this building shaped like a teapot, it can rotate 360-degrees.
What is ACM cladding, what is it used for, and is it banned?
Read about the largest transport project in Norway getting underway.
Read our review of a new guide aimed at helping architects avoid and resolve disputes.
Find out about specifying insulation for inverted roofs.
Have a look at the new project being trialled in Modena that 'eats' the equivalent air pollution of 275 urban trees.