Last edited 11 Jul 2021

Traditional procurement method

Traditional procurement remains the most commonly-used method of procuring building works. It comprises a tripartite arrangement involving a client, consultants and contractor.

The traditional procurement route involves separating design from construction. The client first appoints consultants to design the project in detail and to ensure cost control and inspect the construction works as they proceed. Contractors are then invited to submit tenders for the construction of the project on a single-stage competitive basis.

Included in the contractor’s responsibilities are workmanship, materials and work undertaken by suppliers and subcontractors. The contractor is not responsible for the design (other than temporary works), although some traditional contracts may provide for the contractor to design specific parts of the works (see key criteria below).

Traditional procurement is typically undertaken under a lump sum contract. A single ‘lump sumprice for all the works is agreed before the works begin, then stage payments are made as the works proceed. This is appropriate where the project is well defined when tenders are sought, and significant changes to requirements are unlikely. This allows the contractor to accurately price the works they are being asked to carry out.

Key criteria with traditional procurement:

For further information see Traditional contract for construction.

For other methods see: Procurement routes.

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