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Last edited 28 Jan 2020
Traditional procurement method
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 sum’ price 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:
- Consultants retain control over design and quality. This may result in a higher standard than some other procurement routes.
- Consultants are responsible for valuations and agreeing payments.
- The contractor generally has no design duties, but if this is necessary for say, some aspect of a project, the contract should include clear wording to this effect.
- There must be adequate time before tenders are invited to allow for the production of a complete set of drawings and other documents. This means the traditional procurement route may be slower than some other routes.
- Contractors may submit claims if they do not receive the necessary timely instructions and information, or if changes are made.
- The traditional method – or adaptations of it – can be used with approximate quantities, provisional sums or cost reimbursements where the nature or quantity of work cannot be accurately defined.
For further information see Traditional contract for construction.
For other methods see: Procurement routes.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Bill of quantities.
- Construction contract.
- Contract conditions.
- Notifications during construction works
- Procurement route.
- Temporary works.
- Tender documentation.
- Traditional contract for construction
- Traditional contract: outline work plan.
- Traditional contract - pros and cons.
- Two-stage tender.
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