Part Of Second Floor Plan

FIGURE 2.15a An example of construction document electrical layout details.

FIGURE 2.15b An example of construction document details.


FIGURE 2.15c An example of construction document details. (Courtesy Ibtesam Sharbaji, Kubba Design)


FIGURE 2.15c An example of construction document details. (Courtesy Ibtesam Sharbaji, Kubba Design)

in the agreement. Note that the term tender is used in lieu of bidding in many countries around the world, including Canada and Great Britain. A bid package may be required for either furnishings or construction, or both. Sometimes negotiation on the client's behalf may replace the bidding process. If, for any reason, the final costs significantly exceed the budgeted costs for the project, a redesign may be required in order to remain within the budget.

Bidding Procedures

Typically, the owner (with the help of the designer/planner), puts the project out to bid.This usually entails inviting several contractors to bid on the project as defined by the contract documents. After an analysis of the bids, the designer submits recommendations to the owner, who makes the final decision in awarding the contract. The award would be based on the contractor's price, experience, execution time, etc.

Many owners prefer competitive bidding procedures for construction and for the FF&E (when applicable), because this most often results in the lowest price and best value for money. For the majority of public agencies, bidding is, in fact, mandatory Competitive bidding procedures are defined in greater detail in AIA document A771, Instruction to Interior Bidders, which contains instructions bidders need to follow in preparing and submitting their bids.

Prequalification of Contractors

Bidding can be either open or by special invitation. Open bidding is usually solicited through advertising in newspapers and trade journals, as is the case in the majority of public work. Sometimes, the owner will pre-qualify a number of contractors to whom he will send out invitations to bid. It is preferable to have several bidders to encourage competitiveness. Sometimes the owner will want to negotiate a price with only one or two contractors.

Bidding Documents

Bid documents are usually made available through the planner's office. Each contractor will receive a complete bid package consisting of: contract drawings, specifications, bidding documents, bid forms, and other documents pertaining to the job. A deposit is typically taken for each set of documents which may be later returned upon return of the bid package in good shape. On occasion, the contractor must purchase the documents with no refunds.

Instructions to Bidders and Pre-bid Conference

With larger projects, it is useful to hold a pre-bid conference. This is attended by the bidders, the owner, and his design team, who respond to questions asked by the bidders and also discuss the bid package. This meeting also provides an opportunity for the owner to discuss any issues of concern, respond to questions asked by bidders, and to give clarification and instructions as needed. This meeting should be documented and the minutes distributed to all prospective bidders.

Evaluating the Bids and Awarding of the Work

The designer normally assists the owner in filing documents required for various governmental approvals. Notice that the designer's responsibility is to assist the owner and not to perform all this work alone. After the necessary documentation is prepared, the designer assists the owner in obtaining bids (or negotiated proposals, if the project is not bid) and evaluating the bids (tenders), and assists in preparing contracts for interior construction and for FF&E.The designer is responsible for providing coordination of all these activities. After receiving the bids, the designer reviews the pricing and recommends a contractor to the owner. They then proceed to negotiate a final price for the work. The lump-sum contract is the most common form of construction contract. Another popular type is the cost-plus or construction management type.


The primary objective of this phase is to ensure the project is completed on time, according to the contract specifications, and within the stipulated budget. In the AIA/ASID standard form of agreement between owner and architect for interior design services (Form B171), the scope of the designer's services during the contract administration phase is extensive. The agreement may specify that the services provided are to be over the entire course of the contract, or only during the period of construction and installation. In the first instance, the services provided are more numerous and comprehensive, and the planner's duties would additionally include administrative services such as project documentation and analysis of consultants' agreements. In the latter case, the planner is not concerned with pre-construction services. In either case, the planner/designer acts as the owner's representative and advises and consults with the owner. Instructions to the contractors are forwarded through the designer, who has the authority to act on behalf of the owner, but only to the extent provided in the contract documents. In this document, the owner rather than the designer has the authority to reject goods.

The designer assists the owner in coordinating the schedules for delivery and installation of the various portions of the work but is not responsible for neglect or malfeasance of any of the contractors or suppliers to meet their schedules or perform their contractual obligations (Figures 2.16a, 2.16b).

The signed agreement with the client will stipulate that, as part of the monitoring process, the designer will visit the project periodically (or as necessary) during the execution period to determine whether construction and installation are proceeding in accordance with the contract documents, and also to keep the owner informed of any defects or deficiencies that may occur in the work of the contractors. The designer, however, is not required to make exhaustive or continual inspections.

One especially important provision is that the designer is not responsible for the means, methods, techniques, sequences, or procedures of construction. Nor is the designer responsible for fabrication, procurement, shipment, delivery, or installation of construction or furnishings. Moreover, the designer is not responsible for job site safety or for the acts or omissions of the contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers.

During the construction and installation phase, the designer also determines the amounts owed to the contractors and suppliers based on observations at the project site and on evaluation of the contractors' applications for payment. In the majority of cases, the contractor will, during the execution of the contract, submit requests for change orders. Change orders consist of work that deviates from the construction documents; they are usually either requested by the owner or by the designer. In some cases, problems arise or the drawings are inaccurate or unclear. More often than not, change orders will impact the budget, and sometimes the contractor will request an extension of the contract time. However, the client or

FIGURE 2.16a Typical schedules for different types of projects. (From Julie K. Ray-field, The Office Interior Design Guide, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1994)
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FIGURE 2.16b Typical schedules for different types of projects. (Courtesy Inspection and Valuation International, New York)

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FIGURE 2.16b Typical schedules for different types of projects. (Courtesy Inspection and Valuation International, New York)

designer may order minor changes in the work not involving an adjustment in the contract sum or an extension of the contract time. The contractor may also request funds for materials stored on or off site. After studying contractors' applications, the designer issues certificates for payment, usually monthly. In most cases, a single form is used as the application and certificate for payment.

The designer is considered the interpreter of the requirements of the contract documents and is expected to be an impartial judge of performance by both the owner and the contractors. Any decisions made should be consistent with and reflect the intent of the contract documents and be reasonably inferable from them. The designer's decisions concerning aesthetic judgments are final if they are consistent with the intent of the contract documents.

Part of the designer's day-to-day contract administration activities includes reviewing contractor's submittals of samples and shop drawings and then taking appropriate action. Shop drawings are the documents from which subcontractors actually build, which makes the sub-mittals of particular importance because they determine whether the drawings and samples correctly interpret, and are consistent with, the construction documents. When the designer reviews shop drawings, it is mainly for conformance with the design concept expressed in the contract documents, but also to ensure that the details work. The contractor is responsible for determining the accuracy and completeness of dimension, details, quantities, and other aspects of the shop drawings.

When the job is substantially complete (i.e. sufficiently complete to allow occupancy), and the contractor submits for final payment, the designer tours the project and prepares a punch list (Figure 2.17). This list identifies deficiencies and substandard or incomplete work, and a copy is given to the contractor for correcting. When the punch list items are all reportedly resolved, the designer undertakes a final review and inspection to determine the status of the project, and to ensure that the final placement of all items is complete, the work has been correctly implemented, and that all items have been supplied, delivered, and installed according to the contract documents.

The designer's responsibilities do not include the receipt, inspection, and acceptance on behalf of the owner of FF&E at the time of their delivery and installation. Nor is the designer authorized to stop the work, reject nonconforming work, or terminate the work on behalf of the owner. Instead, the designer can recommend to the owner that nonconforming work be rejected.

Before the client or tenant can move into the space, a certificate of occupancy must be obtained. Theoretically, this is the contractor's responsibility, although the planner and owner sometimes assist in this. The certificate of occupancy is the last requirement in the approval process, and represents a governmental approval stating that the space in question was inspected and built as per the approved construction documents and in compliance with all relevant codes. The move-in should be well planned and coordinated.


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