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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1305
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 06:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Here it is the 11th hour. Bid opening is on Tuesday morning. A bidder calls me (PA and PM are out) and asks me a question about our documents. There is a discrepancy between what I specified and what was shown (or not shown) on the drawings. I understand his confusion. This oversight, if misinterpreted, could result in a significant change order to the owner.

But I can't answer his question even though I know the answer and the design teams intent. I can't answer him because we are past the time to put out an addenda....and we have to let all the other bidders know what I said.

How screwed up is this procedure?!
Liz O'Sullivan
Senior Member
Username: liz_osullivan

Post Number: 57
Registered: 10-2011

Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 06:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I feel your pain! But there are rules for good reasons.
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 454
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 11:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It's completely fair situation. What we do is notify the owner/cm prior to bid opening and as they review the bid of the appearant low bidder, you determine if the basis of their bid included this situation properly.
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 574
Registered: 01-2003

Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2012 - 09:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes, it's a screwed-up procedure, practiced by the entire team. Owners can't make up their minds and architects keep designing until the print button is pushed, so we put out documents at the last minute, often knowing they are incomplete or inaccurate. No matter how long the bidding period, subs wait until the last minute to turn in their bids, which often include qualifications, so even if the contractor did want to make use of the bidding period, the bid can't be completed until the last minute. And just like the architects, contractors know their bids are incomplete or inaccurate.

This isn't a problem just with construction; it's human nature. We all seem to wait until a deadline to get things done. Like that deck that doesn't get finished until the graduation party...

Within construction, though, the problem is much worse with design-bid-build; we don't see the same thing when working with a negotiated contractor or a good CM. Having the contractor involved during design minimizes or eliminates many problems.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 456
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2012 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If (1) this is public hard bid Work and (2) the conflict has the potential to seriously distort the bids, the only rational and reasonalbe course of action is to issue an addendum postponing the submission of bids. This assumes (1) the Bidding Requirements permit this (standard language in most forms of Bidding Requirements and (2) you are dealing with rational and reasonable people.

Alternatively, after a construction contract is executed, make every attempt to understand whether or not the contract sum includes the Work intended by the architect. If it does not, issue a change order proposal with the design intent clearly documented. All of this means that the Owner and the Architect are of the same mind.

Stuff happens, and there are rational and reasonable ways to deal with it. It only gets nasty if someone tries to hide something or wants to get something for nothing.
Paul Gerber
Senior Member
Username: paulgerber

Post Number: 127
Registered: 04-2010

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 01:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A little off-topic but relating to the human nature side of the discussion...

We have a Bid Closing today at 3:00. Despite the fact that it clearly states who to contact at the provincial government agency (that is responsible for receiving Bids and taking Bidder enquiries and issuing addenda) we are still receiving calls from Subcontractors asking for a Bidders List.

It's not bad enough that they can't read the Instructions to Bidders, but WHY DEAR GOD do they want to leave their bid submission to the Contractors to the 11th hour; especially considering that provincial procurement policies have a 5 Working Day before Bid Closing cut-off for issuing addenda!

Is it really any wonder why the Contractor who gets the job is the poor sucker who forgot the most??
Ride it like you stole it!!!
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 459
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 02:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yep; always happens like that. That's why there is a guy there where the bids are to be physically submitted with a cell phone glued to his ear (it used to be that they were camped out at all the nearest pay phones). Oh, and by the way, some subs will submit subbids to Bidders several times on Bid Day for one reason or another. Bidders hate it when they get a late low bid, like very low. They know that something is fishy, but if they don't use it someone else will get the bid.

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