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Laboratory Design, Construction, and Renovation: Participants, Process, and Product
fore, the procedures developed to enhance and regulate communication must continue to be rigorous and must be rigorously adhered to.
The lowest cost for the kind of construction project described in this report—the design and build delivery model—is usually obtained through competitive bidding. Ideally, the general contractors who submit bids will be prequalified, although state and federal agencies may not allow the prequalification of general contractors. Selecting the contractor is discussed below in the section on ''Selection of a Contractor."
For projects that require an accelerated construction schedule, the "early packages" project delivery model can be used. In this model, certain portions of the construction documents, such as for excavation, foundations, and structural steel or concrete, can be completed and issued to subcontractors for competitive bidding prior to the completion of the full set of construction documents. Construction activities can thus begin while the construction documents for interior and other less critical elements are completed. A general contractor or construction manager should be engaged by the client to manage the bid process and engage the subcontractors for these early packages. To limit the client' s risk, the general contractor or construction manager may agree to a guaranteed maximum price for the project prior to engaging subcontractors. When the remaining portions of the construction documents have been completed, they too can be issued to the appropriate subcontractors for competitive bidding. This model has the advantage of accelerating the construction schedule and maintaining a degree of bid competition.
Selection of a Contractor
The client needs to decide which type of construction contract and contracting method to use. The two general types are formal and negotiated (some consider the negotiated type to be more informal). The formal method generally requires an advertisement, followed by review/prequalification, bidding/negotiation, and award. The negotiated contract, which can also start with an advertisement and a review/prequalification process, is often used with a contractor or construction manager known to the client or architect/engineer, or recognized by the industry. Following completion of the construction documents, the contractor or construction manager may obtain competitive bids on the various project components. Details of alternate contracting methods are discussed in the chapter titled "Delivery Options" in The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practices (AIA, 1993).