Bidding a Construction Project
The basic structure of the bidding process in the state of Florida includes the formulation of detailed plans and specifications of a facility on the basis of the objectives and requirements of the owner, and the invitation of eligible contractors to bid for the right to implement the project. A contractor becomes qualified to bid only if he can offer minimal evidence of previous experience and financial stability. There are various steps to ensure a systematic and organized bidding process.
- Examination of Documents: A proper examination of documents ensures that construction procedure and bidding process is smooth and hassle free. The building official requires examining the accompanying construction documents and should determine by such examinations if the construction indicated and described is as per the requirements of the construction code and other pertinent laws or ordinances. Though there are some exceptions such as:
- Building plans approved pursuant to Section 553.77(5), Florida Statutes, and state-approved manufactured buildings are exempt from local codes enforcing agency plan reviews except for provisions of the code relating to erection, assembly or construction at the site. Erection, assembly and construction at the site are subject to local permitting and inspections.
- Industrial construction on sites where design, construction and fire safety are supervised by suitable design and inspection professionals and which include adequate in-house fire departments and rescue squads is exempt, subject to local government option, from review of plans and inspections, offering owners certify that applicable codes and standards have been followed and deliver proper approved drawings to local building and fire-safety inspectors.
- Approval of Construction Documents: When the building official issues a permit, the construction documents should be approved and stamped as "Reviewed for Code Compliance." One set of construction documents that are reviewed should be retained by the building official. The other set is to be returned to the applicant, and should be kept at the work site so that it can be inspected by the building official or any authorized representative.
- Previous Approvals: The bidding code are not changed in the construction documents, construction or designated occupancy of a structure for which a lawful permit has been heretofore issued or otherwise lawfully authorized, and the construction of which has been pursued within 180 days after the effective date of the code and has not been abandoned.
- Certifications by Contractors: Certifications by contractors that are authorized under the provisions of Section 489.115(4)(b), Florida Statutes, are considered equivalent to sealed plans and specifications by contractors who are licensed under Chapter 471, Florida Statutes, or Chapter 481 Florida Statutes, by local enforcement agencies for reviewing plans for permitting purposes relating to adherence with the wind-resistance provisions of the code or alternate methodologies approved by the Florida Building Commission for one- and two-family dwellings. Local enforcement agencies may rely upon such certification by contractors that the plans and specifications submitted conform to the requirements of the code for wind resistance. The local government code enforcement agencies can accept as well as reject plans sealed by persons licensed under Chapters 471, 481 or 489, Florida Statutes.
- Minimum Plan Review Criteria for Buildings: The examination of the documents by the building official include the following minimum criteria and documents:
- A floor plan
- Site plan
- Foundation plan
- Floor/roof framing plan or truss layout
- All exterior elevations.
Examination of plans by the building official are not required for the below mentioned work: Replacing existing equipment such as mechanical units, water heaters, etc., reroofs, minor electrical, plumbing and mechanical repairs, annual maintenance permits, prototype plans- except for local site adaptations, siding, foundations and/or modifications and structures that require waiver. Besides, exemptions are also for manufactured buildings plan except for foundations and modifications of buildings on site.
A contractor can solicit price quotations and create a bid estimate according to the quantity takeoffs from the plans rendered by the owner or as per the construction procedures developed by the contractor for implementing the project. Various items including labor, equipment and material required to perform different tasks can be considered as parameters for the cost estimates. This site requirements for a commercial building comprises parking, fire access, vehicle loading, driving/turning radius, fire hydrant/water supply/post indicator valve (PIV), set back/separation (assumed property lines), location of specific tanks, water lines and sewer lines.
Various other factors that influence construction bidding are the specific site requirements, demolition, light and ventilation, plumbing, fire suppression systems, life safety systems like smoke control, stair pressurization etc., fire-resistant construction, materials, special requirements like elevators, escalators and lifts, load calculations, wiring methods and materials, low voltage, communication systems, emergency systems and others.