Take My Money! Capital Project Construction Delivery Methods for Cities and Counties (Source: ASCE Texas Section)
By Mathew Busby, PE
Public works covers a wide range of needs from building operations to wastewater rehabilitation. Cities and counties are required to follow specific rules regarding the purchasing of goods and services, but the actual method employed can vary depending on the needs of the department or project. This article focuses on the different methods used to procure construction services – such as building a road or pump station. Below are the major procurement methods and their advantages and disadvantages.
Low bid contracting is the most common method employed for solicitation of construction services – lowest responsive bid wins! The advantage of low-bid is obvious – the winner has the lowest cost, but no other factor such as experience or safety record is considered.
Best-value bids utilize a set of criteria to determine which bidder provides the best value to the municipality. It must be stated in the bid documents that the contract will be awarded to the bidder who provides the best value.