Health care facilities managers are overseeing various sizes of construction projects throughout their hospitals and want to execute a contract that fits the project, covers the risk and streamlines the process.

The Health Care Facilities Management Handbook Series created by the American Society for Health Care Engineering has a new edition called The Facilities Manager’s Handbook for Health Care Project Management, which provides essential baseline information for project managers facilitating construction projects. Part 3 of the new handbook, titled “Bidding,” walks readers through the process of construction bidding and contracting.

Whether health care facilities managers elect to contract using one of the various methods such as construction manager at risk, guaranteed maximum prices, design-bid-build, integrated project delivery and/or job order contracting, these methods are well defined in the handbook with tips shared for streamlining the process. An understanding of contracting options will help facilitate selecting the contract type best suited to meet the needs of a given organization. 

The handbook reviews critical components of a bid request, including the request for proposal, the bid process and bid evaluation. An important step in the process is to review exclusions or qualifications on bid proposals carefully to level the bids and compare apples to apples. Utilizing facilities project management tools and systems, such as digital cloud platforms, to manage the bid process is valuable to save on multiple email transmissions and centrally store information within the project files.

Critical components of a construction contract is another area reviewed in the handbook. References to online templates available from multiple organizations are included, as well as subsections on general conditions, allowances and insurance with examples to provide an understanding of the process.

The book also features an article on value engineering to stress the importance of designing to budget from the start of the project to avoid cost-mitigation strategies at the start of construction. Evaluating first-cost versus life-cycle costs will assist in managing any value engineering process.

Every section of the handbook includes a summary and a “Check Your Understanding” quiz, which are helpful in facilitating continuous learning.