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Section C - Procurement Options

Great care should be exercised when designing any type of pitch. The conditions found on-site and the anticipated levels of use must form the basis for the proposals, but modified by the conditions likely to be encountered during the construction process, the timetable proposed and funding. A one-size-fits-all approach is never cost effective.

The development of a site is usually carried out by contractors, preferably a specialist in pitch construction. A pitch sub-contractor may be hired to undertake the pitch element of any development if it is part of a larger contract.

There are usually two main approaches to pitch procurement and these can be found below.

1) Competitive tendering

Under competitive tendering, a tender pack is produced by a consultant. The tender pack would comprise the following:

  • Instructions for tendering
  • Contract conditions
  • Quality assurance requirements
  • Clear and precise specification of work
  • Drawings
  • Bills of quantity

The selection of contractors who may be asked to tender for the works may be part of a pre-qualification process. This process seeks to identify those contractors who are best suited to completing the works.

The tender documents are then issued to a number of contractors who are able to price the works on a like-for-like basis. All contractors asked to price for the work should be competent, reliable, honest and financially sound. References may be sought and evidence of their financial standing may be required as part of the tendering process.

The consultant who produces the tender documentation may project manage the appointment of the contractor and subsequent development of the site on behalf of the client.

The appointment of the contractor may be subject to a scoring process based on the price and quality of his submission. The price/quality split is determined prior to the issuing of the tender and helps to ensure that the client can select the most appropriate contractor on the basis of price and quality and not just the lowest price.

Quality may be assessed on the basis of the contractors’ commitment to previous projects, management structures in place, attitude to Health and Safety or company environmental protocols.

The advantages of competitive tendering are as follows:

  • Scheme professionally designed and supervised independently
  • Most appropriate scheme chosen for site and client
  • Quality control procedures can be implemented

2) Design and build

This option may appear attractive, in that the contractor is solely responsible for both the design and the construction of the pitch and the pitch development may be initiated quickly. Nonetheless, there are a number of complications to this approach.

Contractors are invited to both design and build the pitch and this relies heavily upon the contractors’ experience in the delivery of similar projects. Nevertheless contractors may be chosen as part of a pre-qualification process. An independent consultant should be used to prepare the pre-qualification documentation and make a recommendation on the most suitable contractor to approach as part of the design and build process.

It is recommended that a consultant is used to prepare a design brief with a set of standards to be achieved. This can be used for a select list of contractors to price the works, and would be the preferred approach, otherwise, without a design brief a range of options and prices may be provided.

Unless the submissions are very carefully vetted there will be a tendency for the cheapest option to be chosen and this may not be appropriate for the site or the client’s needs. An independent approach can ensure that the most cost effective solution is delivered which is in the best interests of the client rather than the contractor.

During the works there will be no, or limited, quality control procedures in place under design and build unless, for example, an external project manager is employed to check the installation against the defined terms of reference or the set of standards agreed as part of the design briefing. Appointing a project manager to act on behalf of the client can help to ensure that the terms of the design brief and the desired quality control measures are adopted.

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