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Stages of Work   |   RIBA Stages   |   Procurement    |   What do we cost?


Stages of Work   |   RIBA Stages   |   Procurement    |   What do we cost?

A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.


Before initiating a building project, the employment of a contractor is necessary.  The 'procurement' is the move to do this. 


Traditionally, this included fair tendering, but there are very different choices for project bidding and contract negotiation in the modern market place. Our staff knows the solutions available and will advise you of the most efficacious procurement process that will suit your project and your requirements. 


We conduct all procurement operations in compliance with acceptable practises and corporate ethics.

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Procurement is a common term that describes the different tasks performed by a client looking to carry out a development project. That is the technique, approach, and scheme used to accomplish a goal. 


Each procurement process has its own set of rules and procedures, and each method encompasses a lot of variables, including the budget, viability, and risk. 


Each project is distinctive and poses various challenges; similarly, each client's goals and priorities are different. 


At the early stages of your venture, we will help you determine which procurement strategy is most efficient. The procure route is influenced by considerations of time, expense, and efficiency of a building's design and construction.


At Designitude Associates, we use the following methods of procurement.

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Traditional procurement

This is the most popular method in the procurement process. Per this strategy, procurement is independent of the design stage. The architect usually plans for the developer – on behalf of the Client – detailed documents (drawings, schedules of work, bills of quantities). Tenders are then requested for the provision of construction services. Features of this procurement path include:


  • The selection of the contractor is generally by means of a competitive tender. 

  • Detailed information must be included for the bidding process. Time is critical in which the information prepared is sufficient. 

  • The Client shall have power over the specification through their appointed consultants (i.e. architect, structural engineer etc.). 

  • The overall process starting from design till completion is always slower because design and construction are different processes. 

  • There is a degree of clarity over building costs when the contract figure is negotiated at the tender stage, but this will need to be changed at a later stage if the works were varied. 

  • The Client would usually need to select a specialist contractor to serve as a contract administrator. The architect usually performs this role. 

  • As the design progresses, any modifications to the design are to be accounted for and can prolong construction time. 

  • The contractor must complete the work within a given time, but is allowed to extend the delivery period due to delays for the above purposes stated in the contract.


In summary, this is a reasonably low-risk method of procurement that provides the customer with time, expense and quality management. The downside is the amount of time taken to finish the project, because the design and development phases are different.

Design & Build

In this procurement method, the contractor is responsible for performing the design and installation of the works at the negotiated lump sum amount. With this option, the client only has power over the design used in the employer's specifications. The key characteristics of the acquisition path include: 


  • The contractor's design liability varies based on how well the design has been worked out by the client and is included in the customer's specifications. 

  • Enough time must be given to planning the client's specifications, which are usually collected by the advisory staff of the client (architect, structural engineer etc.). Time is also required for the contractor to prepare design proposals and tenders. 

  • The client's specifications will vary from a basic accommodation plan to a completely worked-out scheme. 

  • The concept plans of the consultant shall conform to the specifications of the client. 

  • Design and construction can move in tandem. This has the effect of shortening the average length of the project. The project's length may vary based on how much responsibility the contractor has for the design. 

  • The contract amount is pre-construction, meaning there is a fair cost certainty for the buyer. 

  • The appointed contractor is expected to complete the project within the time limit of the contract. 

  • If the client makes improvements to the works during the building process, these can result in increased expenses for the client and extra time to execute the construction work. 

  • An independent contract administrator is not needed. The deal is initiated by the contractor instead. The client may appoint an agent to advise or act on its behalf.

Designing on a Tablet
In a Meeting

In this type of procurement, the final specification is the responsibility of the client's consultants, and the primary contractor is responsible 

for determining specific packages or commercial contracts, and then overseeing this work's execution by separate trades or work contracts. 

The key characteristics of this path include:

  • The client appoints consultants to design the project, detail specifications and budget plans. 

  • The client would have to select an impartial contract administrator as part of the technical team. 

  • It is advantageous for the planned contractor to be engaged as soon as possible, as they can have experience in the design and programming of project work packages. 

  • Development should be carried out in conjunction with construction so that early on-site start is always feasible, and the total build time can be reduced as a result. 

  • There is no clarity at the outset about costs and work continues based on the expense schedule. The project's final cost will not be established until the final work package has been implemented, but costs will be tracked and managed by the employer's professional team. 

  • The client influences the construction of the whole project by their professional team (architect, structural engineer etc.).

  • Design adjustments are necessary during the construction phase so that the changes do not impact the work on packages already approved, which may result in aborted work. 

  • Completion during the contract period is a responsibility of the contractor, and extensions of time cannot be given without the contract administrator's consent. 

  • Risk is to a large degree with the employer, in terms of costs and time. 

  • A degree of confidence and in-house experience is expected in the management of procurement programmes. 


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