Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes

Jul 21, 2016 | News, SJCC

Event & Topic: Scott Jennings, P.E., M. ASCE, was the guest speaker at the Hawaii Chapter’s monthly member meeting in Honolulu. His presentation was entitled Civil Contractor Bidding: Behind the Scenes.

Background & Content: Within Hawaii’s engineering community, there exists a void in civil construction estimating services. During Mr. Jennings’ time performing contractor and owner’s estimates in recent months, he continued to hear questions from engineers as to how contractors went about the task of computing costs for civil construction.

Prior to SJ Construction Consulting, LLC (SJCC) there had been no reliable source for civil construction estimating. Acknowledging this interest in the topic, the call from the community to learn more about contractor estimating was answered and resulted in this highly attended speaking event. Mr. Jennings walked through the bidding process from selecting a project to bid, performing the quantity takeoff, calculating the bid costs, and closing the bid. The approach in the presentation was candid and sprinkled with actual anecdotes of estimating successes and failures. In addition to project bidding, a portion of the event was devoted to discussing contractor change order pricing.

Tips for engineer review and contractor “tricks” in pricing were discussed. After concluding the presentation, Mr. Jennings took questions from the audience regarding fairness of force account markup, current takeoff program options, design/build pricing, and the effect of the current light rail construction on market pricing.

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