NIH Grants Policy Statement
Revised October 2017. This document applies to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements for budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2017.
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10.3 Contracting Methods

10.3.1 Design-Bid-Build

The traditional three-phase project delivery method in which the recipient contracts with separate entities for each the design and construction phase of a project. It begins with a project design phase, followed by the construction bid phase (including solicitation and selection of a construction contractor), and then the active construction phase.

10.3.2 Alternate Contracting Methods

The use of a contracting method other than Design-Bid-Build, including the use of construction management services or design-build services as described below, may be authorized by NIH when cost, time, and quality benefits will result. In making such determinations, NIH will consider the scope of the project, estimated cost, and other factors deemed relevant. NIH approval must be received before the recipient begins the process of using an alternate contracting method.

If a construction management firm is currently employed, the recipient may choose to authorize that firm to perform the construction work. Such authorization requires NIH prior approval and the price for the work involved must not exceed the GMP also approved by NIH.

10.3.2.1 Construction Manager

10.3.2.1.1 Construction Manager as Agent

Use of construction management services, under which the recipient contracts for technical consultation during the design stage of a project and for organization and general project oversight of construction activities during the construction phase, is considered professional services and, therefore, may be procured on a negotiated basis rather than by formal advertising. However, the services of CMs may be procured by formal advertising in those cases where State or local governments prohibit the award of construction management contracts on a negotiated basis. Where bids are invited, the bidders should be pre-qualified. Under this procedure, the CM, operating as a member of a recipient-architect-CM team, is responsible for cost estimates during the design and construction as well as cost control, review of design(s) with a view toward value engineering, consultation on construction techniques, construction coordination and scheduling, and oversight of all construction activities. The CM's fee is considered an eligible cost for the purpose of determining the total eligible cost of the project.

10.3.2.1.2 Construction Manager-at-Risk

A CM-at-Risk is considered a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that assumes the financial risk for construction, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of a facility at a GMP (see Construction-Alternate Contracting Methods-Guaranteed Maximum Price). The CM-at-Risk serves as a general contractor and provides consultation to the client during the design of the facility and through construction. The terms of the CM's employment must be such as to preclude any conflict of interest. The recipient may authorize the CM as Agent to become the CM-at-Risk to perform the construction services when authorized by NIH.

Under this procedure:

10.3.2.2 Design-Build Services

Design-build is a method of project delivery in which one entity works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. In design-build contracting, construction firms respond to a request for proposals by submitting building designs that meet the recipient's performance requirements within a GMP (see Construction-Alternate Contracting Methods-Guaranteed Maximum Price) covering all architectural, engineering, and construction services required. The design-build firm must be selected in a manner that will allow maximum feasible competition. Because of the nature of design-build contracting, the following departures from formal advertising are authorized:

The selection of a design-build firm must be accomplished by a process that includes the following activities:

On all design-build projects, the recipient must:

10.3.2.3 Guaranteed Maximum Price

Under this procedure: