Synthesis works with owners to decide on the desired approach for selecting the various members of a comprehensive project team. The project team usually includes a design team led by an architect, a site or civil engineer and a builder/contractor. It can also include a variety of specialists such as fire protection engineers, hazardous materials experts, historic consultants, audio-visual systems and acoustics experts, lighting designers and others.

Will the selection process be an open competition or a directed procurement of specific firms? Will there be a requirement for minority participation? Does the project schedule limit the length of the process? What levels of review and approval will be required from the owner and/or its Board? We help the owner identify and answer these and other questions that are important elements of the selection process to address that owner’s specific needs.

Once the process is clarified, we then manage it through the agreed upon sequence. This can take from a few days to a few months, depending on the comprehensiveness and formality of the approach chosen.  The process breaks down into four discrete steps:

  • Prequalification – development of an RFQ, solicitation & review
  • Technical Proposal – development of an RFP, solicitation & review
  • Fee proposal – review
  • Negotiation – contract provisions, fee and execution of final documents

A bidders’ conference may be helpful in ensuring adequate understanding of requirements. Synthesis can manage the conference and all documentation or correspondence needed. After providing adequate time for the development of proposals, we can coordinate the review and evaluation of proposals. Finally, if the owner desires, we participate in interviews with firms and assist the owner in completing quantitative scoring sheets and comparing the overall scoring results leading to selection of the preferred firm.

Synthesis has developed template contracts for contractors based on American Institute of Architects (AIA) documents that have been heavily modified to offer increased protection to the owner in a number of areas. We help negotiate the final agreement and prepare documents for signatures. We review and evaluate cost estimates and especially cost proposals. Throughout the course of the project, we track performance and monitor expenses and review invoices against contract requirements.