Frequently asked questions
Does the system create more work for the consultant?
No! Subtrade bids simply close before the normal general contractor closing date. The system is entirely administered by the Construction Associations and governed by industry. In fact with an SBDI project, you now have more mechanisms at your disposal to ensure a successful project for the owner.
What does the tender authority need to do?
Specificy use of the system in the bid documents. The authority must agree to an Addenda Deadline 2 days prior to the subcontractor closing to ensure bid accuracy. If an addenda must be issued, the project closing dates must be extended. It is recommended to include the subcontractor and sub-subcontractor closing dates in the specifications for clarity.
What is the recommended project size and scope for an SBDI project?
We recommend a minimum project value of $2 million where the primary scopes of work involve defined SBDI trade scopes. The system is not designed for use with Heavy/Civil construction.
What benefits are there at the subcontractor level?
The system is entirely designed to foster confidence between the General Contractor and Subcontractor as the sanctity of a bid is maintained. The system creates a clear definition and understanding of the scope of work and provides avenues for that scope to be clarified prior to bidding. There are avenues within the system not normally available during a traditional bidding process. These include missed biddings, withdrawals, single bids, and bid securities.
Is there a membership required or fee to use the system?
No membership is required and the system is ran on a cost recovery basis for system administration. Construction Association members receive a discount on these administration services. A schedule of fees is included in Appendix II of the user's manual.
I have never provided bonding before, how does that work?
Subcontractors should carefully review the declaration form which must be submitted along with their bids. When a subcontractor's bid is above $40,000, a bid bond is required to ensure performance. If this is your first time bidding in this manner, it is recommended to approach a member of the Surety Association of Canada early in the bidding process to discuss your options. A certified cheque can be provided instead, but this ties up valuable cash flow for a business.
Any important tips for bidders?
Read the User's Manual in its entirety to understand your rights and responsibilities. Mark any key dates and times in your calendar to make sure you are taking advantage of all of the important avenues that exist within the process.
Why isn't the system electronic?
Given the volunteer non-profit nature of the system, e-bidding solutions would be costly for the SBDI to implement. Ongoing lobbying for system use is expected to motivate this conversation.