Now that you know all the characters, the next step is to find some that you like.
This process ordinarily begins with issuing an RFP or a Request for Proposals either publicly or to a list of firms selected by project leadership. Usually you will issue a separate RFP and selection process for each member of the design team with whom you will be contracted directly. For example, you would issue an RFP for a project manager or an architect, but not for a structural or mechanical engineer – those specialists will be on the architect’s team.
The RFP should clearly describe:
- The project concept
- The scope of the work you wish the respondent to undertake
- The selection criteria you plan to use
- A timeline for the selection and interview process
Respondents to the RFP will submit their qualifications, often (in the case of architectural teams) listing sub-consultants with special expertise or qualifications as well. They will describe other similar projects they’ve completed, and list clients they’ve worked with. They’ll also propose a project scope description and fee for their work. You will then select a short list of firms – usually 3 or so – from the respondents to interview, and then make a selection.
Sometimes. . . .
Large projects often begin the design team selection process by issuing an RFQ, or a Request for Qualifications, in order to narrow down the pool of firms being considered before requesting a full-blown fee proposal. Sometimes, design teams are selected solely on the basis of the RFQ, and then fees are negotiated afterwards with the selected team.
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