Greening Your Building: Awarding Contracts and Pre-Training

Once you have successfully received all of your bids for your green building project, you are now ready to select a contractor and begin pre-training.

Evaluating Bids

Going through all of your bids, depending on what format your bidding invitation takes, can be a daunting task. Like going through a pile of resumes during a hiring process, many of them will not stand out or even meet the basic specifications that you require.

If you have the staff to do so, having someone else (or Sow Green) vet out the top 10-20 bid proposals for you can help you save time and effort. If not, you can vet them out quickly yourself by going through and removing any that clearly to not understand the specifications you have outlines, or any that may have excluded important aspects of the work that you may or may not have outlined. Creating a simple checklist beforehand might help you review your bids faster:

  1. Are the project specifications understood?

  2. Has the bidder included the most important elements of the work described?

  3. Have they added references and past work?

  4. Have they listed available manpower and equipment?

  5. Does the schedule of values align with your goals?

If any of the answer to these questions is “no” you may want to exclude them from the beginning. Going in this order will ensure that you don’t waste time evaluating documents in the bid if the most basic needs aren’t met. Once you’ve weeded out a “Top 10” list, review the remaining groups references and past work, and thoroughly review the schedule of values. Once you've done that, you should only have a few options left. At that point only you can decide which contractor is right for your project. Once you’ve made a selection, it is time to ward the bid and start your pre-training so that your project can move forward!

Construction Pre-Training

When initiating a green building project, pre-training is becoming increasingly important. Pre-training is a series of meetings and presentations where all of the contractors, including any sub-contractors (such is renewable energy installers, landscaping contractors, roofing contractors, etc.) attend in order to ensure each one understands the scope of the others work.

Green building projects tend to use more subcontractors in specialized trades, and often without pre-training they can inadvertently step on each others toes. While communication is key, understanding what each contractor is doing and their timelines creates better understanding so that potential oversight, accountability, and conflict resolution takes place. It is also the time to establish channels of communication for problem solving, as well as developing a safety plan.

These meetings do not have to be long or complicated, as specific details among contractors can be organized via e-mail or video conferencing. We recommend that at least one or two of the meetings are in-person, so that everyone can meet face-to-face and establish a strong partnership from the start.

Many time issues arise simply because each contractor doesn’t have a holistic picture of the entire process, and instead only focuses on their part of the project. They also aren't aware of who is in charge of what, so bad communication channels are created. Although pre-training takes more time and effort, the amount of time and effort it saves is worth it in the long-run, as well as the reduction in stress on the project manager or owner.


Need help in managing all those contractors? Sow Green is here to help you manage your green building project. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover the Sow Green difference!