The Construction Institute of Canada’s 2019 National Simulated Student Bid Competition is in full swing and the chief executive officer of this year’s contest says there is a strong focus on reading and interpreting construction documents so students are ready when they enter the real world after graduation.
“The goal is to provide students with the knowledge, experience and understanding of the RFP process so that they are better prepared for the process after graduation.” said Matt Melaragno, a fourth-year student at George Brown College in Toronto.
“As a committee we wanted to put emphasis on reading and interpreting the documents of the RFP in their entirety. One of the most important skills in the industry is knowing how to interpret construction documents and understand what the full scope of work is. Many times these documents are misinterpreted which can lead to delays, scope gaps and potentially litigation. We are trying to engrain this skill in the proponents before they graduate and start working in the industry.”
What makes this year’s competition different than other year’s is a complete overhaul of the project documents, specifically the RFP.
“We have tried to provide an RFP with less ambiguity, while also providing a document that is more in line with what the industry uses to procure work,” said Melaragno.
This year’s project is WSF Soccer North, a 168,000-square-foot indoor soccer stadium in the Garden District of North Winnipeg. The design of WSF Soccer North revolves around a full-sized indoor FIFA approved pitch divided into half and quarter pitch configurations and features 16 field-level dressing rooms and a 360-degree spectator concourse with food and beverage amenities, states the competition’s website.
The simulated bid competition is organized by fourth-year students and third-year students participate. Melaragno participated in the competition last year, with his team finishing third in the most professional category. Wanting to give back to the competition, every member of his team joined the organizing committee overseeing this year’s competition, he said.
Students from across Canada form teams of four and submit a bid proposal using the issued contract documents. Bids must contain quantity takeoffs and a subtrade analysis and selection, as well as an overhead and pricing summary. They are also required to submit a CCDC 11 Contractor’s Qualification form, a construction staging plan and schedule as well as the communication process using Request for Information and Addenda for communication between the proponents and Bid Calling Authority.
A total of 74 teams from seven Canadian colleges and universities will be participating in this year’s competition including the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Nova Scotia Community College, George Brown College, Humber College, Centennial College and Ryerson University.
The competition began with team registration in early January where teams created a construction company comprised of four members. Bid documents were then issued to the teams via a plans room on Jan. 28.
“Over the next two months, the team completes a quantity takeoff, subcontractor analysis and selection, a construction schedule, CCDC 11 contractor’s qualification form and all other required proposal documents required for submission,” explained Melaragno, adding teams are also encouraged to obtain industry mentors who can provide guidance throughout the competition.
“Upon completion, the documents are submitted to the bid calling authority (Bid Committee) through a three-phase closing period. Phase one is the hard copy technical submission, phase two is an electronic commercial (price) submission and phase three is the supplementary electronic submission. Once all submissions have been received the bid calling authority will issue a notice of compliant bidders on April 3 where the teams then have a 24-hour period to appeal the decision if deemed non-compliant.”
This year’s competition has had its fair share of challenges, Melaragno noted.
“The competition has allowed our group to gain experience and improve upon a number of leadership disciplines such as managing different personalities, managing time zone differences, scheduling and organizing subcommittees, setting and following through with deadlines, both internally and externally, and learning how to work better as a team to accomplish our goal of successfully delivering the 2019 TCIC Bid Competition,” he said.
The competition culminates with an awards gala that will be held at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto on April 16 at 4 p.m. where the winning teams will be announced. The competition awards teams in four areas: most accurate and complete, closest to the target price, most professional bid proposal and innovation.