types of tendering in construction

Types of tendering in construction


In the world of construction, tendering plays a crucial role in the procurement process. It is a method used by project owners to invite bids from contractors for carrying out construction works. Tendering allows for fair competition, transparency, and ensures that the best possible contractors are selected for the project. However, not all tendering processes are the same. In this article, we will explore the various types of tendering in construction commonly used in the construction industry.

Open Tendering


Open tendering, also known as competitive bidding or public tendering, is one of the most widely used methods of procurement in the construction industry. In this type of tendering, the project owner openly advertises the project, inviting bids from all interested contractors. It ensures transparency and encourages competition among contractors, leading to competitive pricing and quality construction. Open tendering is commonly used for public projects, where fairness and equal opportunity are essential.

Selective Tendering

Selective tendering is a more restricted form of tendering, where the project owner pre-qualifies a select group of contractors to participate in the bidding process. The pre-qualification process involves evaluating the contractor’s technical capabilities, financial stability, and past experience. Only those contractors who meet the specified criteria are invited to submit tenders. Selective tendering is often used for complex or specialized projects where the project owner wants to ensure that only experienced contractors with relevant expertise are considered.

Negotiated Tendering

Negotiated tendering, also known as two-stage tendering, involves a negotiation process between the project owner and a preferred contractor. In this method, the project owner invites a few select contractors to submit initial tenders based on an outline of the project. The project owner then negotiates with the preferred contractor to finalize the details, including price, scope, and timelines. Negotiated tendering is commonly used when the project requirements are complex or when there is a need for collaborative decision-making between the owner and the contractor.Types of tendering in construction.Open tendering is commonly used for public projects, where fairness and equal opportunity are essential.

Design and Build

Design and build tendering is a procurement method where the project owner contracts with a single entity, known as the design-builder, to complete both the design and construction phases of the project. In this type of tendering, the project owner provides a set of project requirements, and the design-builder is responsible for developing the detailed design, obtaining necessary approvals, and executing the construction. Design and build tendering offers the advantage of streamlined communication, faster project delivery, and a single point of responsibility for the owner.

Framework Agreements

Framework agreements are long-term contracts established between the project owner and a group of pre-qualified contractors. Instead of tendering for individual projects, the project owner can call off work from the framework contractors based on specific project requirements. This type of tendering is commonly used for repetitive or ongoing projects, such as maintenance contracts or infrastructure development programs. Framework agreements promote efficiency, reduce tendering time, and provide flexibility for the project owner to engage contractors as and when needed.

 I.Understanding the Tendering Process


1.Project Identification

    • Identifying and analyzing suitable construction projects.
    • Evaluating project requirements, scope, and objectives.


    • Establishing eligibility criteria and pre-qualifying potential bidders.
    • Gathering necessary documentation and certifications.
    • Assessing financial stability and past performance.

3.Tender Preparation:

    • Studying the tender documents, specifications, and drawings.
    • Conducting site visits to understand project conditions.
    • Preparing accurate cost estimates, work schedules, and resource allocation plans.
    • Developing a comprehensive understanding of contractual obligations and risks.

II. Developing a Winning Tender

1.Comprehensive Proposal:

    • Clearly outlining the project approach, methodology, and deliverables.
    • Highlighting unique selling points and differentiators.
    • Addressing specific client requirements and concerns.
    • Demonstrating experience and expertise in similar projects.

2.Accurate Cost Estimation:

    • Conducting a detailed cost analysis, considering all project components.
    • Assessing subcontractor quotes and material costs meticulously.
    • Avoiding underestimation or overestimation of expenses.
    • Presenting the cost breakdown transparently and logically.

3.Robust Work Schedule:

    • Creating a realistic timeline for project completion.
    • Identifying critical milestones and dependencies.
    • Allocating resources effectively to ensure timely delivery.
    • Demonstrating a clear understanding of project phasing and sequencing.

4.Risk Management:


    • Identifying potential risks and developing mitigation strategies.
    • Incorporating contingency plans for unforeseen events.
    • Highlighting expertise in managing risks and implementing safety measures.

5.Collaboration and Communication:


    • Demonstrating effective collaboration with subcontractors, suppliers, and stakeholders.
    • Emphasizing strong communication channels and reporting mechanisms.
    • Showcasing a track record of successful partnerships and satisfied clients.

 6.Submission and Post-Tender Activities


    • Complying with submission guidelines and deadlines.
    • Ensuring all required documents are complete and accurate.
    • Providing clear and concise responses to all tender questions.
    • Properly organizing and packaging the tender submission.

7.Evaluation and Negotiation:

    • Participating in client evaluations and clarifications, if required.
    • Addressing client queries promptly and professionally.
    • Navigating negotiations to finalize contract terms and conditions.

8.Continuous Improvement:

    • Analyzing unsuccessful tenders for lessons learned.
    • Gathering feedback from clients and incorporating improvements.
    • Updating pre-qualification information and documentation regularly.


Tendering is a critical process in the construction industry, allowing project owners to select the most suitable contractors for their projects. The choice of tendering method depends on various factors, such as project complexity, desired level of competition, and the owner’s specific requirements. Open tendering ensures fairness and equal opportunity, while selective tendering focuses on pre-qualifying contractors with the required expertise. Negotiated tendering allows for collaborative decision-making, and design and build tendering streamlines the design and construction phases. Framework agreements offer flexibility for repetitive projects. By understanding the different types of tendering available, project owners can make informed decisions that align with their project goals and requirements. Ultimately, the successful implementation of the right tendering method can lead to quality construction, cost-effectiveness, and timely project delivery.

Contractors who master the art of tendering can enhance their chances of securing lucrative projects. By understanding the tendering process, developing winning proposals, and engaging in post-tender activities, contractors can differentiate themselves from competitors and demonstrate their capability to deliver quality construction projects on time and within budget. Embracing continuous improvement and learning from both successes and failures will allow construction companies to refine their tendering strategies, build stronger client relationships, and pave the way for long-term success in the dynamic construction industry.

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