Credit Union Legal Update - Summer 2011

Design/Build Qualification Questionnaire*

To build or not to build, that is often the question. Many chapters have been written about the real estate strategies of credit unions and site selection. A real estate project is typically the most expensive endeavor of a credit union. Often a credit union executive does not know what questions to ask of an architect, engineer, contractor or design build firm. The following questionnaire should greatly assist a credit union's due diligence when selecting a builder for the credit union's future.

A. Company History

  1. Years in business providing Design/Build or General Contractor services for financial institutions.
  2. Percentage of sales volume for financial institutions versus other work.
  3. What percentage of financial institution business is repeat business?
  4. Number of financial construction projects completed in last five years. (Branch and Operations, Renovations)
  5. Number of branch free standing facility projects completed in last five years.
  6. Number of in-line storefront build-outs versus free standing?
  7. Number of renovations to existing buildings?

B. Financial/Performance

  1. Provide last year's annual financial report.
  2. What is bonding capability, if required?
  3. Does your firm hold a current General Contractors Class A license?
  4. Has a lawsuit ever been filed by a client for non-performance?
  5. Did it result in going to trial or resolved outside of court system if applicable?
  6. Has a mechanics lien ever been filed against the company, resulting in court disposition?
  7. What is the standard warranty period offered?
  8. In the last five years, what percentage or number of projects were more than two weeks past substantial completion deadline (not due to Owner change orders).

C. Contract Agreement

  1. Format/Contract Typically Used (AIA Document #, Company form, etc.)
  2. If AIA Design-Build Documents, what year is being used?
  3. Basis: Lump Sum, Cost Plus, Cost Plus w GMP, Shared Savings, etc.
  4. If Cost Plus or Fee percentage added type contract:
    1. O & P % amount added to Costs or Fee percentage added to Cost.
    2. What corporate or home office expense are included in Cost and not included in O & P, if any?
    3. Mark up on Change Orders.
    4. Other than subcontractor costs, what costs, if any, are added to cost of Change Order?
    5. What project general conditions costs are in Cost of project and not included in O&P? Example: site trailers, site superintendent, temporary sanitation, dumpster, etc., excluding subcontractors.
    6. What cost per week is charged for site superintendent/manager including all associated insurance, benefits, etc.?
    7. Is percentage mark-up added to subcontractor fees or pre-construction services?
  5. If Guaranteed Maximum Price type contract:
    1. What is basis for determining final cost?
    2. Is opportunity for shared savings offered?
  6. What items are considered Reimbursable Expenses, if any, and not in the Cost of the project? What percentage/factor added?
  7. Change Orders: Define the criteria for a change order to be charged on a Design/Build project. Provide an example of each.

D. Design/Pre-Construction Services

  1. List of design/pre-construction services to be provided (Sites have already been selected).
  2. What services are provided with in-house personnel versus consultants?
  3. Type of outside consultants that will be providing services and for what services.
  4. If local consultants or firms are used for design/pre-construction services, how are these firms selected? Provide list of local firms with whom you have worked on previous projects, if any. What services do they provide?
  5. What scope of services do you expect the Owner to provide?
  6. Corporate Branding/Retail Merchandising: Provide brief definition of each. Is this part of services provided? Is there a separate cost for these services? How is cost determined?
  7. What services are provided for coordination and requirements of equipment, security, furniture, and signage?
  8. What documents are provided to convey the requirements of the project?
  9. Are plumbing, mechanical, and electrical drawings completed by engineers or by design-build subcontractors?
  10. Renovation projects: how are existing conditions determined/documented? How is the condition of building systems determined (PME)?
  11. What is done to minimize unforeseen conditions in a renovation project?

E. Estimating/Bid/Subcontractors

  1. How is the contract amount established? What methods are used to provide the cost?
  2. What deliverables (and percentage complete of construction documents) are provided with the contract amount cost?
  3. At what stage is the project placed out to bid?
  4. Assuming the Owner does not have a list of subcontractors, how are qualified commercial contractors procured?
  5. What method is used for notifying contractors of Invitation to Bid?
  6. What documents are made available to the contractors and how are these provided for viewing?
  7. Provide list of major subcontractors and suppliers in local area with whom you have previous relationship (and would work with again).

F. Project Management

  1. List personnel, titles, and experience that will be involved in the project.
  2. Who reviews submittals?
  3. What involvement does the architect have once the project goes to construction?
  4. Who is responsible for ensuring that materials and quality meet specifications?
  5. How often are site meetings held?
  6. What procedures and methods are used to ensure safety on the jobsite?
  7. What system is used for billing?
  8. What system is used for scheduling? How often is it updated?
  9. What methods are used to ensure completion time is met?
  10. How can a project be fast tracked?
  11. How are budget objectives met?
  12. What documents are provided at project close-out? Are CADD and PDF files available for record documents?
  13. Is Training on systems provided?

G. Project Reference:
Provide on separate sheets a list of three new branch standalone facility projects completed within the last five years with the following information:

  1. Company Name, Contact Information
  2. Brief description of project.
  3. Scope of services provided.
  4. Scope of Owner provided services or contracts.
  5. Size of building (Square footage)
  6. Size of site (acreage)
  7. Business Model (traditional teller line, Teller/Sales Pods, Remote Terminals, Drive-Thrus, Vault/SD, etc.)
  8. Number of personnel
  9. Type of Contract, i.e., fixed lump sum, GMP, Cost Plus, Shared Savings, etc.
  10. Original Contract Amount: $
    1. Design services including consultants
    2. Building Construction
    3. Sitework, including Landscaping and Irrigation, if applicable.
    4. Furniture
    5. Bank Equipment
    6. Security-Alarm/Video
    7. Other
  11. Cost of Change Orders (excluding Reimbursable Expenses, if any)
  12. Number & Total
  13. Cost of Owner generated change orders. Cost for Reimbursable Expenses, if any.
  14. Final Contract Amount: $
  15. Total Schedule: provide time frame from contract execution through occupancy, excluding Market Studies.
  16. Construction Time: mobilization to occupancy.
  17. Punchlist: completed in what timeframe.
  18. Explain any special conditions or Owner requirements, if applicable.

* This questionnaire was prepared by Melinda Harris, Facilities Manager of ABNB Federal Credit Union, and has been reprinted with her permission.

The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances.


The contents of this publication are intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts and circumstances. Copyright 2017.

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