On-Reserve Building Processes ?>

On-Reserve Building Processes

Before examining the tendering process, it is important to review steps leading up to the actual procurement of building materials.

The following examines the three approaches employed by First Nations communities when a new building project is undertaken: the typical, design/build and progressive.

Typical Process

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In a typical on-reserve, non-residential building project, the lifecycle begins with the community approaching Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) for approval and funding to conduct the initial feasibility and scope study. During this phase, there is moderate opportunity for community leadership and band members to provide broad-based input on the project.

This study is used as a foundation from which a tender is issued for an architectural firm to produce detailed drawing and construction specifications. Again, there is moderate opportunity for community leadership and band members to provide broad-based input on the project.

The project is then put out for tender. The construction company is selected to supply the materials and build the project.

The source and supply of wood products is at the discretion of the general contractor and most often executed through historical channels that the company has a relationship with.

Design Build Process

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Over the past number of years, the “Design / Build” approach has emerged, whereby the architectural and construction roles are merged as a project manager, becoming the single point of responsibility in an attempt to reduce risks and overall costs.

As with the traditional method, the lifecycle begins with the community approaching AANDC for approval and funding to conduct the initial feasibility and scope study. During this phase, there is moderate opportunity for community leadership and band members to provide broad-based input on the project.

This study is used as a foundation from which a tender is issued for a design / build firm to manage the lifecycle of the project from preliminary drawings through to final construction. There is a slightly enhanced opportunity for community leadership and band members to provide broad-based input about sustainable design and wood use. However, the risk of the Design / Build firm taking exclusive control of procurement choices is higher.

Since the project costs for the design and the construction are consolidated together, the design / build firm often maintains control over the procurement of building materials. There is often no requirement for a tendering process since a single entity has control over the entire project lifecycle.

Progressive Process

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In a more progressive approach, First Nation communities can reference and utilize specific policies throughout the entire project lifecycle that will:

  • Enhance the economic impacts on First Nations communities, locally and regionally
  • Deploy the best practices of sustainable design, leading to a longer service life and improved building performance
  • Maximize the use of First Nations forest products in all building systems
  • Ensure that First Nations forest products producers have a right-of-first-refusal on the supply of all wood building materials

Using this approach in a typical on-reserve, non-residential building project, the lifecycle begins with the community approaching AANDC for approval and funding to conduct the initial feasibility and scope study. During this phase, there is significant opportunity for community leadership and band members to provide meaningful input on the project that utilizes the full potential benefits according to the applicable economic impact policies.

The feasibility and scope study is used as a foundation from which a tender is issued for an architectural firm to produce detailed drawing and construction specifications. The First Nation community can have direct influence on the selection of the architectural firm’s sustainable design choices, mandating the extensive use of certified, sustainable wood products for the project. In the detailed drawings and specifications phase, the construction manual and companion materials list can directly specify and require Canadian First Nations forest products from a short-list of pre-qualified suppliers.

The project is then put out for tender under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, providing right-of-first-refusal to First Nations general contracting, design / build and wood products companies. The Aboriginal Set-Aside provides a secure mechanism for First Nations companies to hold a priority position in the tendering process.