Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria for determining whether a project requires State Building Commission (SBC) action?

Section 2.02 of the SBC By-laws, Policy and Procedure sets forth matters under the authority of the SBC, including all design and construction projects as described in Policy Item 2.02 A.   In some instances this approval is delegated per 2.04 A., B., C., and D.

How to decide what projects require SBC action when they are under $250,000.

All “Capital Improvement” projects as defined in 2.01 B. of the SBC Bylaws, Policy and Procedures require SBC approval.  However, per Policy Item 2.04 A.1. , in some defined instances these are delegated to the Head of the SPA. 

Is there a procedure for proprietary and sole source procurement?

All proposed proprietary and sole source procurements for capital projects require approval by OSA. The Sole Source/Proprietary Procurement Request Form can be found on the OSA website.

 A Sole Source procurement generally offers no competition for the provision of a product, and typically is manufactured and provided by a single entity. A Proprietary procurement generally involves one manufacturer, but products are be offered through several representatives competitively.  A statement in a designer specification for a renovation project, where it is important that  finishes and materials in a building or area are consistent, that a particular product “match existing” is not considered to result in a Sole Source or Proprietary procurement, therefore, precluding the need for this type of request.

What are the mechanics for determining the successful bidder on a project where there are Alternates?

  1. Confirm the base bid is below the bid target.
  2. Add each alternate to the base bid as long as the total is still at or below the bid target.
  3. The bidder with the greatest number of alternates (in sequential order) that are at or below the target is the low bidder.  If more than one bidder achieves the same number of alternates then the bidder whose total for the base and alternates will be established as the low bidder.
  4. The SPA can choose to award alternates in any combination as long as the established low bidder in #3 is still lower than any other bidder using the same combination. I.e. If SPA wants to award base plus alternates 2 and 3 but not alternate 1 then the apparent low bidder for that combination would need to match the low bidder described in #3 for this combination to be awarded.

What is the difference between a Contract Bond and a Performance Bond?

The Contract Bond is a combination of a Performance Bond and a Payment Bond. A Performance Bond insures that the work will be performed. The Payment Bond protects the Owner from any unpaid bills by employees, subcontractors, materials suppliers, etc. The bonding company is obligated to cover these costs for work performed or materials purchased when, and if, a general contractor defaults.

How do State buildings get named?

General government buildings are typically named by means of a bill or a resolution approved by the Legislature.  Higher Education buildings are typically named through the processes established by the governing boards of the particular Higher Education institution.

When will a State plaque be put in a building?

State plaques are typically reserved for significant projects, such as new buildings, significant renovations, or projects that change the functional use of an existing building.

If plaques recognizing individuals and corporate donors to the construction are installed in a building, then a State Building plaque in accordance with 6.06  of the SBC By-laws, Policy and Procedure will also be installed unless waived by the State Architect.  For questions about specific projects, please contact the OSA at State.Architect@TN.GOV. State Building Plaque Information guidance can be found under OSA Policy & Procedures

Do grants to local City and County government agencies for construction projects require SBC approval?

Per 2.02 D. of the SBC By-laws, Policy and Procedure, all State grants funded for capital outlay or capital maintenance in an Appropriations Bill or Bond Bill passed by the Legislature require SBC approval. 

What requirements have to be satisfied by the Grantee for grant appropriations?

All grantee requirements are set forth in the grant contract.

Is there an SBC policy relating to monuments on State property?

All monuments on State property require SBC approval per TCA §4-15-102 and Item 2.01 B of the SBC By-Laws, Policy, and Procedure.  All requests for monuments and memorials to be located within the Capitol Complex and Bicentennial Mall shall additionally follow the Tennessee State Capitol Campus-Monuments and Memorials Master Plan located on the OSA website. The Tennessee State Capitol Commission has adopted the Policy Regarding Criteria for Commemorative Works, located on the OSA website, as guidelines in hearing requests for approval for such monuments and memorials. 

Regarding joint ventures, does the State have any issue if the partners are in agreement to have one act as the prime firm and one as the sub firm?

The State will not direct how joint venture partners contract with each other.  However, the State will only enter into a contract with a single firm, whether that be a Joint Venture (JV) or a single company with another firm acting as a subcontractor. If a company desires a joint venture type arrangement (JV), then the insurance required under the State contract must be provided by the JV or by each JV partner recognizing that their individual insurance policies apply to the contract.

What is the difference between "pre" planning and "full" planning for a project?

Pre-planning is for design work through the Design Development Phase (41%), whereas full-planning is for design work through the Construction Document Phase (71%).

Does the SBC need to approve the use of a CM/GC and Best Value procurement methods?

Yes, all Delivery Methods outlined in OSA Policy require SBC approval.  However, per section 2.04 B.1. of the SBC By-Laws, Policy, and Procedure, this approval has been delegated jointly to the State Architect and the Head of the SPA managing the capital project.

When is it appropriate to increase the Designer Fee?

The Designer Fee should be modified if the State changes the project´s Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC) due to additional information prior to Bid.  If modified, the Designer Fee should be modified from the date of the State determination and would not be retroactive.  Additional Services payments to a Designer are warranted if the State changes the MACC after Bid due to the State adding scope to the project. If the Designer has indicated that the MACC is too low for the scope of work and the State disagrees and does not increase the MACC but the project subsequently overbids then the Designer would receive additional fee retroactive to the date they notified the State that the budget and scope did not align.

The Designer Fee should not be increased if the State changes the MACC after Bid due to an overbid of the project.