The Beach at UNO is excited to release the official Request for Proposals (RFP) for Architectural and Engineering Services for the Construction of the New Energy Center of the United States (NeXus).

Is there a construction budget for the project?
Given the value of the grant less soft costs and other items, it is anticipated a construction budget somewhere between $8 $9M.

When building our team of consultants, should we assume the scope of work will include the potential modifications to the existing facility beyond the footprint of the Nexus Center (entrance, exterior envelope, mechanical systems, site improvements)?

Is this RFP a request just for team qualifications or is a proposed fee for A&E services also required in the responses?  
Just a request for team qualifications.

Regarding Section G – Indemnification. Current state law has clarified the applicability and extent of Indemnification clauses. Based on our review, the current clause does not comply with the statute. Will Section G be deleted or altered, and if the later, can the Owner provide updated language?  
We will submit your question/comment to our risk management office and if any deletion or alteration is required, we will so advise.      

Thank you for your patience while we forwarded your question to the ORM.  After ORM’s review of Section G and statue HB573, the ORM has confirmed that the indemnification language noted in Section G of the RFP remains to be the current wording the State/ORM continues to use and will not be offering an amendment presently.  The ORM after their review of your question and Section G has recommended that the UNO Research & Technology Foundation, Inc. be included in the Indemnification/Hold Harmless language to expand the parties. 

Will the Owner provide a recent topographic/boundary survey (as required for permitting) or will that be an additional service to be coordinated by the Architect?
If one is available, we will most definitely provide it to you.  However, if none is available, we will cover the cost to have one done.

Will the Owner provide a site plan of the project location?  
Yes, we will provide.

Will the Owner provide any as-built drawings or documentation for the existing building?  
Yes, we will provide whatever as-builts/documentation that we have in our possession. 

Has the area of work been determined, or will that be part of the design process? (The building is mentioned as a 15,000 sq ft footprint, but it is not clear how many floors are included in the area).
Yes, the 15,000 sf footprint within the building has been identified.

The advertisement is called an RFP but the questions and answers on the website say that a fee will be negotiated after selection of the A/E team. can you please confirm this is an RFQ, rather than an RFP which includes a fee proposal?
The RFP does not include a fee proposal.  
Alternatively: The EDA requires us to advertise as an RFP, but this RFP does not require a fee proposal. 

Will there be a site visit before submissions are due?
No site visit is planned.

We assume due to the inclusion of state funds and the duration of the bidding phase in the schedule that this project will require a public bid process. Please confirm.

Is the assumption that the project will be permitted during the CD phase so that the bidding documents reflect agency plan review? 

Are there drawings of the existing building to indicate the location  and extent of the project footprint within the building?
Yes, a drawing is available and can be found here. 

The instructions list that the proposal should include survey and soil investigations; these are typically owner-provided; please confirm these things are to be consultant-provided under the umbrella of the A/E contract. 
Yes, survey and soil investigations are included in the Scope of Work.  

Would a partnership between two architecture firms, that is not a formal Joint Venture, be considered as a responsive party? Both entities would understand the need to agree to all contract terms and conditions and co-sign the agreement. 
Yes, however it will need to be clear which company is responsible for financial management and reporting i.e. we will not assume the responsibility of duplicating/aligning separate reports and invoices from two entities performing the same scope of work.

If a formal Joint Venture would be required, can a response be submitted by the firms with the intent to form the Joint Venture if selected?
A joint venture is not required.

Would an out of state firm be considered a responsive party if they have a local consulting design firm who would handle on site representation? 
Yes, they would be considered.

Is a Fee Proposal required as part of this proposal or will that be negotiated in the next round/interviews? If a fee is required, could you share the EDA grant requirements referenced that must be agreed to?
The fee will be determined as part of contract negotiations.

The deadline for submittal is Friday, October 6th – is there a deadline time for delivered materials?
We included in the addendum a modification to clarify that the deadline for submittal is 11:59 pm on October 6. 

May we receive a copy of the contract for review?
The EDA provides sample contracts and a checklist for AE contracts in its Construction Grant Post-Approval Toolkit, available on the EDA website. The A&E contract will be designed using the EDA guidance. For your reference, the toolkit is available here.

“The UNO Research and Technology Foundation (“UNORTF”) is currently seeking “proposals” (Statements of Qualification) for architectural and engineering services for an anticipated capital project (“NEXUS”) at its research park known as The Beach at UNO 2045 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70122.” 

The bold text above indicates that this updated Request for Proposal its indeed a Statement of Qualifications or Request for Qualifications and therefore, interested Proposers will not be required to submit an A/E fee at this stage of the selection process.  A/E fees will be negotiated when the preferred and most qualified team is selected. Is this correct?
The parties will negotiate a fee after the procurement of the A&E team. The fee for basic services will be a fixed price and cannot be based on the use of the cost-plus-a-percentage-of-cost or percentage of construction cost as these forms of compensation are not eligible for EDA participation.

If our assumptions above are incorrect and Proposers are to include A/E fees in the response, where should we locate the Fee Section within the table of contents?

Proposed Construction Phase timeline seems excessive (up to 24 months). Normal construction practices would assume 12-14 months for a project of this scale and complexity. Are there any foreseeable issues that would potentially extend the construction phase timeline? 
Until formal design can commence to determine whether significant upgrades and/or replacements to building infrastructure are required to accommodate the 15,000 sf which includes not only office/co-working space but lab space as well, this timeline was put in place as a contingency placeholder for any such infrastructure required by design that may needed for long lead items.  The goal is to construct in a shorter timeline once the design and design parties can provide timelines.  Assuming achievable, UNO will communicate a reduced timeline to construct in the upfront construction document bid specifications. 

Does the estimated Design Phase duration of six (6) months include time for review and approvals?
The estimated Design Phase duration includes time for the internal project team’s review of the 100% completed deliverable. The deliverable will require additional approval by the President of the University of New Orleans and by the Division of Administration of the Governor, which may take additional time outside of the six (6) month period. 

Do we need to include proof of insurance with this proposal submittal or only if selected? 
Proof of insurance is required with the proposal submittal. 

As design professionals carrying Professional Liability Insurance, the clause provided in the RFP, as written with an obligation to defend, is not insurable by our Professional Liability insurer. Would alternative language be considered that removes the obligation to defend? An example of such language, based on the clause presented in the RFP, is as follows:
“Firm agrees to indemnify, save, and hold harmless, the State of Louisiana, all State Departments, Agencies, Boards and Commissions, its officers, agents, servants, employees, and volunteers, from and against any and all damages, expenses, and liability arising out of injury or death to any person or the damage, loss or destruction of any property which may occur, or in any way grow out of, but only to the extent of the negligence of the Firm, or its agents, servants, and employees, or any and all costs, expenses and/or attorney fees incurred by Firms as a result of any claims, demands, suits or causes of action, except those claims, demands, suits, or causes of action arising out of the negligence of the State of Louisiana, all State Departments, Agencies, Boards, Commissions, its officers, agents, servants, employees and volunteers.”
After the Office of Risk Management’s (ORM) review of Section G and statue HB573, the ORM has confirmed that the indemnification language noted in Section G of the RFP remains to be the current wording the State/ORM continues to use and will not be offering an amendment presentlyThe ORM after their review of Section G has recommended that the UNO Research & Technology Foundation, Inc. be included in the Indemnification/Hold Harmless language to expand the parties.