FAQs About Government Construction Projects, Answered
The government construction sector is one of the largest trades in the world, and a major contributor to the United States economy. This includes federal government construction, which this blog will focus primarily on.
Here we answer some frequently asked questions about government construction, including the bidding process for projects, how the government finances construction, and more.
How big is the federal construction industry?
A statistic from Statista shows the total value of new, federal construction within the US from 1999-2019. In 2019, the value of new federal construction put in place came to roughly 23.9 billion dollars.
Total value of new federal construction in the U.S. from 1999 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Even during economic downturns, federal government projects have always seemed to push through.
Where do you find government construction projects?
The GSA (General Services Administration) is a federal agency that handles most of the Unites States government’s construction requirements. The GSA bids out construction, development, architecture and other contract opportunities.
In order to participate in the bidding process, a firm must be registered on the SAM website, otherwise known as “System for Award Management”. It is here that your firm will find a plethora of design and construction opportunities for government projects. (FOHLIO).
How does the federal government finance construction?
According to the AGC, Federal construction projects are funded through a two-step process: Authorization and Appropriation. Authorizations provide both the authority and parameters for federal spending. However, construction projects cannot break ground without funds being made available through the annual appropriation process.
Congress has the authority to allow agencies to enact or carry out policy. Congress further influences an agency’s ability to implement policies by annual “appropriation” bills that fund agencies. These policy decisions can either accelerate or stall the implementation of policy which is already made.
“Each year, the appropriations committees send bills to the floor of the House and Senate concerning how much money they recommend funding to certain programs. Advocates must communicate each year to see that the appropriations committees recommend sufficient funds to support their programs.” – aafcs.org
Do government shutdowns affect construction?
The overall answer to this question, is yes. There has been a total of 18 government shutdowns in the U.S., with the most recent beginning in December 2018. This five-week shutdown took a significant toll on the economy, and construction employees were impacted as well.
According to BLDUP, government construction contracts that were awarded a fixed-price were largely unaffected by the shutdown. However, cost-type contracts, time and material contracts, and contracts that had not yet been awarded, were at risk.
Performance can be affected by shutdowns too. For example, a government construction project may require access to federal facilities in order to perform their contract work. During a shutdown, these facilities would be locked or inaccessible. As a result, the construction team would be unable to access the site to perform their contract work. These delays can push back construction projects by months or even a year.
Each circumstance varies, and ultimately comes down to both pay and access to the worksite. Perhaps the most heavily impacted sector by government shutdowns are highway and transit construction. In the past, millions of dollars in projects were delayed. “The disruption in federal funding flowing to the states affects future projects for determining which departments were going to award bids. This will put the bidding process on hold, especially in states that receive a large share of their highway dollars from the federal government.”- BLDUP.
Are all construction contracts in each state governing law?
When referring to governing law or choice of law, it is a clause which specifies that the laws of an agreed upon jurisdiction will govern the interpretation and enforcement of the terms of the contract (Contract Standards). In other words, there should be an agreed upon state in which the terms of the contract will be held to.
Federal government projects can involve professionals from many backgrounds, including contractors, subcontractors, and other workforce that are based in different states. This means that the laws of multiple states may be implicated. At the same time, construction law varies widely from state to state, so knowing which law applies is critical (Stites.com).
What kind of construction is used by the government?
Government construction projects can take on a variety of forms. They can be traditional and simple, or even large, complex projects. Development and building structures such as courthouses, administrative offices, government buildings, roadwork, flood control systems, and more can all fall under federal government projects.
Can modular buildings be used by the government?
Modular buildings are an excellent space solution for federally funded projects. Because modular buildings are temporary in nature, they provide efficient swing space for general contractors during on-site work. Upon completion, the office swing space can then be returned to the modular building dealer.
Benefits of construction office swing-space:
- Lease for as long as needed.
- The modular office building can be picked up after project completion.
- The government can finance the delivery and setup charges to balance their cash flow.
- Both the interior and exterior finishes are durable enough to handle the rigors of an active construction site.
Modular buildings do not have to be temporary in nature, however. A permanent modular building is an ideal choice for a courthouse or administrative office. The buildings can also be customized to meet the needs of your workforce and to match ascetically to surrounding buildings.
These are just a few examples of federal government departments that can use modular administrative offices:
- Air Force
- Amtrak (AMTRAK)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Coast Guard
- Defense Department (DOD)
- Department of Education (ED)
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
- National Guard
- Transportation Department (DOT)
For more information on modular buildings for government construction, check out our resources below. Or contact us today to receive a quote for your government construction project: firstname.lastname@example.org (877) 438-8627.