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RFPs & RFQs for A & E


RFPs are Requests for Proposals and RFQs are Request for Qualifications. In both cases these are notices of the need for architects and/or engineers. Both types are advertised in newspapers, or in the FedBizOpps (FBO) database, or elsewhere. Both require a submission of qualifications. But, an RFP usually also requires a submission of a fee proposal or an hourly rate schedule.

You may become aware of these by calls from previous clients, potential new clients, or from other contacts.


If you are a Consulting Engineer, on most projects, you will not be the “prime professional”; you will be a “sub-consultant”, usually to an architect. For example: If a hospital is building a new wing they will hire an architect to handle the whole project. He would be the “prime professional” and you would be a “sub-consultant” to the architect in your specialty.

On the other hand, if the hospital wants to add a generator they might hire an electrical engineer to be the “prime professional”, who might in turn, hire an architect as a “sub-consultant” to design a generator building and a mechanical engineer as a “sub-consultant” to design the exhaust, ventilation and fuel supply requirements.

Assuming that you are not qualified to be the “prime professional”, notify all existing clients who would likely to be qualified and interested, by e-mail or fax. Encourage them to respond and include a list of your previous similar projects and request to be part of their team.

Attend the “pre-bid” conference. Be seen and get a copy of the attendance list. E-mail or fax qualifications and a request to be part of the team of the architects that were not accompanied by an engineer of your discipline. Follow through with a phone call explaining why you are the best qualified consultant for the project.


Pay special attention to projects for which you are qualified to be the “prime-professional”. On these you will sit in the driver’s seat, will not have to give a portion of your fee to an architect, many of these will lead to repeat work, and often to referrals.

Read the request carefully and respond completely, in the order listed, with the number of copies requested. Also include other appropriate marketing materials.


To learn about “FEE CALCULATIONS” “Click Here”.

To discover “FEE CONSIDERATIONS” that you might be overlooking “Click Here”.

Excerpted from The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING © 2015 John D. Gaskell. Used with permission of Professional Value Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Order at Use coupon code “paperback” and save.