Smart Procurement and Housing

A smart procurement solution, as follows, could help accelerate housing construction activity.

The Land Development Agency, the contracting authority, on its own behalf and on behalf of Approved Housing Bodies, tenders for the construction of an initial quantum of 100,000 social and affordable housing units on identified public sites where planning permission has been secured.

Using the Competitive Dialogue procurement process, the LDA negotiates the technical specifications for distinct housing unit types with pre-qualified potential contractors.

A maximum of three contracts are awarded with a guaranteed minimum of between 25,000 to 40,000 units to be allocated to the preferred contractors. This arrangement is designed to attract bidders of scale from outside Ireland.

Contractors bid on the basis of a fixed price per type of housing unit, adjusted for annual inflation, with a ten-year warranty period.

Prevailing guidance on sustainable construction practices, modern methods of construction, and the use of low carbon construction products apply.

The Department of Housing’s role is limited to oversight and financial audit.

Bespoke contract terms to be based on FIDIC/NEC forms.

A SEAI grant of upwards of €50,000 is allocated towards the cost of building units to a B2 energy efficiency standard. Grant levels per unit type to be negotiated with successful contractors. The grant would be deducted from the contractor’s agreed cost per unit.

Views are welcomed.

Copyright Bid and Tender Management Services Ltd. The material in this post is purely for information and discussion and does not purport to advise on matters of law.

Green Public Procurement to Become Compulsory?

The Programme for Government contains a commitment that the use of GPP criteria in all
public tenders will become compulsory for the end of the term of the Government. Yet,
there is no sign of an enabling Bill.
Does that mean the current voluntary approach that other Member States apply will
continue? The answer lies in the European Commission’s proposal to recast EU Renewable
Energy Directive (Article 7) which, once adopted, will become law in Ireland.
The key provisions covering GPP are as follows.

1. In relation to tenders valued over the EU threshold, contracting authorities must
purchase only products, services, buildings and works with high energy efficiency
performance (as defined in Annex IV to the Directive).

2. Contracting Authorities are also required to assess the feasibility of concluding long-
term energy performance contracts that provide long-term energy savings when
procuring service contracts with significant energy content.

3. Ireland will have the option to legislate to require Contracting Authorities to take
into account wider sustainability, social, environmental and circular economy
aspects in procurement practices with a view to achieving the EU’s decarbonisation
and zero pollution objectives.

4. Contracting Authorities will be required to take into account the EU’s GPP criteria
(and not just those set at national level).

5. The energy efficiency impact of above EU threshold contracts will have to be

6. In relation to new buildings larger than 2,000 square metres, the life cycle global
warming potential of the building should be published.

7. Ireland will be required to provide clear rules and guidelines, including
methodologies on the assessment of life cycle costs and environment impacts and
costs and to set up a competency support centre (EPA or OGP?).

8. Ireland will also be required to introduce legislation to facilitate Contracting
Authorities in the use of long-term (multi-annual) energy performance contracting.