Chapter 2: Courthouse Programming
Features or systems not included in the initial cost estimate might not be funded if
identified later in the process.
Two basic contracting or procurement methods are available for prospectus-level
federal courthouses: design-bid-construct and design-build. The procurement method
is chosen by GSA with input from the judiciary.
While both design-build and design-bid-
construct projects include construction cost
estimates, the funding amount needed for a
design-build procurement is more difficult to
change. Design-build contracts determine the
construction budget earlier in the facility
development process, resulting in a higher
level of uncertainty than a budget based on a
completed design. Thus, design-build contracts
require more funding for contingencies and
reserves to allow for unforeseen requirements.
After selection of the procurement method, GSA develops a project site and design
prospectus as a statement of justification and projected costs. The prospectus includes
the cost of site acquisition, project design, and project management. GSA submits the
prospectus to Congress for authorization and appropriation of funds. Prospectus
budget limits are very difficult to amend after Congressional approval.
When project funding has been authorized and appropriated, GSA selects the design
architect/engineer with input from the courts in accordance with the requirements of
the Brooks Act (40 USC Sections 541-544). The courts must actively participate
throughout the selection process to become familiar with the various design teams and
to ensure that each team understands the court's facility requirements. Court
participation is important because once a design team is selected, the success of a
project depends on the ability of all parties to communicate effectively.
During the design stage, after a more definite cost estimate has been generated, a