HEART Releases Request for Proposals for Architectural Services

HEART’s Green and Livable Accessory Dwelling Unit Resource (GLADUR) program is seeking proposals from qualified architects and designers interested in contracting with HEART to prepare one or more sets of plans for the development of green accessory dwelling units.

The goal of the program is to make it easier and less expensive for homeowners to plan, design, permit, and ultimately build a green accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property. These designs will be available to the public for free, thus saving homeowners time and money on preparing plans and construction drawings. Homeowners can then reinvest a part of their savings in energy-saving features, space-saving amenities, and green building materials. HEART’s goal is to enable homeowners who would otherwise find the traditional ADU design and permitting process to be too expensive and time consuming to follow through with the construction of ADUs.

Photo Courtesy of New Avenue Homes

In addition, HEART will work with the selected architects to pre-review the designs with local jurisdictions in San Mateo County to reduce uncertainty and increase homeowner confidence in the approval process for their ADUs.

The deadline to submit proposals is 3:00pm on Friday, June 14th, 2019. To view the RFP, please click here. For Exhibit A, click here. For the consulting services agreement, click here.

FAQ: Please see below some of the questions that have been asked, as well as our responses to them. Please feel free to ask other questions or follow ups.

1. Q: What exactly needs to be submitted for this RFP?
    A: Please see PROPOSAL SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS items A-G on pages 3-5 of the RFP. For Section E you should provide an explanation of your approach and the tasks you would undertake to develop and provide HEART with the 4 different ADU designs. These should be listed in a way that helps us understand your process. For Section F, provide a detailed cost schedule, including items such as subcontractors, staff time, travel, reproduction, etc. The remaining submital items are relatively self explanatory.
2. Q: How will the designs be presented to the public?
    A:  The plans will be provided through our website in conjunction with our ADU Green Handbook. We will also make the plans available through cities, the County of San Mateo Home for All website, Hello Housing’s ADU one-stop shop, and through other housing related organizations.
3. Q: Can an architect and the contractor both be listed on the drawings?
    A: The input of contractors can be informative in in constructability and keeping costs down. Therefore listing a contractor on the plans is allowed as long as it is done from the perspective of a general contractor providing input as part of the design team, and that it does not imply other contractors may not use the plans to construct the units.
4. Q: Is there an overall budget or budget for each plan?
    A:  We have an internal budget, but will evaluate each proposal primarily based on its ability to meet our program goals. We do not want to limit anyone in their proposals by providing a specific budget. We encourage submitals of types, scopes and ranges in the hopes of meeting our program objectives.
5. Q:  How is the insurance liability being addressed for the firms if the architects are not contracted with the people who would be using the plans?
    A:  Based on conversations with a city that has most recently made ADU design plans available to the public, the architect’s insurance company had no issue when the plans were current. After some time however, the architect and city added a disclaimer on each page of the plans that waives liability for both the city and architect. For the purpose of this RFP, bidding architects may assume they have the option to add a liability disclaimer onto the plans, and/or obtain a quote from the insurance company for open usage for a period of two years and add that cost, and/or add an allowance for the cost of insurance to cover the cost for usage for two years for the four cities noted in the RFP. We may negotiate directly with the architect for any insurance costs beyond the initial two years and four cities mentioned in the RFP.
6. Q: Is it better to submit a proposal to make one of our existing designs greener or create an entirely new design that approaches zero net energy goals?
    A: We see advantages to both approaches. There are four designs being requested to which bidders could choose to submit a proposal for. Bidders could propose making an existing design greener for one design option, creating an entirely new design for a second design option, or any single approach or combination between the two approaches for up to four designs.


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