Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protests denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Nan, Inc. regarding the award of three multiple-award contracts to P&S Construction, Inc., under a request for proposals (RFP), which was issued by the Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command for design-build construction projects in Singapore.
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Far East issued the RFP for the award of multiple design-build construction contracts to provide a variety of general construction services including: new construction, building renovation, alteration, repair of facilities and infrastructure, roofing, and demolition. The RFP anticipated the award of three indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contracts for a one-year base period and four one-year options. The RFP stated that the initial task order issued under the ID/IQ contract would be a “seed project” to repair and upgrade four units of a Naval Guest Inns and Suites facility in Singapore. The solicitation required offerors to submit their technical solution for the seed project. The solicitation described the project as a “full renovation of the existing building,” which consisted of living and dining rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, master bedrooms, second and third bedrooms, and corridors and verandas. The work was intended to result in a “completely renovated building with four (4) living units, in compliance with international and local code of practices and standards (whichever is stringent and applicable).” In this regard, the solicitation referenced the applicable codes, including: the International Building Code (IBC) “with exceptions and additions noted in UFC [Unified Facilities Criteria] 1-200-01,” and the Whole Building Design Guide, which incorporates UFC standards.
Nan argued that the agency failed to evaluate the offerors’ proposals for the seed project in accordance with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria. In this regard, Nan asserted that the RFP required compliance with the IBC’s standards for emergency egress and natural ventilation for the internal bedrooms, and that offerors were therefore required to revise the drawings provided in the RFP to ensure compliance with the IBC.
GAO stated that the terms of the solicitation provided that the seed project work would be performed on an existing Naval Guest Inns and Suites building. As it pertains to the seed project, the solicitation described the required work in various sections as repairs, improvements, and/or renovations. The work relating to the bedrooms entailed refinishing floors and walls, and replacing electrical outlets. Based on the IBC definitions for alterations, repairs, and additions, the Navy argued, in response, that the work contemplated by the solicitation would be classified as an alteration–”[a]ny construction or renovation to an existing structure other than repair or addition.” GAO, therefore, found that the only reasonable interpretation of the relevant IBC provisions is that, while the alterations must conform to the IBC code, all aspects of the existing building need not be brought up to current code simply because alterations are being made within the building.
GAO determined that Nan’s reliance on sections of the IBC were misplaced because these portions of the IBC are inapplicable where alterations were performed on an existing building that do not include or encompass any change to the current emergency egress and natural ventilation structures or systems. To the extent that Nan believed that the phrase–full and complete renovation–meant that the scope of work for the seed project would require more work than the specific tasks set forth in the statement of work, GAO did not find the protester’s argument reasonable.