New Spin on Bid Sets

by Michael S. Watson, P.E., Sr. Struct. Engr.; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 8, Pg. 55-57

Document Type: Feature article


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' electronic bid set (EBS) system involves putting drawings and documents on CDs to save time, money, and effort. For example, the Corps typically prints and mails at least 100 sets of construction documents to bidders for every project. Paper reproduction can easily cost $40,000 or $50,000 on large projects, while putting documents on CDs and producing 100 copies costs only $1,200, regardless of the size of the project. Storing bids on CDs also ensures that engineers can find the plans when they need them and that the data remains undamaged for long periods of time. The software used to view the documents can also be used to post the drawings and other information to a project web site. While some improvements are still needed, software manufacturers seem willing to develop the new features that engineers need.

Subject Headings: Bids | Construction costs | United States Army Corps of Engineers | Computer software | Internet

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