International Falls Land Port of Entry Project - A/E Services   4

Type: Synopsis Solicitation • ID: 47PF0022R0039


Posted: June 15, 2022, 11:24 a.m. EDT

GSA Design Excellence Solicitation for Lead Design Architect
C-Architect-Engineer Services Solicitation Number: 47PF0022F0039

Region: 05
City: International Falls
State: Minnesota
Contracting Officer: Anna Vanko
Phone Number: 513-505-6253

PROJECT: International Falls Land Port of Entry, International Falls, MN
PROJECT TYPE: New Construction - Land Port of Entry
CLIENT AGENCY: Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Projection
SIZE: approximately 100,000 gsf to 150,000 gsf
BUDGET: $154,000,000 to $164,000,000
FUNDING: Funds are currently available via Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Continuing a legacy of outstanding public architecture, the General Services Administration (GSA) Design Excellence Program seeks to commission our nation's most talented designers and artists to design federal buildings of outstanding quality and value. These projects are to demonstrate the value of true integrated design that balances aesthetics, cost, constructability, reliability; create environmentally responsible and superior workplaces for civilian federal employees; and give contemporary form and meaning to our democratic values.

In this context, GSA announces an opportunity for Design Excellence in public architecture for performance of architectural/engineering design in accordance with GSA quality standards and requirements. As required by law, the facility will meet federal energy goals and security requirements and the facility will include design in metric units.

The project is a new land port of entry on the northern border in Minnesota. The proposed site is in International Falls, adjacent to an existing Land Port of Entry. This new project will be a gateway to our country and will transform an obsolete border facility into a state-of-the-art commercial port of entry, which will improve safety and security for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. It shall make a distinct architectural statement that is responsive to the efficient movement of trade and commerce, the security requirements of law enforcement agencies, and the welcoming of visitors and citizens to the United States of America. The intended delivery method will be Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc) which will include a firm-fixed price Design Phase and a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) Construction Phase Option.

The Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the current tenant. The existing facility was constructed in 1993, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Although the existing Land Port of Entry is not old, it was designed and constructed several years before the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the significant changes to the way business operations occur at the border. It is on an extremely constrained and congested site which is surrounded by an active paper mill operation, traversed by inbound and outbound road and rail traffic, and is very close to the foot of the international bridge connecting International Falls and Fort Frances, Ontario. Consequently, the current facility is not adequate in size, efficiency, safety and security. The existing building cannot be expanded upon to meet the new requirements of the Federal Inspection Services on the existing site.

The scope of professional services will require at a minimum: professional architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, traffic engineering, interior design, interior space planning, and related consulting services for the concept design documents, design development documents, construction documents, specifications, cost estimates, value engineering services, development of a GSA Building Design Standard, Building Information Modeling (BIM), computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) administration, Information Technology (IT), Audio Visual (AV), security, and post-construction contract services (PCCS). The project is also to include GSA design standards; conformance to the P-100 (Facility Standards for Public Buildings), including LEED certification; and customer agency requirements, including the Land Port of Entry Design Standard. GSA aims to minimize tenant disruption and maintain operation of the existing LPOE throughout construction through construction phasing.

The project scope includes an expanded Program of Requirements, over a previous FY2011 study, of space and facilities for the Federal Inspection Services/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA), and Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS), to carry out their agency missions at the border. The current facility only houses CBP; USDA and FWS will be new tenants in the new LPOE. The improvements project includes design and construction of new buildings. Expanding the site will allow for enhanced traffic flow and management, and removing existing dangerous traffic conflicts between travelers entering and leaving the United States with railroad trains traversing the current site.


  1. The project will be compliant with the Design Excellence Guiding Principles and GSA's Design Excellence Program will be implemented as part of the project.
  2. The project must occur while the existing port remains fully operational.
  3. In accordance with NHPA Section 106, consultation with the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) must be conducted and an archeological survey must be completed.
  4. Unknown site and environmental issues will be investigated during the course of design and remediation plans developed, as appropriate.
  5. Stormwater management on the constrained site will require use of Best Management Practices to comply with EISA Section 438.
  6. Sustainability requirements and goals beyond P-100 baselines, including LEED Gold and Site Silver, reduction in whole-building embodied carbon, operational Net Zero, Fossil Fuel Free, Water Net Zero, and Grid-interactive efficient building (GEB) resilience will require study and integration into the project to the maximum extent possible.

This is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) of A/E firms/lead designers interested in contracting for this work. The A/E Firm as used in this RFQ means an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity permitted by law to practice the profession of architecture or engineering that will have contractual responsibility for the project design. The lead designer is the individual or the team of designers who will have primary responsibility to develop the concept and the project design. The lead designer will also be involved in commissioning an artist or artists for this project and in assisting with the successful integration of works of arts into the architectural design.

A/E firms are advised that at least 35% of the level of contract effort must be performed in Minnesota, where the project is located. The A/E firm will address the contractual relationship with the lead designer and project team in Stage II. At that time, the following specialty consultants may be required: security consultants, railroad design consultants, shoreline civil engineering.

The A/E selection will be completed in two stages as follows: In Stage I, interested firms will submit portfolios of accompaniment that establish the design capabilities of the lead designer and Design Firm. In Stage II, shortlisted lead designer-AE teams will be interviewed.

Stage I
All documentation will be in an 8 1 2 inch by 11 inch format submitted electronically in PDF format. The assembled content for the Stage I portfolio should be no more than 35 pages, inclusive of cover page, index, and dividers.

The portfolio should include the following: a cover letter referencing the announcement and briefly describing the firm and its location, organizational makeup, and noteworthy accomplishments; Standard Form 330 Architect Engineer Qualifications Part II, and responses to the submission requirements and evaluation criteria listed below. An A/E Evaluation Board consisting of a private sector peer and representatives of the client and GSA will evaluate the submissions. The Board will establish a short-list of the highest rated three to six firms.

Identification of team members other than the lead designer(s) is not required at this stage. Consultant and production firm (if different from the Design Firm) information should not be included in the Stage I portfolio.

Submission Requirements and Evaluation Criteria:

  1. PAST PERFORMANCE ON DESIGN (35%): The A/E Firm(s) will submit a portfolio of not more than five projects where the design was completed in the past 15 years; construction must have been completed in the past 15 years (maximum of five pages per project). The narrative shall address the design approach with salient features for each project and discuss how the client's program, function, image, mission, economic, schedule, and operational objectives were satisfied by the overall design/planning solution. It should comment on the relevance of submitted projects to this project, including remoteness, harsh climate, sustainability goals, impact to public transportation/railway routes, and phasing of a project that must be operational 24/7. This section of the submission should include tangible evidence such as certificates, awards, peer recognition, etc., demonstrating design excellence, and provide a client reference contact for each project, including name, title, address, email, and phone numbers. A representative floor plan, a site plan, a building section, photograph or other appropriate graphic representation, and a minimum of two paragraphs must be included for each project. Stage I submissions which also highlight the firms' experience with the unique situations/risks identified above will be evaluated more favorably.
  2. PHILOSOPHY AND DESIGN INTENT (25%): In the lead designer's words (maximum of two pages), as related to this project, state: the parameters of an overall design philosophy; their approach to the challenge of public architecture and related issues, parameters that may apply in creating a secure and welcoming state-of-the-art border facility and commitment to integrated and sustainable design.
  3. LEAD DESIGNER PROFILE (15%): Submit a biographical sketch (maximum of three pages( including education, professional experience, recognition for design efforts inclusive of the portfolio examples. Identify and describe areas of responsibility and commitment to each project.
  4. LEAD DESIGNER PORTFOLIO (25%): Submit a portfolio representative of the lead designer's ability to provide design excellence. Address their participation in each project. If a single designer, submit a portfolio of up to three projects where the design was completed in the last fifteen years (maximum of five pages per project; project construction of the aforementioned projects shall have been completed within the past ten years). If the lead designer is a team, submit graphics and a description of up to two projects from each lead designer or Design discipline. The narrative shall address the design philosophy with salient features for each project and discuss how the client's program, functional, image, mission, economic, schedule, and operations and maintenance objectives were satisfied by the overall design/planning solution. Include tangible evidence such as certificates, awards, peer recognition, etc., demonstrating design excellence. Where there is duplication with criteria (1) Past Performance on Design, the lead designer shall address his or her participation in the project.

Stage II
The shortlisted lead designers and associated A/E firms will be notified and asked to submit more detailed information indicating each member of the design team, including all outside consultants. Sufficient time will be provided for the lead designer and associated A/E design firm to establish its team. The firms will be required to complete Standard Form 330 Architect Engineer Qualifications Parts I and II which reflects the entire design team. The government will establish the detailed evaluation criteria and the date that these submittals are due and provide the selection criteria for the interviews along with the Stage I shortlist announcement.

GSA intends to hold a small business networking session in International Falls, Minnesota after the shortlist is developed. The date, time, and location will be announced with the short list. This session is intended to assist short-listed lead designers in assembling their full teams, and someone from the shortlisted lead designers' firms should be in attendance at this session to meet with the representatives from the small business in attendance.

The Selection Board shall interview each team. Candidates should be prepared to discuss all aspects of the criteria indicated above and evaluation criteria as established for Stage II, and demonstrate their ability to fulfill all project requirements. Emphasis will be placed on the lead designer-A/E Team's understanding of the unique aspects of the project, their design philosophy, project management process, and quality assurance plan. Responses to the evaluation criteria and interview questions will be used to rank the lead designer-A/E Teams.

Firms having the capabilities to perform the services described in this announcement are invited to respond by submitting Standard Form 330 Architect Engineer Qualifications Part II, which must not be dated more than twelve months before the date of this synopsis along with letter of interest and the portfolio to:

Contracting Officer: Ms. Anna Vanko
Email Address:
Phone Number: 513-505-6253

ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE by 2:00pm Central Time on June 20, 2022.

Offerors are required to submit one (1) emailed electronic version of their proposal. The subject line of the email shall include 47PF0022R0039 International Falls A/E Stage I Submission followed by the firm(s) name. Emails, including message body, headers, and attachments are limited to 25MB. Zip files are acceptable, but the following attachment type/extensions are not permitted in any email incoming to GSA, including inside zip files: ade, adp, asx, bas, bat, BHx, cer, chm, cmd, com, cpl, crt, dbx, dll, exe, hta, htp, inf, ins, isp, js, jse, lnk, mda, mde, mdz, msc, msi, msp, mst, nch, pcd, pif, prf, reg, scf, scr, sct, shb, shs, url, vb, vbe, vbs, wms, wsc, wsf, wsh, htm, 7z. Failure to adhere to the email limitations may result in a late submission and will be subject to FAR 52.214-7."

This procurement is open to small and large business concerns. Before award of the contract, the A/E (if not a small business of under $8,000,000 average annual receipts) shall be required to present an acceptable Small Business Subcontracting Plan in accordance with FAR 52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan. Small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business firms are strongly encouraged to participate as prime contractors or as members of joint ventures with other small businesses. All interested large business firms are reminded that the successful firm will be expected to place subcontracts to the maximum practical extent with small business concerns as part of their original submitted teams (Stage II).

This contract will be procured under the Brooks Act and FAR Part 36. The government will not allow payment for travel, living expenses, computer time or hookups for the prime or the consultants during the selection process. This is not a Request for Proposals (RFP).

Only Stage I submissions are being requested at this time. The following Stage II information is presented for information only. For more information on the GSA Design Excellence Program, please visit

The evaluation of the complete design team after Stage I will be substantively as follows:

  1. Team Design Performance (50%)
    Lead designer-A/E teams must address issues of historical context, design image, and function as they have been approached on past projects. The presentation of this factor shall draw similarities to the scope and complexity of this project. The proposed lead designer-A/E team should demonstrate it can work together successfully.
  2. Team Organization and Management Plan (30%)
    A clear and efficient management plan delineating the team structure must be included and should incorporate sub-consultants. Roles, responsibilities, lines of authority, coordination and communication should be outlined and the team shall present the means to integrate client, community, and when required, the public, travelers, and security input. A process for establishing quality control and commitment to quality control standards while designing within budget and schedule limitations should be included. The plans should also identify the physical location of major design and production work, the coordination plan for consultant work, and for work produced in remote offices.
  3. Professional Qualifications (15%)
    The lead designer-A/E team project manager, lead designer and engineers should demonstrate that they have the qualifications, experience, and commitment to organize all efforts required for this project. The lead designer-A/E team must indicate:
    -A process where the lead designer plays a substantive leadership role.
    -A quality control methodology for the design.
    -A primary commitment from the lead designer to this project.
  4. Geographic Location (5%)
    The lead designer-A/E team must demonstrate capability to perform 35% of the contract effort within the state of Minnesota.

Amendment 0001 - Posted 5/27/2022; Attachments: RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0001 SF30, RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0001 RFIs.

Amendment 0002 - Posted 6/08/2022; Attachments: RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0002 SF30, RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0002 RFIs.

Amendment 0003 - Posted 6/15/2022; Attachments: RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0003 SF30, RFP 47PF0022F0039 Amendment 0003 RFIs.

Posted: June 8, 2022, 3:22 p.m. EDT
Posted: May 27, 2022, 11:54 a.m. EDT
Posted: May 18, 2022, 5:35 p.m. EDT


Response Deadline
June 23, 2022, 2:00 p.m. EDT (original: June 20, 2022, 3:00 p.m. EDT) Past Due
May 18, 2022, 5:35 p.m. EDT (updated: June 15, 2022, 11:24 a.m. EDT)
Set Aside
Place of Performance
International Falls, MN 56649 United States

Current SBA Size Standard
$12.5 Million
Fixed Price
On 5/18/22 PBS Region 5: Great Lakes Region issued Synopsis Solicitation 47PF0022R0039 for International Falls Land Port of Entry Project - A/E Services due 6/23/22. The opportunity was issued full & open with NAICS 541310 and PSC C211.
Primary Contact
Anna E. Vanko   Profile
(614) 469-2791


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