RFP Announcement

Request for Proposals for Architecture & Engineering Services for Design of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Enclosure


Architecture & Engineering Scope

GMTO is seeking to contract with a highly qualified Architecture and Engineering (A&E) firm that has the technical experience and technical personnel depth to deliver a superior design for the GMT Enclosure within the available budget and the required schedule. The design and construction documents prepared by the selected A&E firm will support procurement of the construction services needed to build the GMTO Enclosure, at Las Campanas, Chile, with predictable quality, cost, and schedule.

The “Architecture & Engineering (A&E) Request for Proposal” (RFP) scope of services includes:

  • Completing the design and engineering of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) upper and lower enclosure, which currently includes the following:
    1. Enclosure Foundation design
    2. Telescope Foundation, Pier, and Seismic Isolation System design
    3. Upper enclosure design
    4. Lower enclosure design
    5. Summit Utility Tunnel design
    6. Summit Utility Building design
    7. Support Site 1 Utility Yard design
  • Answering and resolving construction contractor Requests for Information (RFIs), and approving submittals during procurement and construction activities.

Approved bidders will receive the necessary detailed design information. Concepts, sketches, schematics, renderings, and scales shown reflect evolving bridging documents and are for reference only. A partial collection of the reference design information will be contained within the formal Request for Proposal.  All remaining elements of the reference design and the bridging documents will be provided to the successful bidder at the time of award.

Primary Suppliers

Suppliers should be experienced in the design and/or fabrication of large kinetic structures. Prior experience with astronomical telescope enclosures is beneficial, but not required.

Secondary Suppliers

Potential secondary suppliers can express their interest in the project in an email to aerfp@gmto.org. GMTO will not be directly involved in making teaming or partnering arrangements, but can share your request to be considered as a sub-tier supplier.

The Interested Bidders List as of 2-8-2021 is provided here: A-E Bidders List-1

RFP Process and Timing

There are several stages to the RFP. All dates are preliminary and are subject to change.

  1. September 15, 2020: Expression of Interest form and information packet available
  2. October 27, 2020 at 5 pm (PDT): Expression of Interest form return deadline
  3. November 18, 2020: Due date for draft Statement of Work (SOW) comments.
  4. December 10, 2020: Pre-Bid Conference
  5. March, 2021: Request for Proposals released to qualified bidders
  6. March, 2021: Notice of Intention to Bid due
  7. May, 2021: Proposals due

Source selection will occur approximately two months after the proposal submission deadline.

Pre-Bid Conference Agenda is provided here:


Pre-Bid Conference Presentations are provided here:

03 Fanson_Project_Overview v2

04 – GMT Site Overview v1.3

07 – Special Considerations v1.3

08 – A&E Pre-Bid Presentations_GMT Enclosure 12.09.2020

09 – Pre bid conference Systems 12092020

05-06 -A&E Pre-Bid Contracts proposal and SOW

Bidder Questions and Answers

Bidder questions and answers, updated 10-28-20, are provided here:

RFI QA 10-28-20

More Information/Contacts

For more information, or to express your interest in being considered as a potential primary or secondary supplier, please email aerfp@gmto.org with the subject line “GMTO Architecture & Engineering RFP”.

This presentation provides more details about the GMT Enclosure Design project. View PDF.

Download the GMT Architecture and Design RFEI information document here.

Download the Expression of Interest RFEI form here.

Frequently asked questions about the GMT project are available here.

GMT Enclosure (left) and Summit Utility Building (right).

GMT Enclosure (left) and Summit Utility Building (right)

Section view of Enclosure, Summit Utility Tunnel, and Summit Utility Building

The GMT site as seen from a drone. In the foreground are the support sites and in the middle is the GMT summit where the excavations for the foundations for the enclosure and telescope pier can be seen. In the distance to the left are Carnegie Institution's twin Magellan telescopes.

GMT Site at Las Campanas, Chile

GMT Site at Las Campanas

GMT Summit at Las Campanas, Chile as of February 2020.

GMT Site Master Plan