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How to use ChatGPT to produce a generic Scope of Work (SoW)

Updated: Feb 6

We recently put ChatGPT to the test and briefed it to produce an SoW for a groundworks package, referencing the risks and opportunities to optimise the procurement cycle. The result was surprisingly comprehensive, and certainly a very useable starting point. Read on to see the exact prompts we used, and what it produced.


We used the following prompt to start:


“Write a generic subcontracted scope of works for a groundworks package that integrates the employer’s requirements and draws quantitative and qualitative data from the BIM model. Consider and identify typical risks and opportunities in this scope of works.”


In this example, ChatGPT created the action site prep, including instructions on the activities we would expect to see – demolition and removal of existing structures, protection of existing structures, and foundation works. It also linked it to the BIM model which added an interesting perspective. (You can jump to exact ChatGPT response here).


The response referred to the specifications for the pouring and curing of the concrete and the backfilling and compaction of these foundations. It did a surprisingly good job, not forgetting about drainage and utilities and the extra works.


Then, as requested it spat out the risks and opportunities and asked us to consider unforeseen ground conditions, such as rock formations and contaminated soil, and adverse weather conditions. Interestingly it also picked up on poor coordination and communication amongst subcontractors, as well as changes to the design and health and safety.


Additionally, it honoured our request for opportunities, asked us to collaborate, get involved with the design early, included details on how to include 4D and went as far as to set out some deliverables.


It also gave us a kind reminder at the bottom that this is a generic scope, and that we should collaborate and bring relationships to make it usable.


When we added a prompt to “include sustainable procurement perspectives to enhance the value of this scope of works could contribute to programmatic outcomes like social, environmental and economic value” it regenerated a response framing the scope to provide enhanced sustainable procurement perspectives. Here are a few highlights (or jump to the full revised response, here):


Social value first – engage local labour and prioritise hiring individuals from underrepresented social groups. Encourage apprenticeships.


Environmental – prioritise the use of sustainable and recycled materials during site preparation foundation works and external construction. Minimise waste, integrate green infrastructure – it really goes into a lot of depth there.


Economical value – conduct lifecycle cost analysis to evaluate the long-term economic benefits of materials and construction methods, ensuring cost-effectiveness and durability.


The whole process was effective and quick – a great working example of how AI can help us scope out our projects.


AI offers us the opportunity to improve what we do, using human talent to refine work rather than always outlining the basic starting point. If you’re looking to optimise your procurement processes, or incorporate ESG into your projects, get in touch to talk through how we could support this.

Exact ChatGPT article below:

Subcontract Scope of Works: Groundwork's Package

1. Introduction:

This subcontract scope of works outlines the requirements, responsibilities, and deliverables for the groundwork's package, integrating the employers' requirements and utilizing quantitative and qualitative data from the Building Information Modeling (BIM) model. The subcontractor is responsible for the successful completion of the groundwork's package as specified in this document.

2. Scope of Works:

2.1 Site Preparation:

- Clearing and grubbing of the site

- Demolition and removal of existing structures or obstructions

- Excavation and leveling of the site as per the BIM model

- Protection of existing structures or utilities during site preparation

2.2 Foundation Works:

- Installation of temporary foundation supports, if required

- Excavation and construction of foundations as per the BIM model and structural engineer's design

- Installation of reinforcement as per specifications

- Pouring and curing of concrete for foundations

- Backfilling and compaction around foundations

2.3 Drainage and Utilities:

- Installation of drainage systems as per the BIM model and relevant regulations

- Laying and connection of underground utilities (water supply, sewage, gas, etc.)

- Installation of manholes, inspection chambers, and other necessary infrastructure

- Testing and commissioning of drainage and utility systems

2.4 External Works:

- Construction of roads, paths, and pavements as per the BIM model

- Installation of kerbs, edging, and street furniture

- Landscaping and planting, including irrigation systems

- Provision of external lighting and signage

- Protection and reinstatement of existing external features, if required

2.5 Risk and Opportunities:

2.5.1 Risks:

- Unforeseen ground conditions, such as rock formations or contaminated soil

- Adverse weather conditions affecting productivity or site safety

- Poor coordination and communication among subcontractors, leading to delays or conflicts

- Changes in design or scope, impacting the groundwork's schedule and budget

- Health and safety risks associated with excavation, heavy machinery, and working at heights

2.5.2 Opportunities:

- Early involvement in design and planning to optimize the groundwork's efficiency

- Collaboration with other trades to identify potential clashes and resolve them proactively

- Leveraging the BIM model to visualize and simulate the construction process, enhancing productivity

- Implementing innovative construction techniques and technologies to improve quality and reduce costs

- Adopting sustainable practices, such as recycling excavated materials or incorporating green infrastructure

3. Deliverables:

- Regular progress reports and updates on the groundwork's package

- Quality assurance and quality control documentation

- As-built drawings and record drawings

- Testing and commissioning certificates for drainage and utility systems

- Handover documentation, including operation and maintenance manuals

4. Compliance:

- The subcontractor shall comply with all relevant codes, regulations, and health and safety requirements

- The subcontractor shall adhere to the employers' requirements and specifications

- The subcontractor shall coordinate with other trades and stakeholders to ensure smooth integration of the groundwork's package with the overall construction process

5. Conclusion:

This subcontract scope of works provides a comprehensive outline of the requirements and responsibilities for the groundwork's package. The subcontractor shall execute the works diligently, following best practices, leveraging the BIM model, and managing risks and opportunities effectively.

Note: This is a generic template, and specific details should be tailored to the unique requirements of each project. Consultation with relevant stakeholders and experts is advised to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Revised response, with sustainable procurement perspectives:

Subcontracted Scope of Works: Groundworks Package with Sustainable Procurement Perspectives

1. Introduction:

1.1 Background: - Provide a brief overview of the project, emphasizing the importance of sustainability in achieving programmatic outcomes.

1.2 Purpose: - Define the purpose of the subcontracted groundworks package, incorporating sustainable procurement practices to enhance social, environmental, and economic value.

2. Project Overview:

2.1 Project Scope: - Define the overall project scope, highlighting the commitment to sustainability and its alignment with programmatic goals.

2.2 Employer's Requirements: - Integrate sustainable procurement perspectives into the groundworks package, ensuring adherence to ethical, environmental, and economic considerations.

3. BIM Integration:

3.1 Data Extraction: - Prioritize sustainable materials and construction methods during the extraction of data from the BIM model.

3.2 Model Coordination: - Collaborate with other trades within the BIM model to identify sustainable synergies and opportunities for resource optimization.

3.3 4D and 5D Integration: - Utilize BIM for sustainability-driven project scheduling (4D) and cost estimation (5D) to contribute to programmatic outcomes.

4. Scope of Works:

4.1 Sustainable Material Selection: - Prioritize the use of locally sourced, recycled, or renewable materials in the groundworks package.

4.2 Energy-Efficient Practices: - Implement construction methods that minimize energy consumption and reduce the project's carbon footprint.

4.3 Waste Reduction: - Develop strategies to minimize waste generation and promote responsible disposal practices.

4.4 Social Inclusion: - Engage with local communities and promote social inclusion through responsible employment practices and community outreach initiatives.

5. Quality Control:

5.1 Sustainable Performance Metrics: - Integrate sustainability metrics into quality control measures to ensure the delivery of environmentally and socially responsible outcomes.

5.2 Compliance: - Ensure that all sustainable practices align with relevant industry standards and certifications.

6. Health and Safety:

6.1 Sustainable Safety Measures: - Implement health and safety protocols that prioritize the well-being of workers and the environment.

6.2 Hazard Reduction: - Identify and mitigate hazards associated with sustainable construction methods.

7. Environmental Considerations:

7.1 Biodiversity Protection: - Implement measures to protect and enhance biodiversity on the construction site.

7.2 Sustainable Water Management: - Integrate sustainable water management practices, such as rainwater harvesting and permeable surfaces.

8. Risks and Opportunities:

8.1 Risks: - Evaluate risks associated with sustainable practices, such as potential delays or increased costs, and develop mitigation strategies.

8.2 Opportunities: - Identify opportunities for innovation and value creation through sustainable procurement, potentially leading to cost savings and positive programmatic outcomes.

9. Project Deliverables:

9.1 Sustainable Documentation: - Provide comprehensive documentation highlighting the sustainable aspects of the groundworks package.

9.2 Handover: - Emphasize the long-term sustainability of the project during the handover process.

10. Conclusion:

Summarize the integration of sustainable procurement perspectives into the groundworks package, emphasizing the potential contributions to social, environmental, and economic programmatic outcomes.

Note: This enhanced scope of works incorporates sustainable procurement perspectives to align with broader programmatic goals. Continuous monitoring and collaboration with stakeholders are essential to ensure the successful implementation of sustainable practices.

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