Architectural RFP (Request for Proposal)

Architectural RFP: Matching professionals to projects

Find the right firm or project with an architectural RFP. Organize details and timelines to lay the foundation for a successful project.

Image courtesy of BNIM

Woman at desktop computer displaying an architectural drawing
Many architecture projects start with a formal RFP from the client that outlines the project.

What is an RFP in architecture?

A request for proposal (RFP) in architecture is a formal document issued by a client to invite qualified architectural firms or professionals to submit proposals for a specific project.

Architects at meeting table with laptops
Architectural firms prepare detailed proposals in response to RFPs.

What is an RFP in architecture?

A request for proposal (RFP) in architecture is a formal document issued by a client to invite qualified architectural firms or professionals to submit proposals for a specific project.

Rendering of the courtyard of a proposed building complex
In response to an architectural RFP, qualified firms prepare proposals outlining their design approach and scope of services—often accompanied by conceptual visualizations and data analyses. Image courtesy of PKA.

Responding to an architectural RFP

Responding to an RFP for architectural services is a systematic process. It begins with submitting letters of interest expressing the firm’s intent to participate, followed by a qualification statement highlighting the firm’s experience and qualifications relevant to the project.

The main component is the detailed proposal, outlining the firm’s design approach, methodology, and team composition and addressing client requirements. The proposal also includes a defined scope of services including tasks, deliverables, and responsibilities. Architectural firms also present a fees section, providing a transparent breakdown of costs for the proposed services. A well-organized and comprehensive response is crucial for showcasing the firm’s capabilities and increasing the likelihood of being selected for the project.

Software plays a pivotal role in creating accurate architecture proposals through features such as:

  • template creation for standardized formats
  • version control to manage changes
  • collaboration tools for real-time input from team members
  • data integration to pull up-to-date information.

Automated calculations within the software ensure accurate cost estimations for the fees section and robust document management capabilities organize supporting materials. Workflow automation streamlines the entire proposal creation process, and built-in quality assurance checks help identify potential errors or missing information before submission.

Examples of software that support the creation of responses to RFP in architecture include Autodesk Revit for its templates and built-in assurance checks; and Autodesk Docs, Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro, and Autodesk Forma for their collaborative tools that organize data, improve visibility, and reduce errors. A combination of these tools, along with attention to detail, ensures accurate proposals.

Benefits of using Autodesk software for RFP responses

Using software for the request for proposal process in architecture offers numerous benefits, including:


Document management software like Autodesk Docs helps streamline the RFP response process, automating tasks and reducing manual efforts. This leads to faster proposal creation and a more efficient workflow.


Consistency and standardization

BIM design software like Autodesk Revit offers standardized templates, ensuring consistency across proposals and projects. This consistent approach enhances the professional image of the architectural firm.



Integrated software suites like Autodesk Docs, Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro, and Autodesk Forma offer tools for real-time collaboration among team members. This fosters effective communication, feedback, and collaborative input, improving the quality of the proposal.


Data accuracy

Integration with databases and automated calculations improves data accuracy, reducing the risk of errors in qualifications, team information, and cost estimations. Accurate data contributes to the credibility of the proposal.


Document management

Software like Autodesk Docs enables seamless organization of all necessary documents and supporting materials. This ensures that the proposal is comprehensive, clear, and meets the requirements outlined in the RFP.


Quality assurance

BIM software like Autodesk Revit includes built-in quality assurance checks, identifying and rectifying potential errors or inconsistencies in the proposal. This ensures a polished and error-free submission, enhancing the chances of securing projects.


Autodesk software for architectural RFPs

Plan, design, construct, and manage buildings with powerful tools for Building Information Modeling.

Manage project information in a cloud-based, common data environment

Cloud-based design co-authoring, collaboration, and coordination software for architecture, engineering, and construction teams. “Pro” enables anytime, anywhere collaboration in Revit, Civil 3D, and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

Improve project outcomes with conceptual design and modeling tools, and real-time analytics

Powerful BIM and CAD tools for designers, engineers, and contractors, including Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Autodesk Forma, and more

2D and 3D CAD tools, with enhanced insights, AI-automations, and collaboration features. Subscription includes AutoCAD on desktop, web, mobile, and seven specialized toolsets.

Architect success stories

Sweco headquarters in Stockholm

Sweco Architects

Embracing data to enable success

A leading architecture and engineering consultancy uses Autodesk Forma and Autodesk Revit to share data between stakeholders, processes, and platforms.


Image courtesy of Sweco

Autodesk Forma sun hour analysis of proposed buildings

BPD (Bouwfonds Immobilienentwicklung)

Securing stakeholder buy-in

A leading property developer in Germany uses Autodesk Forma to mitigate site risks and make data-driven decisions.


Image courtesy of BPD

Rendering of the LaGuardia Mixed Use Development project, Flushing/Queens, NY

TVS Design

Integrating people, processes, and technology

An architecture and design firm uses the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, & Construction Collection to transcend traditional architectural processes and save clients time.


Image courtesy of TVS Design

Architectural RFP resources

Build a template for responses to RFPs from the ground up with this guide to RFP proposal management and interviews.


See how a unique multidisciplinary organization uses Autodesk Forma to stay at the forefront of architectural innovation.


See how a design studio used Autodesk AutoCAD to design a minimalist space for leisure and play.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on requests for proposals

What is a request for proposal (RFP) for architectural services?

A RFP for architectural services is a formal document issued by a client—such as a business, government agency, or organization—seeking architectural services for a specific project. The RFP outlines the project’s goals, scope, requirements, and evaluation criteria. It invites qualified architectural firms or professionals to submit detailed proposals that address the client’s needs and demonstrate their qualifications and approach. The RFP typically includes information about the client’s expectations, project timeline, budget, and specific criteria for selecting the architectural firm.

What is an RFQ in architecture?

In architecture, an RFQ, or request for qualifications, is a formal document issued by a client to gather information from architectural firms or professionals about their qualifications and experience for a specific project. Unlike an RFP (request for proposal), which focuses on detailed project proposals, an RFQ aims to prequalify firms based on their expertise. Architectural firms interested in the project respond by submitting information about their past projects, relevant experience, key personnel, and certifications. The client evaluates these responses to shortlist or prequalify firms based on their qualifications.

How does an architect go about getting bids for a project?

Architects initiate the process of obtaining bids for a project by creating detailed project documentation, including architectural drawings and specifications. Before inviting bids, a prequalification process helps identify and shortlist contractors based on qualifications, experience, and financial stability. The architect divides the project into bid packages, inviting qualified contractors to submit proposals. Comprehensive bid documents outlining project details, specifications, and contract terms are provided to the contractors. Bids are submitted within a specified time frame, and a public bid opening is conducted for transparency. The architect and project owner evaluate bids, ultimately awarding the contract to the selected contractor.

What should be included in an RFP?

An effective RFP in architecture should comprise:

  • an introduction outlining the project’s purpose and objectives
  • a comprehensive project description specifying scope and requirements, and qualifications and experience criteria for architectural firms
  • clear submission instructions, including deadlines and format requirements

Clearly defined evaluation criteria, budget information, and project timelines help firms tailor their proposals appropriately. The RFP should articulate the scope of architectural services, outline terms and conditions, and specify the proposal format for consistency. Additionally, including contact information for inquiries ensures a transparent and efficient RFP process.

How can software help with an architectural RFP?

Autodesk software helps elevate the accuracy and efficiency of responses to architectural RFPs. Autodesk AutoCAD empowers architects to craft precise technical drawings, including detailed floor plans, elevations, and sections. As a BIM (building information modeling) software, Autodesk Revit allows the creation of 3D models with seamless integration across disciplines, ensuring coherence and precision in proposals. Autodesk Civil 3D provides essential tools for site planning, grading, and landscaping, while Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro fosters real-time collaboration among project stakeholders, helping ensure accuracy and consistency in proposals. Autodesk Forma enables architects to explore innovative solutions tailored to project requirements.

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