The Importance of Shop Drawings Reviewed By Architects should never be discounted. Many companies turn their shop drawings over to low-level staff members to review, yet doing so is often a mistake. It is best to allow an architect to review these documents, as doing so allows potential problems to be discovered early in the process. This helps to keep costs down for the contractor and helps to ensure he or she receives fair compensation for the job. If a problem is detected after work has begun, he or she is typically responsible for the cost overruns. This third party is often more objective and can see things those close to the project may overlook.
Companies often worry about taking this step simply because they don’t want to admit there was a design flaw to the client. The key to doing so without losing the client’s confidence is to identify the problem and provide potential solutions. This is less painful than completing the project only to find a problem is present and the system is flawed in one or more ways. The client definitely will not be happy in this situation.
The Contract Submittal Process For Shop Drawings
First and foremost, only submit those documents outlined in the contract that are required for review. The architect will review those documents, returning others without touching them. The contractor is the sole person who may submit these documents, as opposed to subcontractors or vendors. The general contractor is the one who coordinates the project, thus he or she needs to review the drawings. In addition, he or she sets the schedule for the project and the architect needs to adhere to it, taking into account the possible need for a resubmittal. Following the submittal process helps to keep the project on track. Finally, the contractor must ensure submittals meets specifications or the architect will return them to the contractor, which delays the process.
The architect examines these documents to ensure they conform with the design concept outlined in construction documents. They aren’t approving the means of construction, the method, the techniques, procedures, or sequences. Nor are they responsible for approving safety precautions.
Types of Submittals
The action submittals are those which require responsive action on the part of the architect and contain written and graphic information. Shop drawings fall under this category as do design submittals.
The information submittals are ones which don’t require approval from an architect. They only include written information and might be rejected in the event they don’t meet requirements. This includes certificates, supplier reports, and source quality control submittals.
Closeout submittals are required and cover everything from operation and maintenance manuals, record documents, and extra materials to submittal of warranties and bonds.
Maintenance material submittals are likewise required and include spare parts, tools, and extra stock materials.
The construction submittal process needs to be followed carefully to reduce risks for all parties. In addition, it must be monitored and managed at all times to detect problems and costly mistakes along with any risk of personal injury. However, changes to the shop drawings don’t override contract documents that have already been approved. Be aware that the architect must issue a change order or approved changes in the work or construction change directive before the contractor can legally disregard the contract and follow the architect’s directions. The contractor must ultimately comply with the contract documents, thus any changes made following the submittal of shop drawings or other documents must be updated in the contract.
The process tends to be time-consuming, so individuals involved need to ensure they are following the process exactly. Any delays in the submittal process can lead to delays in completion of the project, and this negatively reflects on all parties involved. In the event there are questions, they need to be addressed immediately to ensure other issues don’t arise.