Tulsa commercial contractors are responsible for the flow of information in a variety of areas. These areas include but are not limited to submittals, change orders, and request for information or RFI’s. The required submittals for a given project can be found in the specifications. The American Institute of Constructors, AIC, defined specifications as follows:
“…The specifications make up the bulk of the project manual and provide detailed descriptions of the material and equipment to be installed in a building. The drawings provide the geometry of the building, and the specifications are used to define the nature of the materials, the procedures, and the minimum installation standards. Both are needed to know the design intent of the project…”
Most specifications for the Tulsa commercial contractor contain the CSI format in either 16 or 50 divisions and are broken into 3-parts. The AIC described the three-part specification format as follows:
“… Another contribution CSI made to the construction industry is its introduction of the three-part technical specification format. Most specifications are divided into three parts: general, products, and execution. The standardized three-part format makes it much easier to locate specific information within a product’s technical specifications. The description of each part is found below:
Part 1, General, provides a description of the work, the submittals required, and any inspections or testing needed to be performed by the contractor.
Part 2, Products, provides the technical specification of all of the material or equipment described in the section.
Part 3, Execution, provides clarification on how material and equipment are to be installed. Minimum workmanship standards are provided along with approved installation procedures…”
Once the Tulsa commercial contractor knows what submittals need to be submitted, they must gather the appropriate submittals from the appropriate party responsible. The AIC’s definition of submittals is:
“… Submittals: The submittals, which include product/material data, shop drawings, and samples, are provided by the subcontractor and reviewed by the prime contractor and the design team. The contractor and designer check for general consistency to the contract document. Reviewed submittals do not supersede the contract documents, and if discrepancies exist, either before or after the review, the contract documents govern…The term submittal is a general term that refers to product/material data, shop drawings, and samples required by the designer to be reviewed prior to installation. Which materials required to be submitted, the number of copies, and the specific information to be provided can be found in the technical specification section of the project manual. The purpose of the submittals is to verify that the contractor has understood the design intent and/or to complete the design to fulfill the designer’s intent…”
Tulsa commercial contractors go through an intensive submittal process if there are several trades that will be working on a project. Since the specifications are broken up in general by trade or function, the more trades or function in a project the more submittals there will be. The AIC’s submittal process follows:
“… In most cases, submittals are first assembled by the subcontractor. Product/material data, commonly called cut sheets are produced by the manufacturer of the material. Cut sheets provide the specific tests and standards that the material meets. It also may include the various options the material or equipment has and may be used by the subcontractor to order the material from the vendor. Shop drawings are different than product/material data sheets in that they are usually custom documents for the specific project. Shop drawings often resemble the designer’s drawings except have a great deal more detail. The purpose of shop drawings is to show the designer the specific means and methods for meeting the design intent of the contract drawings. Approved shop drawings are then used to fabricate and install the material.
Once the subcontractor assembles the product data, shop drawings, and samples, the submittal package is formally submitted to the general contractor. There should be a transmittal that accompanies the submittal package that specifically indicates what is submitted, the number of copies included, and what the relevant specification sections are. The general contractor then reviews the package and verifies that what is submitted is consistent with the contract documents. In addition, it is the general contractor’s responsibility to coordinate all of the trades’ submittals to avoid conflicts. For example, the elevator submittals should be coordinated with the structural steel shop drawings to make sure the shaft opening is the correct dimensions. The trade-specific information of the elevator shaft size won’t be shown on the contract documents but is a critical means-and-methods responsibility of the contractor. After the review, the contractors put their stamps on the drawings indicating whether or not they accept the submittals. Most contractors’ stamps will indicate whether the submittal 1) is accepted, 2) is accepted with comments, 3) needs to be revised and resubmitted, or 4) is rejected. Contractors will commonly use green ink for their review, architects will use red, and engineers blue.
If the general contractor accepts the submittal, they will transmit it to the architect for their review. If the submittal involves a trade or system for which the architect has hired an engineer to design, such as structural, civil, or MEP, then the architect will forward the submittal to them for their review. After the engineer reviews the submittal, they will transfer them to the architect, who then sends them back to the GC and ultimately back to the subcontractor. The architect and engineer will also stamp the submittal indicating whether they accept or reject the submittals as being in compliance with the contract documents. Under most contracts it’s only after all parties have accepted the submittal that material can be ordered. This makes certain submittals critical and a very important early activity of the job…”
For areas that are designed specifically for the project the Tulsa commercial contractor is concerned with, there will be shop drawings showing how the designed material will be installed into the project to be operational. Millwork, Aluminum storefronts, and duct drawings are common shop drawings. These are in used to eliminate conflicts and prepare for their installation. The AIC defines shop drawing approval as follows:
“… There is a great deal of misunderstanding as to what the acceptance or approval of the submittal means. In general, an approved submittal means that the parties have reviewed the submittal and it appears to be in compliance with the design concept. Submittal stamps will use very loose and noncommittal language. It is important to understand that submittals are not change orders and do not change the provisions or scope of the contract. If the wrong product was submitted but approved by the architect, it does not necessarily mean that it can be installed by the contractor. There is much case law surrounding misapproved submittals, which is beyond the scope of this study guide. However, as a general rule, any deviations between the submittal and contract documents should be clearly identified and brought to the attention of all parties, and if the proposed deviation is accepted, it should be formalized with a change order or other contractual change document…”
Once shop drawings have been approved the material will be fabricated or ordered according to the shop drawings and often the owner and architect will want copies of the shop drawings for their records because the often contain insight to work that is covered up.