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Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 142
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 05:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What are the actions listed on your submittal rubber stamp and why are they that way. Legal advice or insurance carrier advice?

Architects usually express their opinion of the shop drawings, product data, and samples by use of the rubber stamp which usually has some exculpatory language in fine print plus some options which can be exercised by use of check marks. Often the stamp says something like "Review is for general compliance with Contract Documents. No responsibility is assumed for correctness of dimensions or details."

The various options to be selected include Reviewed, Approved, Rejected, Revise and Resubmit, Furnish as Corrected, No Exception Taken, Make Corrections Noted, and Submit Specified Item.



George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 179
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 05:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We use...."Stamp Text in Quotes": (Division 01 definitions in paren.) --

"Reviewed - No Exceptions Taken": (No corrections or resubmissions required, fabrication may proceed.)

”Reviewed - Make Corrections Noted": (If Contractor complies with noted corrections, fabrication may proceed and resubmission is not required. If for any reason the Contractor cannot comply with the noted corrections, fabrication shall not proceed and Contractor shall resubmit, following procedures outlined hereinbefore.)

”Reviewed - Revise and Resubmit": (Contractor shall revise and resubmit for review. Fabrication shall not proceed.)

"Rejected": (Submittal is not in compliance with the Contract Documents, and is not acceptable. Resubmit Contract compliant material.)

"For Record Only": (Submittal has been received and will be retained for record keeping purposes.)

But personally, I prefer the old fashioned APPROVED, APPROVED AS NOTED, REVISED AND RESUBMIT, REJECTED. Since the General Conditions A 201 state “the Architect will review and approve or take other appropriate action upon the Contractor's submittals,” I am not convinced that merely using other wording in a review stamp relieves us of our approval responsibility. Besides stating our approval responsibility, A 201 also limits our responibility to review for conformance with design intent.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 91
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 05:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I would submit that what your review stamp says is not nearly as important as what you agreement with the owner says and that the conditions of the contract for your projects have language in conformance with the Owner/A/E agreement. AIA documents says the Architect will review and approve or take other appropriate action. That is where you should start rather than the language on your stamp. I think when it comes down to an interpretation of responsibilities, the Owner/A/E agreement will have precedence. If your agreement says you are going to approve the submittals it will not change that fact by having different language on your stamp. The language on the stamps should be coordinated with the responsibilities stated in the agreement.

I also believe that there is some court decisions (although I wouldn't swear to it) that have basically ruled that no matter what language you use, if you process the submittal in a positive manner, you have in essence approved it and that in effect, all the weasel words that may make someone feel better, have not had the intended result in court interpretations. I do not have the citations to back that up - maybe someone else has some citations to that effect.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 99
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006 - 06:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As Robert has stated, courts have long held that the Architect Approves submittals, in accordance to the requirements and limitations of our contract.

I will go further, and state that the word "Reviewed" on your submittal response is a failure to fullfil your contractual obligations. Your Contractor has the right to request direction from you. The word Reviewed does not provide direction, it is only the first part of your duty, it does not complete your duty.

For many years the word "Approved" was shuned and feared. But it is almost irrelevant what your stamp says, when your contract has defined what your stamp means. DPIC even did a full 180 on this, in recent years (before they went away), their Contract Guide encouraged architects not to hide behind the languge on the stamp.

For that reason, our stamps are fairly streamlined. We've removed all the stuff about what the review is and is not covering, what the contractor is still responsible for, etc., and have boiled it down to this:
Architectural Review:
Review, comment or notation regarding the submitted material is for general conformance with information provided and design concept expressed in the Contract Documents.





J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 194
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 01:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am sure that many of you have been around long enough to see this issue go full circle. I remember in the '70s and early '80s when every one was revising the "Shop Drawing" stamp to remove any reference to approval or disapproval. I always felt that this was about the pinnacle of useless "weasel words." I had always wondered what it would be like to be on a witness stand in front of a jury and try to explain why "Action A" did not mean that I had reviewed something and then approved it.

I still feel like that if an Architect is going to take the time to look at something, mark it up, and indicate that the product(s) covered by the submittal can or cannot be used, then the Architect should be prepared to use the term "Approved" and other related terms.

Try looking one of your less sophisticated clients in the eye and explain why your review is not some sort of gate keeping process to enforce contract requirements. "We won't 'APPROVE' that Shop Drawing, but we will indicate that the Contractor can use the product indicated in the Shop Drawing on your building. Really, it isn't an 'approval' process; it's a review process to make sure the Contractor builds what we drew and spec'd. Well, of course he can't use something that we don't approve of, but we won't approve it after we review it and it does conform to contract requirements...." Am I the only one that thinks such rationale are absurd on the surface?
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 544
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have been told by attorneys affiliated with liability insurers that, supposedly, juries tend to think the word "approved" encompasses a broader degree of responsibility that just checking the shop drawing. They reportedly think it means that extensive research into the submitted product or asembly has been done. Whether the stamp language matters, I don't have the data on it. Maybe there's an attorney out there who can comment on this.
David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: davidcombs

Post Number: 148
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 08:30 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The language on our stamp is consistent with A-201, The CSI Project Resource Manual, and our liability insurance carrier's guidelines:






The first four are for "action" submittals; the "No Action Required" is for informational submittals.

I know of no increased liability issues, claims, or disputes regarding the use of this verbiage.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 144
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 04:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Thanks to all who took the time to reply to my posting.

Mahalo and Aloha

DLH (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, April 03, 2020 - 11:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If a submittal has 90% of the products that are acceptable, and say only 1 or 2 you would like resubmitted, should the submittal be marked "Approved As Noted" or "Revise and Resubmit"?
If Approved as noted and it is noted to resubmit just one item, is this clear? And if it is marked Revise and Resubmit, then the fabrication/procurement process may be held up for a majority of the correct items. Thoughts?
Ronald L. Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 1576
Registered: 03-2003

Posted on Friday, April 03, 2020 - 12:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How are you accepting submittals? Does the contractor collect everything they have at that time, regardless of section number, and send that in as a single submittal? If so, they're doing it wrong. Each submittal listed in a section is a separate submittal (e.g., submittal for Section 05 50 00 Shop Drawings).

Now some may accept all listed submittals for a single specification section as a single submittal (e.g., submittal for Section 05 50 00 includes product data, shop drawings, certificates, etc.); however, that could be problematic. For example, if the shop drawings were based on a product within the product data that was not acceptable, then the shop drawings would need to be revised, too, thus requiring additional effort--and possibly additional time--on everyone's part.

If a single section has several products and the product data submittal included all of the products, then that is okay. If, as you say, 90% of the products submitted with the product data submittal were okay and the remainder not, then I would return the submittal as "revise and resubmit" so that the approved submittal contains the product data for all of the acceptable products.
Ron Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 803
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Friday, April 03, 2020 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In these scenarios, I use more than one checkmark and tick off both boxes. I then list what I want re-submitted, and on rare occasion, I will include a note such as "Okay to release for fabrication as submitted" if my R&R items are not directly related to fabrication. Its all about communication.
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 926
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Saturday, April 04, 2020 - 08:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

From the point of views of a sub consultant.

Typically the owner contractor agreement calls for the Owner to approve submittals. Thus the Architect acting for the owner may approve the submittal. But since the sub consultant does not have the authority to approve the submittal, it is appropriate for the subconsultant to indicate that the submittal was reviewed and leaving the formal approval to the contractor.
David J. Wyatt, CDT
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_cdt

Post Number: 325
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 02:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It is strange reading a discussion thread running in 2020 that the late Bob Johnson contributed to back in 2006. May he rest in peace.
guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 11:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If you don't want the liability of approving a submittal, then don't ask for the submittal! Ideally, but unrealistically, delete all submittals...the drawings should establish what (not how) you want it built...ideally. But I guess we don't live in a ideal world do we?
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 1125
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 09:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

AIA A 201 states that the purpose of the submittals is for the Contractor to show how he intends to comply with contract requirements. If the Drawings indicate exactly what product is to be used, you should be inundated with substitution requests.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP

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