Post Number: 5
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 11:49 am: |
Does "design-assist" in any way diminish the fact that per A201, submittals are not Contract Documents?
Post Number: 983
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 11:58 am: |
Not anymore than delegated design submittals do.
I've seen design-assist handled in a couple of ways. Typically the design-assist work gets incorporated, with modifications, into the CD's meaning that the A/E seal is attached. In those cases the design-assist originals are not used, only the content that gets incorporated into the A/E's final design. In the cases where the design-assist becomes delegated design, it's handled as an engineered shop drawing and is not part of the Contract Documents. The A/E still has to include sufficient information to get permits.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 11:59 am: |
This is design-assist by the usual definition where it is the contracting team assisting, not design professionals, they do not seal anything.
|Mark Gilligan SE, |
Post Number: 776
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:28 pm: |
When the design for components of the building is delegated to the contractor the contractor still need to produce a document, signed and sealed by a design professional, memorializing the design. This document must be part of the construction documents submitted to the building department for plan check and permit approval.
In many instances the contractors design professional will fulfill this requirement by sealing and signing shop drawings but this does not change the fact that as far as the building code is concerned the document is a construction document. This leaves open the question whether part of the construction documents, as defined in the building code, may not be contract documents.
If this delegated design is submitted after the issuance of the building permit it must either be treated as a deferred approval or a modification of the permit.
While this is consistent with the content of the IBC my sense is that in many jurisdictions practices may not be consistent with what is in the building code.
|Guest (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 11:55 am: |
What is the contractual definition of "design-assist?" I'm not recalling this as part of A201.
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 03:04 pm: |
In my understanding, "design-assist" is a somewhat newer animal than delegated design. There is no signing and sealing from a design professional hired by the contractor. Instead, it is a coming alongside the designers -- hopefully not beginning any later than DD -- to work out some of the details and specs that greatly affect cost, with input from usually a CMc's selected subs and suppliers. I do not think it is addressed in A201, so the CA-phase submittals are regular submittals, not signed and sealed. At least not to my knowledge so far on several CMc D-A projects.
Post Number: 984
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 03:08 pm: |
Who is the contracting team assisting? I presume they assist the Design Professional during the design process, before permit set documents are issued. If the Design Professionals incorporate the "assistance" into their documents, the A/E's seal puts the liability on the A/E regardless of where the input came from.
If by "Design Assist" you mean that the sub or vendor generates the sealed documents for inclusion in the CD's, then that sub or vendor carries the same liability as any other outside consultant who takes on that role.
The issue is that most Architects don't tend to understand their own liability. If they allow the Owner to authorize the subs or vendors to generate documents without making it clear that those documents have to be sealed by the folks who are preparing them and then expect the Design Professional to seal the subs/vendors documents while binding them as-is into the CD set, that is a problem. Who in their right mind would seal that?
The problems with this system is myriad. I've seen Owners "hire" a sub/vendor instead of a legitimate consultant because they don't want to pay their A/E or a consultant. Often they start out with a performance spec that they float to a handful of subs/vendors, get the best price for doing the work (design, fabricate, install), and then promise the sub/vendor that they'll get the job in exchange for free design assist. Very often these documents are then put out for competitive bid because Owners think it will keep the sub/vendor honest in their pricing. The sub/vendor anticipates that this will happen and therefore has no incentive to work well with the A/E and usually ignores the performance criteria established for the project, often creating a disastrous end result in terms of quality, energy modeling or LEED compliance. Additionally they tend to keep the content sufficiently cryptic so that either they add copious change orders after being awarded the contract or they walk away from a deficient design and let it turn into someone else's nightmare.
Whoever is driving the design assist bus needs to make it clear what the expectations are. Is the sub/vendor assisting the A/E in producing CD's? Is the sub/vendor providing sealed, engineered shop drawings or CD level documents? Is this a design/build subcontract that will be assigned to the GC? Is the sub/vendor just going to sit with the A/E and figure out some details or do a quality review of the A/E's documents but not actually generate anything? All of these options are fine as long as everyone agrees to a clear end result.
There are many variables. All of them need to be addressed in writing by all of the entities who end up being affected. Presume nothing. Accept that there is no such thing as a "usual definition" for design assist (at least I've never seen anything published, have you?). It's a moving target that means different things to different players.
|Mark Gilligan SE, |
Post Number: 777
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 04:42 pm: |
Design assist needs to be a collaborative effort and the contract should reflect that. This is one of the issues that IPD and Lean Construction contracts attempt to address.
|Guest (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 05:40 pm: |
What does "coming alongside the designers" look like? How does it work? What does working out some of the details look like and work?
Who defines what details and specs "greatly affect cost?" How are they identified? What defines cost; is it per the designer's estimate, the contractor's, a sub's or supplier's, a third-party estimator's?
What are the responsibilities of the selected subs and suppliers? What is the responsibility of the CMc? What is the responsibility of the designers?
What are the deliverables from the various parties? How are the deliverables intended to be used in the project? Will the deliverables be enumerated as contract documents in the eventual contract for construction?
How could this be addressed in A201, if A201 covers the general conditions for construction and this is taking place before construction begins (during DD phase)?
If it is not addressed in A201, where is it addressed? Is it in the Owner-Contractor Agreement? If so, how is there be a contractual responsibility of the designer to participate? Is it in the Owner-Architect Agreement? If so, how is there be a responsibility for the CMc to participate? Or a responsibility for their selected subs and suppliers?
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 07:24 pm: |
Guest, you raise many other good questions! Currently I am the most interested in the architect answering the question, like you put it, "Will the deliverables be enumerated as contract documents in the eventual contract for construction?" -- so far, the answer sounds like a NO on enumerating or otherwise capturing them as part of the Contract Drawings to show locations of a *code-required* item, because the shop drawings show the locations and since it was design-assist hopefully that covers everything (I say that tongue in cheek because this is the reasoning that was presented to me when I asked how is this item being shown so can the spec say "as indicated"?)
Concerns with this approach may include: Per A201 the Contractor does not need to interpret the code. And per A201, shop drawings are not Contract Documents. I do not think it is engineer-sealed shop drawings/delegated-design/deferred submittal. It sounds like finding that out for sure is the key issue. So, if it is not a sealed delegated design submittal, then what? Can the specs be revised to list the code requirements - is that adequate? I think that would be easier on the architect but not on estimators/installers type people to know for SURE what the extents are.
|Mark Gilligan SE, |
Post Number: 778
|Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 01:05 pm: |
I am going to suggest that much od the confusion is eliminated if one understands IPD and Lean Construction.
The classical approach is based on an arms length adversarial contract while IPD and lean construction focus on collaboration. Because of the early involvement of contractors who does what is typically sorted out during the design process. By the start of construction there should be a complete set of construction documents sealed and signed by the appropriate design professionals.
|anon (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 04:01 pm: |
In an ideal world, yes!
But "by the start of construction" and "complete" are the clinchers, in the way these types of projects seem to be going for every architect team so far that I've seen involved in lean projects, and even most projects "lean" or not since after the recession and designers tend to be less experienced in technical matters.
For example, do any other spec writers here have less than 100% success at getting design teams to show tempered glass locations on all projects? "Oh, but it's on the shop drawings, so we are OK" does not work if that is not shown on an engineered delegated design submittal.
"Just refer to the code" does not work since you cannot require the contractor to interpret code. But for a large project, the designers do not want to study it out on all the exterior and interior elevations.
So my temporary solution was to reverse it so all glass is fully tempered u.n.o. and ask the design team to put it on their drawings at early CD - which they never do (multiple firms, various projects) but they always say they will - either they forget, or they do not understand as well as they seem to.
Later, well into the construction phase, a large project that if it still has tempered u.n.o. would drive up the cost or make most of the glass non-compliant with the spec. In such a case, the contractor would have no worries about it because the shop dwgs have glass types.
If the architect's drawings do not, how is that time-savings going to turn out for them if there is one day an accident with glass breakage that the code said should be safety glazing and it was not in the official contract documents?
There could be any number of scenarios like this, I'm just using tempered glass locations as an example. Is that something that you mean would be included in "complete construction documents" "by the start of construction"? Pre-recession I had seen it happen a lot more. Post-recession it seems to be a rarity.
[Added paragraphs for easier reading - Colin]
|Mark Gilligan SE, |
Post Number: 779
|Posted on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 06:32 pm: |
My sense is that you are talking about classical owner contractor agreements, not about those projects managed as IPD or Lean Construction projects.
I am hearing an attempt to defensively specify glass because of the difficulties of getting individuals to coordinate the work.
IPD and Lean Construction are about involving the contractors in a collaborative manner early in the process. In these approaches the contractors are paid for their time assisting during design and the problems get worked out. This is not an ideal world. This has been the experience when these projects are well managed which they tend to be.
The real world experience has been that on Lean Construction projects litigation over problems almost does not exist. Understand what I am talking about before you respond "in an ideal world".
When the contractor operates in a design assist mode the design professional still signs the drawings. Still this early coordination results in less problems during construction.
|anon (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 10:24 pm: |
In the tempered glass example the latest one is on a CMc project with design-assist.
When the contracting team has done their part on this item, but the architect has not captured it on a contract document yet (submittals are not contract documents), what is the most efficient way to indicate tempered glass location requirements?