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John Hunter
Senior Member
Username: johnhunter

Post Number: 172
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 07:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm tidying up my submittal language to include the process to comply with IBC regarding deferred submittals. As I've been digging into this, the logical question of whether delegated design and design/ build scopes should also be considered deferred submittals has come to mind. I haven't found that the code directly defines these scopes that way, but it makes some sense that they should be considered and treated as deferred submittals.
How are you all treating these items?
Brett Wilbur
Intermediate Member
Username: brett_wilbur

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2022
Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 07:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I may be wrong, but I look at it in the opposite way. Deferred submittals/approvals are delegated design submittals. All deferred submittals are delegated design, but not all delegated design submittals are deferred submittals.

Deferred submittal meaning it goes into the AHJ for separate review and approval.

But I'd be curious to hear what others say too.
Nathan Woods, RA, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 895
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 08:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think they are different. Deferred means not at this time, it does not necessary mean by others (delegated), but I agree it usually does imply that.
T.J. Simons, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: tsimons

Post Number: 42
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2022 - 03:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with Brett-For Deferred Submittals (items like curtain wall, etc.) the engineering is performed by someone engaged by a subcontractor or fabricator, so it is Delegated Design. I think of Deferred Submittals as a type of Delegated Design activity; we have other items in our specs (countertop supports are one item that comes to mind) which require some engineering, but aren't always Deferred Submittals. The engineering required for these items is still Delegated Design. Typically in our projects, the great majority of our Delegated Design items are Deferred Submittals, but we usually have a few outliers.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1528
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2022 - 04:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

This topic has been confusing people for years and seems to have become one of those "It is what you say it is but means nothing if you don't define it."

I agree that delegated design and design assist can become deferred submittals but are not automatically so.

I find that some jurisdictions are very focused on actually receiving, and even reviewing, deferred submittals as part of the permitting process. I understand that some issue conditional permits with the understanding that they will have the opportunity to review and react to these submittals. Others don't read the specs and have no idea that entire portions of the project have only been schematically designed including critical elements such as building enclosure elements.
Senior Member
Username: edwardheinen

Post Number: 11
Registered: 04-2022

Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 - 11:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

AIA produced a publication on the topic, which I found to be useful (https://www.aia.org/articles/6319252-design-assist-vs-delegated-designindustry-).

Many of these terms remain "working definitions" in practice, and need to correlate to procedures in Division 01.

I have found that some AEs assume incorrectly that if they label something delegated design, and couple that with informational submittals, their obligations as AOR are somehow reduced. I'd say that is an easy path to claims of negligence - noting many of these work items are subject to special inspections.

I will scope out and identify areas of work that are "delegated design" and "design-build subcontract" in preliminary phase outline specs. Many AEs don't seem to understand the difference, so my list helps to categorize and plan ahead of construction.
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 980
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2022 - 02:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The way I look at this is delegated design is a contractual issue typically between the owner and the contractor. A deferred submittal is a building code issue that allows the final design to be submitted after the permit has been issues. Think of the use of a deferred submittal as a phased plan review.

The impact of a delegated design on the Architect or Engineers liability probably requires an opinion of a lawyer and may be situational.

If there is claim related to a delegated design element, then the delegated designer and probably the contractor will be asked to contribute to the settlement thus reducing the effective liability of the AOR.

The question is the nature of the review the AOR or subconsultants should perform on the delegated design. It is common for the EOR to focus on the interface between the delegated design and the system that the engineer designed. Do the loads and other aspects of the delegated design provided to the EOR make sense. Think of this as a sniff test.

In some special cases the Owner might retain a specialty contractor to design their system prior to completion of the design of the building. The Contractor is then told that he will have to use this specialty contractor.

If the EOR is told that a sub system will be a delegated design, it seems inconsistent to assume that the EOR will perform a detailed review and effectively be liable for the final design of the delegated system. Instead you might be better off hiring a sub consultant with expertise with the specialty system.

While some delegated design elements may be subject to special inspection these inspections are not intended to catch errors in the design and would have little to no impact on the AOR's liability related to the design.

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