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Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 68
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 04:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Please share your thoughts and current requirements for quality of submittals or your action during review of submittals that are of poor quality.

This morning, I reviewed a product data submittal for stucco trim accessories that appear to have been 2nd or 3rd or 4th generation fax copies. The contrast for several of the submitted accessories was unreadable. The manufacturers name was not on the sheet. I used the brand name accompanying the photo to google for the manufacturer. This is a step I do not think I should be making during submittal reviews. Time is money.

My current Submittal Procedures section does not include requirements to prevent or mitigate this event.


Doug Brinley AIA CSI CDT CCS
Senior Member
Username: dbrinley

Post Number: 124
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 04:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We work with the field people (CM) first (chances are they've have had the same problem). Sometimes the CM will hold the stuff up as an example of how incompetent the work is being performed in the weekly meeting especially if he's had enough.
If the field people 'get it', we call or email without returning anything.
If the field people don't get it, we'll go to the rep if we know the manufacturer. Usually he or she can get something done on their end better than the general contractor.
We do not call subs and are prohibited from contacting the GC without the CM being present.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 67
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 04:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If this is the first instance on the project, return the submittal unreviewed, and call the GC: “I’m sure it was an oversight on your part when you reviewed your subcontractor’s/supplier’s submittal, but the cuts they submitted are unreadable. I’m sure you’ll want to correct the oversight by submitting an original and x-number of first generation photo copies, so we can get this reviewed and returned promptly.” If the contractor is a professional, you won’t have to deal with this sort of thing again.

If it’s a problematic contractor, return the submittal rejected with the note: “Illegible. Resubmit readable copies.” And keep rejecting until they get it right.

I agree with Doug, it is the GC's (or CM's)responsibility for the quality of submittals.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 230
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"You're holding up the job!! Just look at the submittal and stamp it off. You've only got 3 days to turn it around."

"Your spec said to submit 6 copies. It didn't say they had to be readable."

"This is just burdensome paperwork. We know what we're doing."

"The problem is the sub. They can't get good copies from the manufacturer in time. If you've got a problem with what they've done, call them and work it out."

blah, blah, blah.

This is why a substantial Division 01 section is needed for submittals procedures and why we have to specify such mundane details about the quality of the reproduction, etc. It's why firm and fair enforcement of contract requirements is important from the start of a project.

I've even had to specify that black & white reproductions are unsatisfactory for color selections!

The key is that the CONTRACTOR is responsible for the submittals. George Everding's recommended approach is excellent in tone and contractual substance.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 18
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - 08:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Remember also that the purpose of submittals for the contractor to demonstrate their comprehension of the requirements of the contract documents. (Article 3.12.4 of A201)

Additionally, Article 3.12.7 stipulates that the Contractor "shall perform no work" on a submittal item until it's approved by the Architect.

If the contractor can't demonstrate to you that he understands what he's required to do, then how will work proceed? They have no choice but to submit materials to you in sufficient methods that clearly demonstrate what they intend to use. If they can't do that, it's Revise and Resubmit until they can.
Jim Brittell
Username: jwbrittell

Post Number: 3
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 07:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I've heard every one of the quotes from John's post at one time or another, and we typically handle them as George recommended - call the contractor and discuss the problem instead of rejecting it.

Two other things that I see more often are hard copies of web pages and lots of pure advertising. The submittal information should not be telling me how wonderful the product or manufacturer is - I want to know the performance characteristics of the material.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 411
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 01:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Here is text that we have in our submittal section for years. Obviously, no one avoids faxing, so perhaps I should update that, but the rest of the text is straight forward. (By the way, I suggest everyone set their default resolution setting on faxes to at least "fine". The "standard" resolution became the standard at a time when faxes transmitted at something like 9600 baud. We can do better now without effort.)

A. Readability: Submittals, regardless of source, must be clear and readable as determined by the Architect.
1. Faxes: Avoid use of faxing in preparation of submittals. Where faxing is necessary, use extra-fine resolution. Submittals prepared with documents that have been repeatedly faxed such that they cannot be easily read will be returned by the Architect without review.

I have enforced it upon occasion.

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