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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 228
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 09:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Article 3.12.4 of AIA Dcoument A201 sets out informational submittals. Do you--

1. Require such documents? If so, what types?

2. Send back corrections if they are non-compliant? [as indicated in MasterSpec's Section]

3. Feel or know there is increased liability simply by seeing and knowing about the contents, and/or identifying any errors?

Thanks for your comments!
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 10:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes absolutely. We do require them.

Examples include front end related stuff, such as subcontractors list, schedules, etc... Also testing & inspection reports, mill certs, etc...

Yes, though it's an Informational submittal, you have the right and the obligation to comment on it if there are problems with it. Testing and Inspection reports is a good example of this. Bolt misalignment requiring welding and Ultra sonic testing is a comon steel framing issue. These need to be tracked and followed up on, and then closed out with subsequent T & I reports from the inspector stating compliance achieved.

Liability? I have thought about this in the past, but per the A201, if it's a required submital, we have a duty to review it. If we don't want to see it, take it out of the spec!

Interesting example:
I have done a lot of tilt-up work in the past. The structural engineer always specifies that the contractor shall prepare and submit panel drawings indicating lift points, and any additional reinforcing related to erection.

Everytime I get them, the SE would return them as "not reviewed". Their rationale is that they really want the GC to take the time and plan out their operations, but since it's a means and methods item, the SE does not review it.

I'm still not comfortable with this.


Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 33
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

An approach that can be used with the Tilt-up panel drawings is to 1) require that they be designed for lifting /errection loads by a professional engineer licensed in the state of the project, 2) Remove from the specifications requirement that the submittal show specific information related to lifting, 3) State in the specification that the submittal is required to verify that a professional engineer evaluated the panels for lifting and that a technical review will not be performed.

This approach should make it clear what the expectations are and thus it should limit the liability. Liability typically is related to expectations not beeing met. Also note that AIA A201 states that the designers can rely on these calculations provided by the Contractor.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 20
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Good suggestions Mark. Thanks
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 34
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

One approach would be to list the different types of submittals in Division 1 and clarify the nature of the review/response for each class of submittal. In the technical sections you then need only refer to the submittal as an informational submittal. The default condition would be the classical submittal that is reviewed and returned.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 21
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Indeed. Our specifications state this fairly clearly now:

"B. Action Submittals: Architect will review each submittal, make marks to indicate corrections or modifications required, and return it. Architect will stamp each submittal with an action stamp and will mark stamp appropriately indicating action taken, as follows:"
[omitted in this example]

"C. Informational Submittals: Architect will review each submittal and will not return it, or will reject and return it if it does not comply with requirements. Architect will forward each submittal to appropriate party."

Prior to this, we define what is an Informational submittal. Here is an abbrievated list for example purposes:
A. Qualification Data:
B. Product Certificates:
C. Welding Certificates:
D. Installer Certificates
E. Manufacturer Certificates:
F. Material Certificates:
G. Material Test Reports:
H. Preconstruction Test Reports:
I. Compatibility Test Reports:
J. Field Test Reports:
K. Product Test Reports:
L. Maintenance Data:
M. Design Data:
N. Manufacturer's Instructions:
O. Manufacturer's Field Reports:
P. Insurance Certificates and Bonds:
Q. Construction Photographs:
R. Material Safety Data Sheets:
S. Research/Evaluation Reports:
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 68
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Two years ago I was part of a “how do we streamline our submittal policy?” group, which was prompted by our CA department. Prior to that, our CA’s were reviewing ALL submittals. Informational submittals do NOT need to be reviewed; understanding this basic principle cuts down on time spent in CA.

The following two MasterSpec Evaluations quotes were helpful in understanding our obligations and responsibilities for informational submittals, and probably are worth including in this discussion:

“Informational Submittals (also called administrative submittals) do not require responsive action by the Architect or the Owner, but are usually used for record purposes only. Many require the Architect's acknowledgment that they contain the required information, but this is not considered responsive action. Informational Submittals may be rejected for not complying with requirements.”

“Although Informational Submittals do not require responsive action by the Architect, they often cause the Architect to take other actions. Schedules and reports are good examples of Informational Submittals. Reports from a testing agency that show test results are Informational Submittals because they do not require the report to be approved or disapproved by the Architect; they are only for the record. However, if test reports show the Work does not comply with requirements, they may cause the Architect to reject the tested Work.”.

Regarding the issue of legal responsibility, your best action is to clearly define your submittals requirements in Division 1 generally, and specifically in the following technical sections, and then respond to the action and informational submittals consistent with your requirements.
Tom Heineman RA, FCSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: tom_heineman

Post Number: 58
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 12:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In addition to Action and Information submittals, our construction administration staff frequently received what I would informally call "responsibility-shifting" submittals.
These were unsolicited. I took them to be point-of-weakness probes, and to be repelled immediately.
Example: A "shop drawing" showing how unsupported masonry walls under construction were to be braced against wind.

These were sent back same day, sometimes with notes that amounted to "we do not review unsolicited submittals" or "means and methods are not the AE's responsibility". You get the idea.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 69
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 12:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

...to correct my previous post, I properly should have said "Informational submittals do not need response from the architect..." instead of "..do not need to be reviewed."

Our Division 01 language, as Nathan states, does call for "review" of informational submittals.

Embarrassing, given my call for being consistent.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 229
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

No problem, George; you're only human!

And "consistently human" at that!
Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 158
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 09:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Nathan, to add to your list, being that most of our work is in the SE US we add two Informational Submittals to every project - 'Mold Prevention Measures and Procedures' and 'Hurricane/Windstorm Preparedness Plan'.
Mold Prevention Measures and Procedures addresses written measures and procedures for the identification, documentation, and mitigation of mold and mildew during the construction of the building.
The Hurricane Preparedness Plan should address how the contractor will mobilize the project following a wind and/or hurricane event, documentation of damages, and how repairs will be managed in the event of loss. It also includes list of contacts and local resource information.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 231
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 09:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Mr. Woods, it is you Paragraph C. that concerns me, and our office.

Do you feel or have you had any legal input that indicates your liability status [added exposure, etc.] with the "review", and also with the "rejection" action you noted?

What is your authority [i.e., in what document] for these procedures?

I am also interested in the last provision and what is intended by "requring" the architect to distribute submitalls to all parties-- IF these are for record/information only.
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 22
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 12:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Added liability? No, not in general, at least, none that I have identified at this point. If we ask for the submittal, we have the duty to review it and take appropriate action (B141 - 2.6.4 and A201-4.2.7).

Our 01330 specification language further defines submittals into the various categories and provides instruction to the Contractor as to what they should expect from us upon receipt of the submittal. I view the integration of these documents as consistent to each other and additive in nature.

An example of what I would forward would be a 3rd party inspector's field report of a structural problem. I would be sure that my SE received a copy and then I would follow-up and implement whatever recommendations the SE may make.

Now typically, I have the inspection company copy the SE and myself directly (and CM, GC, etc...), but I always follow-up to be sure.

I think traditionally, that all submittals to consultants under the Architects scope have been routed through the Architect. That is the premise in our Paragraph #C. It is true that the pace of construction frequently overrides that practice. It is now common, and on some projects, encouraged, that the GC send the submittal directly to the responsible consultant, with the architect receiving a copy of the transmittal or in some cases, a duplicate submittal copy for concurrent review. However, in all cases, it is my practice that submittals are only returned to the GC through the architect.

I welcome any additional comment, experience or insight you may have on the topic of liablity. I am enjoying these forums on 4Specs, and have learned much from my peers.


Nathan Woods

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