Shop Drawings Putting Developments Faster Track
By: Isam Saad Sahawneh, B.Sc.C.E., Dip. Arb, Wednesday, February 02 2012
According to the definition provided by the The U.S.’s Engineers Joint Contracts Document Committee (EJCDC), Shop Drawings are all drawings, diagrams, illustrations, schedules, and other data or information which are specifically prepared or assembled by or for contractor and submitted by contractor to illustrate some portion of the work. These drawings are required to show more details than the construction documents do. Any project involves hundreds of shop drawings’ submittals. This process should be carefully monitored and managed to control and limit the potential of incorrect installation, associated delays, and incurred cost.
THE NEED FOR SHOP DRAWINGS
non-conforming work. There is no standard list for shop drawings. The engineer uses his professional judgment to specify the trades that require his review.
HOW THE PROCESS WORKS
The contract documents require that the contractor secures the written approval of the engineer on all shop drawings prior to execution of the works. This concept of approval, not really meaning, is long held and requires a clear understanding in order to evaluate how to apply in the construction phase. While seemingly complicated, it is really about doing the right thing to protect the intent of the parties. This approval does not change the contract requirements, nor does it mean that the product or the design meets the specifications. Approved shop drawings do not rise to the stature of contract documents. So what kind of approval is this? Contractors need assurance that if they perform in accordance with an approved document, they are in compliance with the contract. Yet the Engineer’s approval is conditional, even illusory.
ENGINEER’S REVIEW OF LIABILITY
Submittal reviewers must have adequate knowledge of the project and experience in the industry to make intelligent, professional decisions on the acceptability of materials, synchronization with other project components, and the overall interpretation of the design intent and contract requirements.
ENGINEER’S PIECE-MEAL REVIEW AND CONTRACTOR’S NON-COMPLIANCE
Conversely, contractors often fail to comply with the engineer’s review requirements. The consequence is a series of resubmissions that may ultimately delay the progress of the works. As such, the contractor’s schedule should account for one round of resubmissions to ensure that the progress of the works is not affected.
LIABILITY DUE TO DELAY IN PROCESSING SHOP DRAWINGS
Both the initial review period and the resubmission review period granted to the engineer must be indicated in the specifications. The second review period is ideally shorter than the initial period. Any delay by the Engineer does not extend the time for completion. As such, the Contractor needs to provide evidence demonstrating that the process of work was held back due to delays in shop drawing approval. Liability arising from tardiness in the processing of shop drawings was demonstrated in Sterling Millwrights, Inc. v. United States. The Department of the Army engaged a contractor to build a chrome plating facility. The Army suspended performance of the contract and raised a delay claim against him subsequently leading to his termination. The contractor’s schedule established a five-working days review period for shop drawings. The Army’s review of each shop drawing took at least double the time, significantly impacting the contractor’s ability to comply with the schedule. The court of claims ruled in favor of the contractor and converted the termination, permitting the contractor to recover the profit anticipated in the contract.
APPROVAL OF SHOP DRAWINGS DOES NOT INDICATE APPROVAL OF CHANGE
submittals and resubmissions resulted from the architect’s “uncertain, evolving idea of the color he wanted to see.”
FAILURES DUE TO IMPROPER SHOP DRAWINGS
There are numerous examples of failures due to improper shop drawings. An appalling example of the disastrous consequences of improper shop drawings is the changes that
field dimensions, safety issues, and other matters that do not fall under the engineer’s scope of work. Claimants focused on the word “approved” in the attempt of holding the design professional liable. The contractor is unquestionably responsible for errors or omissions in shop drawings.
C4 COLLABORATION SOFTWARE FOR RISK MITIGATION
caused by the inadequate communication and exchange of information. Adopting a solution oriented direction, elements of the AEC industry started moving away from traditional communication methods, relying heavily on online collaboration and project management (OCPM) technology. C4 is not merely a document management or collaboration platform, but also a management tool that can be used to identify areas of underperformance. C4 serves as a platform to expedite the construction process, mitigate obstacles that arise from traditional review forms, and reduce the risks of time delays.