To understand how to organize a submittal log, you must have a clear understanding of submittal logs and what they entail. A construction submittal log is created by a general contractor and subcontractor. The general contractors submittal is created to obtain information from subcontractors, while the subcontractors submittal log is used to track approvals and key dates. It can come in several forms such as samples, product data and the most common form, shop drawings. Submittals are NOT contractual or legally binding, they simply give insight into quality and dimensions of the finished product.
Submittal logs also serve as a timeline to keep the project team on task and ensure the work is compliant with the contract. In bigger projects, the submittal process and is more formal and the logs are ultimately submitted to an architect or engineer for further review and will be returned stamped “MAKE CORRECTIONS NOTED,” or “REJECTED.” This review process determines if the project is ready to go or if revisions need to be made. Projects cannot begin without submittal approval. That’s why it’s best to start the submittal logs early to prevent delays in shipment of materials and to allow time to fix potential mistakes. There are various submittal type logs utilized throughout the construction project process.
The Spec Section of Submittals
The most common construction submittal logs include:
Preconstruction Submittal Logs
- Certificates of insurance and workers’ compensation coverage documents
- Schedule of submittals and anticipated project schedule
- Necessary permits and safety plans
- Shop drawings
- Product data
- Delegated design
- Test reports
- Coordination drawings
- Operation and Maintenance Data (O&M) manuals
- Extra stock AKA “Attic Stock”
- Change orders and RFI’s
Although the above mentioned are the most common submittal logs, others include:
- Test reports
- Progress photos
- Quality control reports
- Progress Schedule
- Product Data
The type of project will determine which submittal logs are necessary. The submittal log will include item numbers, materials, quantities, drawings, deadlines, names of subcontractors, descriptions of the work provided, inspections and tests, and providers of materials.
Ready, Set, Submittal
When creating a construction submittal log the rule of thumb is to start simple and add in the details as needed. Dates should be attainable and there is usually a section for planned dates and one for actual dates. The submittal schedule assists in determining staffing requirements and helps to ward off delay claims by keeping the subcontractors accountable. It’s best to begin with a title of the project and then add the necessary details such as item number, quantity, manufacturer, warranties, drawings, samples, and certifications.
Submittals ensure a certain level of quality is met, structures are safe for public use and that there is a common understanding among those involved in the construction process and how they will work together. If there is an issue that arises along the way, there is a specific plan of action to follow to ensure the project gets back on track with little recoil. The contractor would notify the engineer or architect of the issue at hand and they would determine if materials need to be switched or plans need to be modified. These interactions are supported with documentation and an addendum is added to the original submittal if a change is made.
Reasons submittals are rejected include:
- Late submittals
- Information in drawings is inaccurate
- Materials do not match project specification
- Submittals were sent to the design team before the general contractor
- Not enough time to review submittals relative to schedule
The design team can prevent rejections by:
- Checking all work prior to submitting
- Send the submittals to the general contractor for review before the architects and engineers receive the logs
- Follow the submittal schedule to ensure there aren’t any rejections due to delays
- Make sure work is thorough, correct and compliant with the contract
When it comes to ensuring a smooth submittal process, make sure to use a proven submittals tool such as eSUB project management software. eSUB’s Submittals allows subcontractors to focus on the details that are most important for them to track without the complexity of GC-based systems.