Construction submittal examples for improved field productivity are more than just the document submitted. It is the overall process and schedule that makes or breaks construction submittals. When contractors can’t make their submittal schedule, or the submittal isn’t approved, it can throw the schedule through a loop and reduce their field productivity. Find ways to improve your field productivity with these construction submittal examples.
What is a Construction Submittal
In construction, subcontractors submit certain types of documents to the architects and engineers for approval. In construction that would be samples, drawings, product specifications, technical data, or other physical information. Many plans will have specs of the materials that will be used, but sometimes there will be differences.
The typical construction submittal process involves the subcontractor submitting documents to the architect or engineer. From there the engineer or architect will approve or disapprove the documents. These documents are the samples, specifications and technical data. The architect or engineers have to make sure that these products won’t compromise the overall integrity of the building.
Construction Submittal Process
Submittals ensure all project participants’ accountability and help the project stay on track. Here are the construction submittal example steps.
The first step in the construction submittal process starts during pre-construction. The pre-construction conference brings together all stakeholders and gives everyone a chance to ask questions and discuss the project. This is the place for clarifying the submittal process and ensuring that everyone understands the standards. This will help prevent mistakes and delays.
It’s important to set a schedule, as the schedule will help keep the project on track. A schedule for submittals is also essential because the architect or engineer has only so many hours in the day to ensure that the materials used will be stable for the project. They don’t want to do submittals purely on a first come first serve basis. Subcontractors working towards the end of the project won’t need their submittals approved immediately, but subcontractors working on the project sooner will need them. It gives them time to either resubmit with different materials, or it gives them time to purchase the materials.
This is the time where subcontractors prepare their submittals. They need to attach all documentation, and sometimes even samples. For some things, like paint, it might be getting color approval. While other areas, like for the foundation or structural integrity of the building, they might have a different approval process. Regardless, everyone must submit all required documentation outlined at the pre-construction meeting.
The review process will be done on the architect or engineer’s side. They will look at the materials list and all supporting documentation to determine the effect of the material on the project. This is to prevent issues down the line and to protect the structural integrity of the building. Without the review process, there is always a chance that the materials could cause rework. Once the submittal is approved or disapproved, then the subcontractor can resubmit with new materials, or they can get to work.
Construction Submittal Examples of Documents Needed
Each project will have different amounts of items. A small project will have fewer submittals than a larger project, but that doesn’t mean their submittals will be smaller. Only that it is more likely for there to be fewer of them. Submittals can have hundreds of different items attached to them, like the ones listed below.
- A Datasheet – A datasheet or spec sheet summarizes the technical aspects of a product or piece of equipment. A subcontractor won’t have to create the datasheet; typically the manufacturer already has one for them to use.
- Shop drawings – Another document that might be included in a submittal is all shop drawings. This is especially important in prefabbed parts.
- Color – Color charts, color, and finish selections will all be included in the documents for the submittal.
- Material data – material data is another crucial aspect of product documentation especially when it comes to submittals.
- Samples – depending on what the product is, it’s likely that the subcontractor will need to include samples. This can help the architect or engineer visualize or understand the materials better.
There are of course more documents that can be added to the submittal depending on what is needed. The more information available, the easier it is for the engineer or architect to understand the submittal better and approve or disapprove it faster. More detail can lead to a more accurate budget and schedule which can help keep a project on track because there are fewer unrealistic expectations.
Having a formalized submittal process is only the first part, subcontractors also need to ensure they are on top of submittal log best practices. Subcontractors also need to ensure they are on top of their submittals. They need to be able to have visibility on the status of their submittals. Without that visibility, they could end up having to delay their section of the project and possibly hold up the project.