The Value of the Construction Submittal Review Process
Submittals are an essential part of every construction project. They are valued as a tool to keep track of materials used and the overall progress of a project according to the agreed contract, similar to a schedule of values. Submittals are created before and during construction and hold information that is carried out throughout the entire project completion. This is not an occasion for the general contractor, architect, owner or subcontractor to choose an entirely new approach to solving a problem, but rather to clarify an issue within the quality level indicated by the specification and numbers shown on plans.
eSUB enables subcontractors to generate submittals, and update current status, return dates and revisions. Never lose sight of submittals again. Also, subcontractor’s can attach any items to create complete packages of information.
The submittal process is sometimes a very cumbersome and time-consuming process, but it’s crucial to ensuring high-quality delivery of projects. It can affect cost, schedule, quality and the success of a project. For large-scale commercial projects, the submittal process can involve thousands of different equipment, fabrications, and materials. Components in these types of projects are often very complex and require close collaboration among stakeholders to ensure they receive the right attention. The submittal process gives an increased level of detail usually not included in the original design and plan documents.
The approving authority (e.g., general contractor, owner, architect) approves the quantity and quality of the material or assembly to be released fabrication and shipment. The approval is the final step before ordering, and the control step before the product arrives and implemented at the jobsite.
Submittals can go beyond labor and equipment information. Many pre-construction submittals are made to ensure the project is protected by documentation so in the case of any discrepancy there can be simple resolutions that do not halt the progress of the project. These submittals include accident prevention plans, environmental protection plans, preliminary cost schedules and more. Any problem that could stem from labor, equipment, or scheduling errors can be resolved with the approved submittal documents.
General information provided on submittals are detail oriented information regarding quantities, dimensions, installation instructions, and design criteria to follow when construction the project. Commonly submittals are approved by general contractors and client owners before construction begins, this is to protect the architects and engineers involved in reviewing the shop drawings. If the client owner decides they don’t like how something turned out on the project, they are unable to point fingers at anyone but themselves since the submittals are generated and approved before they complete the project.
The submittal review process is similar to a process of checks and balances. As the construction of a project progresses, the submittal documents must regularly be checked to ensure that everything is coordinated exactly to spec. If the project strays away from these documents, it can bring problems to arise and cause unsatisfied client expectations.
When submittals are sent to design professionals on the project, they are given a certain amount of time to thoroughly review and approve of submittal documents as to not put a halt on the progress of the project. However, in the real world of commercial construction, hundreds of submittals and documents for every subcontractor, quickly turns into a quagmire if the process and rules are not well defined.
A lot of careful consideration and hard work goes into the submittal review process to ensure the success of the project. If there is an error in a submittal approval, it could result in construction errors, and prove quite costly on many levels.