Strolled into your office today to a desk buried under a stack of reports? Chances are they’re Construction submittals – samples of designs, shop drawings, diagrams, schedules, and material data that are delivered to an Architect, an Engineer or your client in general. Submittals are used as a tool to track the progress and materials being used, as well as making sure that everything is in agreement with the contract.
It may seem like submittals are only required during the pre-construction phase, but they are required throughout a construction project from start to finish. Submittals can be due periodical, monthly, or weekly for review with any document(s) necessary for the project execution. Other submittal items might include providing soil samples, product data, warranty samples, manufacturer’s brochures, and technical data on materials unique to the project.
Common pre-construction submittals include:
- Quality Control Assessment Plan
- Accident Prevention Plan
- Preliminary Cost-Loaded Schedule
- Environmental protection Plan
- And many more depending on the contract and the project
Submittal documentation help provide a cushion to avoid installation, scheduling, safety, and material issues, as well as to provide a high level of detail often not given in the original design documents. All submittals should be reviewed and accepted by the client and can be a gate for work to begin or continue. From the contractor’s perspective, you would hope that the client approves submittals in a timely fashion so you don’t get held up.
A contractor or client often use a submittal register to track the hundreds of submittals required on a typical construction project. This is commonly an excel spreadsheet, but there are some software systems to track submittals.
It’s also important from a scheduling perspective to put your submittals on your project schedule. It’s essential to show the dependency between the work that is pending and the approved (not approved) submittal.
So there you have it, a basic overview of construction submittals for those of you who are new and a refresher for those who needed it.