Proper Success Relies On: Proper Construction Documents

PROPER SUCCESS RELIES ON: Proper Construction Documents ALAN JALÓN, AIA, NCARB, LEEP AP- THE FALCON GROUP

Often times during construction projects, the focus is on construction and building. There is a tendency to dismiss the lar effort involved in the design and planning phases. While the contractor provides the deliverable (the actual occupiab building), this feat cannot be realized without a set of well-designed and coordinated construction documents (CDs). T CDs are developed by a design professional to depict the scope of work and the level of quality for the project. Furthermor the documents help the contractor in solving critical and unique conditions necessary for the success of the project. A construction project has many phases, from, design development, schematic design, bidding and actual constructio The size and complexity of the project will determine the time, effort and coordination required to produce a construction s of drawings during the schematic design and development phase. Large projects may involve various disciplines such architecture and design, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (also known as MEP) while smaller projects may only requi a sole design professional. A cohesive set of CDs, which includes a project manual or specifications, will account for uniq project conditions. This cohesive document is vital to the successful execution of the construction project. As previously stated, construction documents are generated to dictate scope and quality, or guidelines, for the proje which is imperative to allow different contractors to provide responsible cost estimate during the bid phase. Becau the construction documents (sometimes also called “contract documents”) become a legal document, there can be substitutions or “bait and switch,” without a written submission and approval of the design professional and/or owner. Th further ensures the quality and scope of work because substitutions are generally requested to save cost and maximi profit to the contractor. This is important during the bidding phase as the building owner knows that price given by t various contractors are “apples to apples” for the project scope and quality as defined in the construction documents. providing a cohesive set of construction documents to the contractor during bidding, the building owner can be assur there will be no surprises from the contractor during the construction phase. If the contractor attempts to modify the sco or quality, the building owner can refer to the CDs and require the contractor to provide products and quality as documente Sometimes building owners believe that CDs are not necessary for smaller projects. But even the smallest projects w have their own unique conditions and design complexities that cannot be overlooked. Smaller projects may seem easi to manage with just a contractor, but without CDs, any cost estimate prepared by a contractor will have to be thorough evaluated. This may seem like a simple task, but the construction industry and building material science field is alwa evolving. The evaluator must have a firm understanding of the project conditions, suitable materials for the project, th chemical compatibility and the installation requirements in order to provide and maintain a warrantable condition. Certa products may not be appropriate for the job or may not be compatible with other products suggested in the constructio Understanding this at the beginning of the project and selecting the appropriate products and associated components another benefit to providing CDs for a project. Proceeding without CDs for projects, especially large projects, can be confusing for all parties. The construction documen establish scope, how much of the project will be constructed and the quality of the products and materials. Not establishi the guidelines for bidding and obtaining bids from a contractor without a set of CDs could yield very different estimates. this scenario, approving any of these inconsistent bids could expose the building owner financially as they may need spend more to get specific items installed.

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