Submittal Review Process in Construction Management

Construction ManagementDefinite processing time is required by most projects for approval of all submittals, shop drawings, and samples. The Submittal Review procedures can seem very cumbersome and time consuming, however, there are substantial reasons for review steps by all parties. The designer is ultimately responsible for the design of the facility to meet occupancy needs and must ensure that the products being installed are suitable to meet these needs. Any change in material or fabrication needs to be reviewed for its acceptability with the original design. Both the architect and contractor need to be able to coordinate the installation of the product with other systems.

Each level must review, add information as necessary, and stamp or seal that the submittal was examined and approved by that party. After the submittal reaches the primary reviewer, it is returned through the same steps, which provides an opportunity for further comment and assures that each party is aware of the approval, partial approval, notes, or rejection. Obviously this approval process is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Typically, the architect will review the submittal for compliance to the requirement in the construction documents. Revisions may be noted on the submittal. Colors and other selection items will be made by the architect during this review. Sometimes the architect will reject the entire submittal and other times will request resubmittal of some of the items. The architect also will make corrections, which normally do not need to be resubmitted, but that do need to be applied to the product. While the architect and engineers review products for performance and design intent, the contractor must review the product for preparation and installation.

The contractor should manage the submittal process just like any other process in the construction cycle. The submittal process requires lead-time consideration to produce the submittal, shop drawing (engineering), review and revise and the shop fabrication period. Careful planning is necessary to ensure that the products are ordered and delivered within the construction schedule, so as not to delay any activities. The contractor must prioritize the submittal process, submitting and obtaining approval for materials needed for the first part of the project.