Mark's Construction Law Blog

The Tony Soprano Definition Of A Construction Project Submittal

Tony, the Architect on your Project, tells you, after you complain about his 9th rejection of your submittal, that:“I ain’t going to tell you what to do. Just don’t do it unless I approve it.”
Sound familiar?
To many contractors, the whole process of submittals and shop drawings is mired in voodoo, make work, arbitrary lines in the sand bearing no engineering reasoning, and frustration. The designer, whether an engineer or architect, declines to tell you what they want — schooled by their risk management team that to do so would be interfering in the contractor’s “means and methods.” At the same time, as a contractor you suspect that there is a “right answer” lurking in all these submittal rejections. Like a game of blind man’s bluff, you continue to try to pin the tail on the donkey — you try to get the shop drawing to match the unstated criteria. By process of elimination, you eliminate all your intended means and methods, all your backups considered at bid, and do it “their way”. You are no longer Sinatra — “my way” failed. Cost, time, and early project progress all compromised, and you wonder what the job is going to be like.

The Digital Age, 3d Drawings, And Pile Driving – A New Frontier

It is generally true that with the advent of new technology, business relationships change. Sometimes, that is disruptive of old patterns, and new business patterns emerge that challenge existing ways of doing business, and traditional risk allocations. Such is the case with the electronic drawings – Auto- CAD, and BIM or Building Information Modeling – a fancy, now almost out of date acronym for using 3 dimensional, electronic drawings and models as plans and specs.

“Backpocket” Differing Site Condition Check List

A type I condition requires that a subsurface condition was encountered which differed materially from what was indicated in the contract documents.
The contract documents must contain some indication of conditions to be expected and the actual conditions must vary from that indication.
Express Indications: Boring locations, ground elevations, logs, subsurface investigation reports, ground water levels, foundation investigation reports.
General Design Indications: Inferences that can reasonably be made from reading the plans and specifications.