For modern steel construction, final approval on shop drawings is the most talked about issue today. The use of sturdy steel can cut down both initial costs and life cycle costs; but, it is crucial that one follows industry standards to avoid possible delays in approval process. To be specific, the amount of time required for approval is posing a huge challenge for all parties involved in the process.
For the contractor, approval delays can influence all phases of a project. Most construction projects work in a linear fashion, a delay at any phase will automatically delay everything that follows. The problem lies in a process that normally involves drawings and RFIs being processed in a linear fashion i.e., from fabricator to contractor to owner to designer and back. Each stop along the way eats up time. In most projects, the construction documents are being controlled by parties who have a little knowledge about the specific details.
Here are some recommendations from expert steel detailers:
* Produce limited copies of shop drawings and RFIs for people who need them most
* The contractor should designate the detailer as his representative rather than stamping and approving each shop drawing
* The fabricator should do make early submittals directly to the designer and last submittals to the contractor and builder.
* Shop drawings should be conveyed electronically so that the time and handling expenses are reduced.
* Participants should avoid checking items that are responsibility of the fabricator.
* Use the idioms like - Approved as noted. Revise & resubmit - to facilitate speedy execution for final submittal.
* Full review should be carried out when reviewing shop drawings.
There is also a need for responses and approvals to be simplified for best fit with RFIs. While it is apparent that this affects the speed of a project, it seems obvious that a lengthy and complex approval process will also have a considerable impact on project costs. Fabricators and contractor end up losing more money due to delays in final approvals.