Construction Submittals

What are Construction Submittals?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what Construction Submittals are, what is the purpose for using them and why are they so important. Some web sites and even Project Management Software Blogs have a quite misleading descriptions. For example, on one of the most popular Project Management Software websites the posted definition for the Submittals is:

 “Submittals are documents, samples, and other information that must be delivered to the architects, engineers, consultants, and more on a project before work even starts on a project.”

This is true in a way, but it doesn’t clearly define what the Submittals are and what is their purpose.

In a few simple words:

  1. The Construction Submittals are a way for the Owner to ensure that he is getting exactly what he is paying for.
  2. With the Construction Submittals the Architect and the Engineer can verify that the correct materials are going to be installed and that the construction methods will satisfy the Building and the Safety Codes.

There are several phases that are important for the Submittal process.

Design Phase

At the Design Phase the Architects and the Engineers are creating a set of Drawings & Specifications which specify how the structure should be built and what materials should be used during the Construction Phase.

Based on the Owners requests the A/E can specify the exact materials to be supplied and installed by the Contractors or an equal substitute to be provided.

At the Project Specifications Manual the A/E should specify very clearly what type of Submittals should be provided for each item and what construction methods should be used during the Construction Phase.

Preconstruction Phase

At the Preconstruction Phase the General Contractor (with the assistance of his Subcontractors and Material Suppliers) should create a Submittal List which should include every item that is requested at the Design Documents (Drawings, Specifications etc.).

It’s an imperative on each project for the Submittals to be prepared, sent and approved in a timely manner in order to avoid any costly project delays.

The Submittals review & approval process should be completed before the project starts, but unfortunately due to various reasons for most of the projects that is not case.

Construction Phase

During the Construction Phase every material and equipment that is supplied and installed at the job site should have an already approved Submittal.

Before the installation commence the Subcontractors, General Contractor, Construction Manager or Construction Inspectors should verify that the material/equipment to be installed satisfies the corresponding Construction Submittal.

After this is confirmed they should verify that the material/equipment is installed as per the approved Submittal Shop Drawings, Specification Sheets or Instructions.

See our video post on how you can create and send your Construction Submittals in 60 seconds or less.

Submittals – Gone in 60s (or Less)

Check out these pages to learn more about our Submittal Management Software.

Construction Submittal Software

Submittal Log / Submittal Register