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Does AIA or other design or build agency have wording that reflects that Permit Sets are not intended for Construction?
Our experience is that Permit Sets can range from a 50 to 90 percent level of completion and are not intended to go right into Construction?
Dennis O'Beirne AIA, LEED®AP
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Southfield MI 48033 United States
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Some state regulations have requirements that drawings submitted for plan review are stamped or labeled as not for construction, or not for construction until approved.
Some jurisdictions turn away drawings that are labeled "for permit, not for construction use" on the grounds that if the documents aren't ready to build from (in the designer's eye), why are they being submitted ... or will the contractor be constructing from a different set of documents in the field, and ignoring any corrections noted on the jursidiction-approved set.
No simple, one-size-fits-all answer
I agree with Tara Imani with the following exception.
The document notes the date and what it is for "Issue for Permit Application"
Once the building department accepts the plans, and the permit is ready for pick up , then the next set is noted what it is for " Construction set "
Certainly in Texas, what you are trying to do would not be permitted. TBAE, the licensing board here, requires that drawings be stamped and sealed, or have the notation "Not intended for bidding, permit, or construction". You can have both on the documents. Sealing them indicates that they are complete and ready for construction. And you cannot generally submit unsealed documents to a jurisdiction.
And, in general, my experience has been that AHJ's will not review or issue permits for documents that are not intended for construction. In Houston for example, I have had plans returned because they said on them "Issued for Permit". The City requires either "Issued for Permit and Construction" or just "Issued for Construction". And, of course, they have to be sealed.
It seems to me that it is not a very good practice to seal unfinished drawings.
Some jurisdictions require permit drawings be sealed and stamped "issued for Construction". AHJ's do not want to waste their time reviewing incomplete drawings or doing multiple reviews - a reasonable expectation. There are usually provisions for expedited reviews of partial bid packages (grading, foundation, etc...) to allow construction start, but always with IFC drawings. The AHJ want their inspectors to have the drawings that the contractor is building from.
As both a licensed Architect and Licensed Building Official in CT, my firm performs construction document reviews for permit on behalf of Local Building Departments. From that perspective, I have to say that documents submitted for permit should be 100% complete and ready for construction. Unfortunately they are generally not approvable and are rejected for revision and resubmittal. This reflects poorly on the Architectural Profession and the training or lack thereof in Code Compliance.
While I understand your sentiment, there are other problems as well; economics and competition and education of the public. Most architects want to produce complete CDs for a host of reasons. Most in the residential realm must compete with bottom feeder D/B companies who offer free or loss leader "design" to buy the construction (at over retail). Many architects charge way too little and in order to buy jobs end up having to cheapen the quality of the CDs to "basic permit set"... as basic as possible in order to come out at more than minimum wage for their work. Reviews requiring responses become less costly than the alternative of doing full CDs.
We do our best to educate clients about the very real benefits (and leverage) available to them when we do full construction docs. They might get it... but... the lure of cheap fees by people who are also licensed can put lots of residential architect out of business if they refuse to do "permit sets".
It does not help when permit departments allow non-licensed people to submit ANYTHING. If it needs a permit - it needs a licensed architect. Make that match and you, our clients/the public and we (architects in the trenches who only eat it if we can kill it) will be much better off.
Demand a stamp on EVERYTHING. Supply and Demand free market economics will take care of the rest.
Your question is deeply disturbing to me as your professional colleague. The purpose for plan review by your local AHJ is to review Construction Documents for code compliance. By submitting incomplete Construction Documents, you are increasing the level of effort required to review your project and therefore delaying other projects from approval and souring the proverbial soup for the rest of the construction industry.
How about this. If your Construction Documents are not at least 95% complete and coordinated, don't submit. If you didn't properly manage completion of your Construction Documents to meet your project schedule, that is not your Client's problem and it's not your AHJ's problem, it's no one else's problem but your own.
You are from IBI? Hmmm, I'll remember that.
My take on this was that he was asking about language to place on sets that are 100% complete in terms of information required for permitting but not necessarily 100% complete in terms of information needed for bidding or construction. For instance, all the finishes, light fixtures and cabinet details might not be complete. There might be additional architectural details to be added to clarify design intent. By definition, in my mind, a permit set is one that is complete enough to show compliance with the codes but does not contain all the details, material specifications and selections that will ultimately be added to the set.
In the world of residences and small commercial work some clients only want permit level sets as they want to have flexibility to make their own choices. In my world, it is common to submit permit sets for custom homes to get the process started while all the final details are getting sorted out. I almost never get plan check comments back so my definition of a permit set is clearly one that is complete enough for it's intended purpose. However, bidding or constructing from that set might not be a good idea as there would still be plenty left up to the imagination of the bidder which is never a good idea.
I sign and seal the permit set and place a note across the title block saying that it is For Plancheck Only, is a Permit Set or whatever makes sense for the particular project. In my world the approved permit set get's put away someplace safe and the bidders and builders work from sets that are marked Contract Set and dated. Obviously the Architect has to make sure that we don't make any changes that would create a conflict with the approved work. In my case, even my permit level sets are much more complete than the sets that some designers are submitting and obtaining permits with.
It's amazing that everybody jumped to the conclusion that the original poster was trying to not seal the documents or get away with submitting incomplete work....maybe I'm just naive but I saw it completely differently and assumed he was looking for some clever and very legal sounding language to include on the set that would differentiate the approved set from the set with all the details and specifications that is intended to be out on the jobsite.
Understood Michelle, but the original question was written by an Associate - Architectural Manager at IBI - a global multi-disciplinary A/E firm that is not producing custom home documents for bottom feeding developers. Many of the public facilities they design are regulated by agencies who are significantly impacted with plan review backlog. Some of these agencies are required by statute to address comments on incomplete plans. The practice of submitting incomplete plans is counterproductive to our profession and only exacerbates delays in times of increasing escalation and costs.
Many on the AIA Code committee would advocate putting forward a "one-and-done" plan check initiative on order to reduce plan check times and stop the crazy cycle of having multiple plan reviews on the same project. With our colleagues submitting incomplete plans, this will never become a reality and the backlog problem will only worsen.
You are spot on!
In fact we have a program in Northern California currently in use by 16 jurisdictions called PASS that focuses on document quality: content, completeness and organization and it is based on the logic you outlined. A parallel program titled "One and Done" will roll out this year. It will indeed focus on getting permits processed in ONE cycle: One Review, One set of comments and then Done.
As you pointed out, you can't talk about 'One and Done' unless you have a very solid package or complete and clear documents. One and Done also takes a willingness of the plan review jurisdiction to discuss and verbally vet responses before they go in. It also helps if there is also a willingness to, if necessary, make minor 'red mark' adjustments when an issue is a simple 'clarification' or note addition that is a 'plan reviewer preference'.
More information on the PASS program is at StreamlineInstitute.org/PASS. (The Streamline Institute is a 501c3 non profit that is hoping to help facilitate Architects as leaders in Permit Streamlining nationally). I will be addressing this topic at the 2017 convention (Architect Led Permit Streamlining Steps to Success) if anyone would like to see this an example of how this type of advancement could occur in their own community. Other examples of Permit Streamlining best practices I've gathered from around the country are on line here: PermitStreamline.Com
First off - in Pennsylvania all code submitted drawings, even progress type, require seals and signature. We do indicate "Progress Drawings" or at times "not for construction" but that is rare.
Perhaps, what I'm guilty of is actually creating permit drawings that will be directly used by a contractor who is filling in the blanks as part of a Design-Build.
We have also created progress drawings such as foundation drawings for fast track projects with most code agencies work with us. This is the most hectic since we are making multiple submissions and we avoid this as much as possible. Of course we perform many conventional projects which offer less stress.
Let's just say we do our best to accommodate our client.
I agree that submitting incomplete work is a problem and one of my big pet peeves but not all small projects are done for bottom feeder developers. While the original poster may be doing projects that should always have every casework pull specified before submittal there are many cases in which it might make sense to differentiate between permit/bidding/construction/contract sets. One and done is always my goal when submitting plans for plancheck but that doesn't preclude adding additional information for construction.
Again, I don't know the original poster and he doesn't seem to be back to clarify so I guess I'm done here,
Wow Gordon, that is a remarkably harsh answer to Michelle. "Bottom feeder developers"?!? How nice for you to be dealing with large government or Fortune 500 contracts so that you don't have the embarrassment of dealing with the hoi polloi who build the houses, apartments, and commercial building that house most of us or our businesses and are the shops we use on a daily basis.
Michelle makes a very accurate real world point. Moreover, there are increasingly more jurisdictions that give the architect the date to submit drawings which is ridiculous. It does not matter whether or not you as the design professional think the date is reasonable, miss it and you are pushed back a minimum of of 3 months which may not be a big deal for a bottomless government contract but when an Owner is coming out of pocket for the carry, it can be a huge deal.
There is clearly a divide in this discussion between those who handle large public building contracts pulling in 10 or 15% with generous timelines and those who are working with local or regional developers who pay way less, have much tighter budgets and timelines. Developers who are coming out of their own pocket know time is literally money so they look to have the finishing of drawings, as Michelle indicated adding the non code issue information, added during the time lag of permit review.To answer the original question we label each sheet "Released for Permit" and once it is ready for construction we release a final set "Released for Construction".
I totally agree with Michelle – thank you. And I believe this is what happens in most of the industry today. Especially in accelerated Design-Build contracts. A one person practitioner is much different than an international company with several offices in several jurisdictions. I am currently registered in 35 states and with a less than complete (100%) submission I don't recall ever being rejected by an AHJ for a Plan Submittal. Again I don't think I have ever gotten a comment on a construction detail. Only higher lever life safety, accessibility or energy related comments. Again how do we "pray tell" tend to address comments from the AHJ on the documents if the Permit Set goes directly into Construction? My government peers are unfortunately living in wish fulfillment utopia. And in my next life I swear I'll have a government job J!
Southfield MI 48033 United States