Construction Contract Administration

A crane

Quick Links

Who we are

The Construction Contract Administration Knowledge Community (CCA) has been established to help our members better understand the issues, actions and resultant impact of the decisions required in this often neglected part of Project Delivery. It is our goal to provide clear answers to issues of concern to the Institute’s membership and share case studies and best practices. We further hope to provide guidance and direction in developing guidelines for new and evolving approaches to Project Delivery as well as guidance in the continuing education of our emerging young professionals.

Expand all | Collapse all

single subcontractor - firestopping work

  • 1.  single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-17-2011 14:50

    Would anyone have any comment about specifying a single subcontractor to coordinate, furnish and install all firestopping work, in lieu of it being bought out by trade? 

    If you have specified this before, will you again; would you recommend it become the industry standard?  How did it impact the inspection process?

    thanks,
    Jonathan

    -------------------------------------------
    Jonathan Matthew Taylor, AIA, LEED AP
    Architect

    Goody Clancy & Associates, Inc. ' Boston, MA
    -------------------------------------------
    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 2.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-18-2011 08:52
    We have actively supported the use of a single qualified installer for firestopping and fire sealants for nearly ten years, and typically specify this approach for our architect clients. We developed this approach in response to repeated quality problems and final inspection failures on projects where individual trades utilized unqualified installers and a wide variety of products.

    We require either FM or UL certification or evidence of substantive manufacturer training for installers. We also require that materials on the project come from a single manufacturer source. We qualify listed manufacturers on the basis of the completeness of their tested assembly lines and the presence of a comprehensive training program for installers. We require detailed submittals, and enforce requirements for label identification of rated penetrations. We typically specify field quality control testing based on ASTM E 2174.

    This approach admittedly puts some burden on the GC or CM when packaging trade contracts. While it initially increased bid costs, the reduction in inspection issues and disputes has been an offset. Besides, our first concern should be to provide the facility owner with a code-compliant finished project assembled by responsible parties; saving a few dollars can be very expensive. The industry has responded by expanding the number of qualified specialist installers, who are knowledgeable regarding the type, size, and quantity of penetrations of fire-resistance-rated assemblies by the various facility systems.

    We no longer get bidder resistance, and deliver safer buildings that pass final inspections. With the advent of installer certification, industry association programs, and standards for inspection, the problems have been reduced. Facility owners have also become more aware of their responsibilities in maintaining the fire integrity of their buildings.

    -------------------------------------------
    Philip Kabza AIA
    Partner and Dir Technical Services
    SpecGuy
    Charlotte NC
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 3.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-18-2011 08:55
    As an architect working as a Construction Manager, single sourcing firestopping has not worked well in the real world of building a project.
    We have found the best split of this scope of work is that subcontractors responsible for CMU and drywall walls be responsible for the top and bottom of their respective wall firestopping details, the curtainwall sub for firestopping the edge of slab/curtain wall interface, and then the firestopping sub can handle all remaining conditions.
    Of course we have to babysit all the MEP subs when some of their work goes in after walls are in place to be sure they cut the wall properly to provide the correct annnular space around the conduit/pipe/duct.


    -------------------------------------------
    Arthur Stockman AIA
    Construction Manager
    Rodgers Builders
    Charlotte NC
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 4.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-21-2011 08:54
    We are currently performing a firestop accessment on about 1.5M SF for a client and the old saying of "you get what you inspect, not what you expect" is certainly true. I agree with Author that the use of a single source firestopping just does not always make economical sense. Do you really want a separate contractor to follow the electrical sub around and install intumescent putty pads? This will drive the cost of construction up. Instead, I suggest you incorporate higher quality assurance procedures including independent inspections in your specifications.

    We just completed an acoustical investigation of a multi-building complex and found none of the fire-rated partitions, and any building had the required putty pads. This might be because the Code requirement is in the Building Code, and the Electrical Inspector checked the boxes in the wall.

    I have spoken at the Firestop Contractors International Association's national convention several times and have been invited back this year to speak at their convention in April in Firestopping Specifications. They include a guide spec for Firestopping Penetrations, Joints and Perimeter Fire Containment in their FCIA Manual of Practice, which can be downloaded off the internet. While the spec section needs improvement, it does include an article on Field Quality Control.

    I am less concern about who performs the work and more concern with the quality of the work. We plan to submit an updated spec section for this work to the FCIA Technical Committee.

    -------------------------------------------
    Dennis Hall, FAIA, FCSI
    Hall Architects / Hall Building Information Group
    Charlotte NC
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 5.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-18-2011 10:08


    -------------------------------------------
    David DeFilippo AIA
    Tsoi/Kobus Associates
    Milton MA
    -------------------------------------------
    Specifying single source and getting single source are two different issues in my mind. All the architects hard earned work to specify it as single source in a Division  7 specification can be undone wit h the stroke of a pen on a sub-contractors contract. Contractors and CM's divide up contracts in various ways that continue to amaze me. It takes a commited and understanding contractor  to understand that one source for this work can be a good thing sometimes.






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 6.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-18-2011 13:33

    Jonathan:

    We are currently working with an architect who does just that. Spec section 07350 on his project. He requires "all of it" to be included in the contractor performing the work described therein.

    Thoughts....the monies typically and historically included the PME budgets for this work probably were not credited in the bid...so it is costing the owner something we guess. Is it worth it...we think so. It makes for a nice neat coordinated package. Also...an expert in firestopping is doing that work....not a plumber. Better end product.

    Haven't been thru the inspection phase yet. I'll let you know.
    -------------------------------------------
    James Rains AIA
    Rains Studio, PA
    Ramseur NC
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 7.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-24-2011 01:24
    I believe if you read the AIA contracts & your E&O insurance policies, you'll see that we don't specify means & methods, can't get insurance for them, and don't have the expertise to do so. We care about the design & end result, so can spec the materials & systems, assemblies, geometric arrangement & desired visual effect & performance required. thats about IT. 

    I believe delving into specifying the sub/contractor that shall perform any portion of the Work will cross that uninsurable line taking you into the gray area that enterprising lawyers just love to probe for soft spots.

    In practice, I've found that having each MEP (typically) sub be responsible for their own holes gets the best coordination & followthrough. I also walk every job as the gyp board begins to show up on the flatbeds to inspect for laggards in the firestopping effort, and make a quiet aside to the building inspector onsite if I meet even a little resistance before walls are one-sided.

    -------------------------------------------
    Bruce Bradsby
    bdb/a
    San Francisco  '   Bangkok
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 8.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-25-2011 06:27
    In response to several comments on this thread:

    I believe Mr. Stockman's comments are quite well taken: there is an essential difference between, for instance, head-of-wall or perimeter firestopping details and requirements for penetration firestopping, in that the architect specifies a specific fire-resistance-rated assembly for the head-of-wall or perimeter details, whereas the required firestopping assembly for penetrations is frequently affected by field decisions regarding the number and size of components in a penetration and the final selection of such items as pipe insulation details, as well as engineering judgements issued by the firestopping manufacturer. With a specific assembly on the drawings, the head-of-wall should be successfully handled by trade contractors and observed by the architect. The firestopping penetration detail is frequently arcane, requires inspection level training to verify, and is best installed and inspected by qualified parties. Art: We'll be changing our specifications to make the subcontracting of this item more flexible.

    Speaking of qualified installers, I do take friendly exception to Mr. Bradsby's comments about architects not being contractually required nor qualified to set the requirements for the qualifications of installers in their specifications.  Friendly - because my job for the past twenty years has been to protect architects from unsought libility by resisting their taking on the contractor's neglected responsibilities. However, many architects do have the knowledge of construction practices that leads them to properly incorporate qualification requirements for key installers in the contract documents of their projects.

    In a recent specification for a GC-bid public high school, based upon MasterSpec-based sections, we included installer qualifications requirements and documentation in 56 of 113 specification sections prepared by us. These qualifications ranged from indication that the installer had completed such work before or completed manufacturer training for installation of the specified product to industry-based certification of installing firms or trade mechanics by the American Welding Institute, the Air Barrier Association of America, Factory Mutual, and the Architectural Woodwork Institute.

    The key to proper specifying of such qualifications is to know whether or not they are of value, necessary to the project, and realistically obtainable. The participation of a knowledgeable construction manager can help make sure that these conditions are met. 

    We believe proper specifying and enforcement of installer qualifications is a key QA requirement, along with mockups, in empowering the architect to deliver quality work to the owner.

    -------------------------------------------
    Philip Kabza AIA
    Partner and Dir Technical Services
    SpecGuy
    Charlotte NC
    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals


  • 9.  RE:single subcontractor - firestopping work

    Posted 02-28-2011 00:27


    -------------------------------------------
    Bruce Bradsby
    bdb/a
    San Francisco ' Bangkok

    -------------------------------------------






    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals