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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.

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Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

  • 1.  Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-03-2021 09:12 AM
    Edited by Sharon L. Day AIA 06-03-2021 10:25 AM
    Polling others for your take on an architect's obligations when it comes to review of the contractor's construction schedule (outside of anything explicitly stated in the Owner-Architect Agreement and the General Conditions). I have often found information in those documents and the specifications, but maybe not as clear as perhaps I am looking for. Obviously we are not responsible for means and methods, sequencing and such, so that is not what I am questioning.

    I have reviewed schedules and have made some comments or asked questions (like if you notice something of significance was not mentioned, questioning if it is included in a particular item). If the Contract Documents only state an NTP and a Date of Substantial Completion, how the contractor gets from A to B is their deal. Some contracts or specs may list some milestones also. So our review is general in nature. Certainly commenting if they try to include a completion date earlier or later than any specified Date of S.C.

    Is the Architect's review for information only or are we obligated to take an action (Reviewed, No Exceptions Taken, Exceptions as Noted and so on)? Does the schedule actually need to be approved by the Owner or Architect? In more cases than not I have seen the Contract Docs mention to submit as an informational submittal.

    The other side of schedule review is during progress of construction, monitoring the progress and notifying the Owner of any concerns, asking for recovery schedules per the specs when needed and the like.

    Would like to hear other's thoughts on this.

    ------------------------------
    Sharon Day AIA
    Senior Associate
    GWWO Architects
    Baltimore MD
    ------------------------------
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  • 2.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-04-2021 05:55 PM
    All contracts for major projects with which I have been involved require the contractor (or Construction Manager when the project is being delivered under the CM format) to prepare and submit a construction schedule prepared using the Critical Path Method (CPM). This schedule must be submitted within a given number of days of the notice to proceed and must be approved by the Owner before the contractor can receive any payments. The architect normally reviews it, makes comments, and recommends its acceptance or rejection to the owner. Typically I have commented informally to the contractor/cm if I see things in it that require revision before I can recommend its acceptance. If the contractor refuses to modify it based on my comments, I forward it to the owner with my comments and recommend that the owner reject it.

    My review does not address means and methods. However, my review does address schedule logic and the reasonableness of the sequencing of activities.

    It is important for the architect to have someone in his office (or on call) who is a competent construction scheduler, because change orders with schedule impact require the submission of fragnets to proves the schedule impact, and the architect must then advise the owner on the impact.

    ------------------------------
    William A. Wheatley AIA
    CEO
    Wheatley Us Limited
    Wynnewoood, PA
    ------------------------------

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  • 3.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-04-2021 07:36 PM
    Two valuable uses of the Contractor’s Construction Schedule: 1) Helps us anticipate when we might want to schedule our site observations; and, 2) Provides point of reference for evaluating Contractor’s pay apps.

    Mark


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  • 4.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-04-2021 08:04 PM
    Sharon,

    Part of the answer also depends upon the type of project delivery being provided.  For example, our duties for schedule review may be less in a bid project vs. in a Cost + Fee CM at Risk project where the architect is reviewing both the costs and the contractor's progress and schedule with each month's pay application.

    The schedule is primarily the contractor's tool for planning and managing the Work, but it's also used by the architect, for example, to schedule their own manpower for submittal reviews, field visits, etc. coordinated with the contractor's schedule.

    There's not an awful of specific responsibilities for the architect regarding the contractor's schedule in our agreements other than informing the Owner of "known deviations from the most recent construction schedule submitted by the Contractor" (B101 §3.6.2.1 and A201 §4.2.3).  The A201 spells out very general minimum requirements for the contractor's schedule (A201 §3.10.1) and our review ought to make sure at a minimum that the submitted schedule meets these requirements. Your own Division One should expand the requirements for the schedule to be appropriate with the project size and complexity. Neither the owner or architect "approves" the contractor's schedule. I will tell you from experience that asking for more breakdowns in the contractor's work on the schedule makes evaluating pay applications easier- for example, maybe asking for a breakdown in the plumbing into below grade, rough in, fixtures and trim on a smaller project rather than just having a single "Plumbing" line on the schedule of values.  On larger projects, I've asked for a breakdown to include separate lines for labor and material on some things or for a large project, I may ask to have the work shown in no more than two week segments, since (a) this makes it easier to evaluate progress and (b) often, the schedule of values for the Pay App corresponds to the Contractor's Schedule breakdown, so pay app evaluation also becomes easier to do. Don't be afraid to ask for more detail on a schedule- that doesn't get into the contractor's responsibilities for means and methods or planning his work/establishing the schedule.

    Generally, I also like to look at the logic and critical path of the schedule to see if it makes sense, but it's not up to us to make this determination other than if something looks really wacky, I'd ask the contractor about it- they may have a bad logic link or similar problem. I had a contractor starting some interior finishes before the roofing was shown installed, I asked about it, he said that it was how he was going to do it (so the roof did not end up on the project's critical path so when some of that work was delayed, we did not approve a time extension even though in every other project I've ever done, the roof is part of the critical path).

    With each month's pay app, I would do a general comparison of the contractor's actual progress vs. what the latest schedule  shows, and bring any obvious deviations to the owner's attention as the contract requires. If there's been any approved change order that changes the date of Substantial Completion, make sure that the contractor issues a revised schedule.

    The hairiest responsibility that an architect will have with a schedule is when a change order requests a change in the Contract Time, either reducing or adding time.  To change the Contract Time, the contractor must show that the change Work also impacts the date of Substantial Completion (which is a quick way of saying the changed work occurs somewhere along the critical path).  As the evaluator of the contractor's change order request, you will have to make a reasonable effort to determine whether the work actually changes the contract time or not.  Sometimes this is relatively simple, and you can do it, or it can get complicated pretty quickly, in which case you'll have to ask for help or if it's really a large time change or critical issue, get some outside expertise.

    The advice William provided in an earlier answer is pretty right on for your responsibilities.


    ------------------------------
    Arlen Solochek FAIA
    Owner
    Arlen M. Solochek, Consulting Architect
    Phoenix AZ
    Arlen.Solochek@domail.maricopa.edu
    ------------------------------

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  • 5.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-06-2021 03:36 PM
    Sharon,

    I love it when the best answer to someone's question is "That's a great question." This is one such case. I've consulted with MasterSpec staff on updates to their Division 01 General Requirements for the past dozen or so years. The Contractor's Construction Schedule" has maintained a home under the heading Informational Submittals because at the end of our discussions, it has always seemed that this is the Contractor's tool to use to run their means and methods, so the Architect's approval is not needed nor appropriate, while the Architecct's review of the schedule can be valuable to the Owner. I find that this has been true at least since 2007.

    Master specifications are only that - a master - and each design professional needs to determine for themselves if they wish to maintain that the schedule be submitted "for approval" under the heading Action Submittals. It just takes a cut-and-paste to make that change.

    ------------------------------
    Philip Kabza AIA
    Principal
    SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
    Mount Dora FL
    ------------------------------

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  • 6.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-07-2021 08:50 AM
    The Contractor's construction schedule is for information only.  As an architect, we do not need to take any action on it, so we do not stamp it and we do not need to return it.

    As for reviewing it, we would first want to know if it meets the requirements of our client?  Will the Contractor complete the project within the timeframe that the client requires?  For us architects, the schedule would illustrate for us the major activities and milestones.  The construction schedule should also help us review the submittal schedule to make sure that we are receiving the submittals with the appropriate amount of time for reviewing.  If you notice something missing in the schedule, I would pick up the phone and inquire about it.  They may not have the answer, but it gives the Contractor a heads up to look into it.  Finding good schedulers are like finding unicorns.

    ------------------------------
    James Sines AIA
    Vice President
    HKS
    ------------------------------

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  • 7.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-08-2021 05:34 PM
    I've often wished I could have more input into the schedule when we're wrestling with roofing submittals in November when in my opinion we should have been roofing in August.  But... that being said, I often work on projects with critical components coming from other non-subcontractor vendors  such as laboratory equipment, medical equipment or even kitchen equipment.  In nearly all cases, these equipment items are installed by the vendor but obviously require the substrate, finishes and utilities to be in place before their installation.  I've also had projects where there was a separate contract being executed by an artist that required considerable coordination for access and substrate requirements.
    I see the schedule as an informational submittal, but see our input into that total information as critical. And, that the contractor shoudl be able to indicate their awareness of what is required for those additional vendors to contribute to the project.

    ------------------------------
    Anne Whitacre FCSI
    Senior Specification Writer, Principal
    HOK
    San Francisco CA
    ------------------------------

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  • 8.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-11-2021 03:43 PM
    Edited by Sharon L. Day AIA 06-11-2021 03:44 PM
    Thanks, everyone for your comments. Good discussion. There are always so many ways to go with these topics.

    I agree the contractor's schedule is a tool for the design team as well in order to schedule site visits, manpower, review pay apps and such. We typically see (and specify) the CPM method. We have been asked at times to give approval for a contractor's construction schedule and we push back that it is an informational submittal and we do not approve it. It is still important to look at and understand the contractor's schedule and impact that certain things have on other parts of the schedule (probably most evident in a CPM), and continue to evaluate progress and updates throughout construction.

    Similar to what someone else mentioned, being able to understand schedules is important for evaluating time change orders as well as delay claims. It is critical to understand what the Contract, General Conditions, spec. etc. say about these things. But delay claims is a whole separate topic on its own.

    ------------------------------
    Sharon Day AIA
    Senior Associate
    GWWO Architects
    Baltimore MD
    ------------------------------

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  • 9.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-07-2021 11:17 PM
    Great topic, and great advice!  I would only add that depending on the nature of the project, there may be special considerations necessary by the architect that may affect the schedule.  For example, an historic restoration project may have special allowances in the contract for uncovering and mitigating concealed conditions, which obviously would affect schedule.  At certain stages in the project where concealed conditions could be revealed, these potential effects on the schedule should be indicated with float on a CPM schedule, so their impact on the critical path can be evaluated should the need arise.

    An architect should be concerned when engaged on any project where the potential for existing conditions that can affect the schedule exists.  This would seem to apply to all rehab projects, even small ones, and especially those bestowed with historic significance.

    ------------------------------
    Clifford Marvin Assoc. AIA
    Architectural Specifications Writer
    Katerra, Inc.
    Tacoma WA
    ------------------------------

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  • 10.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-08-2021 05:42 PM
    Regarding OFOI (owner furnished, owner installed) and OFCI (owner furnished, contractor installed) items, we required that any and all things that had any impact on the contractor or required the contractor to touch or coordinate them in any way be shown on the contractor's schedule.  That's the only way that it really can be planned and coordinated properly. That requirement should be in your Division One Schedule spec section.

    You also can request through your Division One section that the contractor show submittals on his schedule so that those are coordinated and properly timed. Then your input back to the contractor would be that they need to provide the roofing submittal earlier/by a specific date/etc.

    ------------------------------
    Arlen Solochek FAIA
    Owner/Principal/Founder
    Arlen M. Solochek, FAIA Consulting Architect
    Phoenix AZ
    Arlen.Solochek@domail.maricopa.edu
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: Review of Contractor's Construction Schedule

    Posted 06-08-2021 05:49 PM

    Many years ago I headed a project in which the client asked for a "master schedule" long before any contractors had been selected. I put together a master CPM schedule using P3 that scheduled families of activities by each of the independent parties in the project, including the Owner, the Design Team, the Construction Manager, and the independent prime contractors. We then required each to submit its own schedule to integrate into the Master Schedule. Much griping ensued, but it worked. The design team exercised overall schedule control as agent for the owner.

     

    --William A. Wheatley

     

     

    William A. Wheatley, AIA

    Wheatley US Limited

              www.WheatleyUS.com

               351 Montgomery Ave.

             Wynnewood, PA 19096-1703

     

               Tel. +1 610 658 0579

    w.wheatley@WheatleyUS.com

     

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