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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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Owner-imposed changes

  • 1.  Owner-imposed changes

    Posted 01-15-2018 14:40
    Often, our clients will ask us, mostly during construction, to change part of the design, or use a different product, usually to save money. If the change does not meet Code, it's easy to refuse. But if there's no other reason other than you don't like the change to your design, or that you don't like, know or trust the proposed product, how do you handle their request?

    Christian Nielsen-Palacios AIA
    Ithaca NY
    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals

  • 2.  RE: Owner-imposed changes

    Posted 01-16-2018 08:48
    Openly, friendly, professionally forthrightly ON PAPER.    It is your design ...but they  own the outcome.  If the product is a serious problem or hazard in your view you needs to at least disclaim liability and responsibility and have them confirm acceptance in writing

    Stephen Ruben
    Business Development
    Manhattan Renovations
    New York NY

    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals

  • 3.  RE: Owner-imposed changes

    Posted 01-16-2018 10:30

    Changes are about communication. As much as possible, you should have solid reasons for the decisions that were made relative to the design and specification. When a change is requested, I see it as our responsibility to discuss the pros and cons of the request. If an owner makes a decision contrary to your advice, it is their prerogative to do so. The only thing that you can do is to document the decision process and to do your best to obtain a written release acknowledging that there are specific hazards associated with the Owner's decision. Most often I find that the Owner and/or Contractor are not willing to make a decision that places more liability on themselves. At the point of signing the release, they opt to proceed per spec.


    Daniel L Edgell AIA, NCARB




    1162 Rolling Oaks Ave

    Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

    727 308 1773


    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals

  • 4.  RE: Owner-imposed changes

    Posted 01-16-2018 16:05

    There are two different issues here.


    Regarding "design changes," one would expect that you already have successfully executed the Client's original design objectives, and that you have developed an understanding with your client about how you respond to requests for design changes. The first thing to do is establish that responding to the Client's request is an additional service. Next, you might respond with an objective evaluation of the pros and cons, accompanied by your summary recommendation as the project architect. Be sure to remind the client of the design objectives that you received originally on the specific issue, so that they understand their responsibility. In the end, the Client has to provide you with written direction. Hence, if the Client's direction goes against your recommendation, you have it documented.


    Regarding "different products," this should be treated as a Substitution Request, and you should be compensated for reviewing and responding. If you use an AIA contract, you have provisions for this. We see more and more practice by GCs, disguising substitutions as RFIs-Beware! Return them not-reviewed and request a Substitution Request per the terms of your contract. This requires that you understand the Owner-Contractor Agreement in addition to your own.


    Thank you,

    Jim McLane
    Technical Director, Steinberg Hart, Los Angeles
    Sent from iCloud

    CCA 2020 symposium call for proposals