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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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  • 1.  Record Specifications

    Posted 09-20-2023 06:44 PM

    We were recently asked to provide "Record Specifications". My understanding is that specifications are detailed written documents that provide information about the materials, products, manuf. methods, and quality standards required for a construction project. These specifications serve as a comprehensive guide for contractors, builders, and other stakeholders involved in the project to ensure that the design intent is accurately implemented. Once the project is completed  wouldn't the submittals, warranties and O&M documents serve as the Record for products/materials installed. Does anyone have any insight into what this document is?

    The Owner's supplementary conditions indicate ---> 1. Mark copy with the proprietary name and model number of products, materials, and 
    equipment furnished, including substitutions and product options selected. 
    2. Record the name of manufacturer, supplier, Installer, and other information necessary to provide a record of selections made. 
    3. For each principal product, indicate whether record Product Data has been submitted in operation and maintenance manuals instead of submitted as record Product Data.

    The above seems to be repeated info given in the submittals. Would "bundling up the submittals, warranties and O&M documents " not serve the purpose. The purpose would be to have some sort of record of all products installed.


    Janene Christopher AIA
    Steinberg Hart
    San Diego CA
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  • 2.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-21-2023 05:27 PM

    I think you will need to amend the Specifications to incorporate and changes resulting from Change Orders, and then mark the cover and title page as "Record Specifications." These would be supplemented by the submittals, organized by CSI Specifications order (or, if you did not use CSI specifications format, in the order of the Record Specifications.


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  • 3.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-21-2023 06:47 PM

    Are you the architect in a traditional Owner-Architect-Contractor tripartite relationship, or are you the architect in a design-build relationship working for the contractor?

    If you are the architect in the former relationship, why would you be concerned since it is the contractor's responsibility to prepare record documents? If you are the architect in the latter relationship, the design-builder may delegate that responsibility to you, provided it is in your Design-Builder/Architect agreement.

    The submittals may be used as a source for preparing the record specifications, but they cannot be substituted for record specifications. If the contract documents require record specifications and have identified specific conditions for those record specifications, then the contractor is obligated to provide the information as requested since it appears to be an owner-established requirement. 

    Yes, providing record submittals and record specifications is duplicative, but record specifications also make finding things easier. Also, not all products and materials are required to have a submittal.

    If you are not in a design-build relationship and are under contract with the owner, you cannot waive the owner's requirements without consulting the owner. They may have their reasons for requiring both types of product record information.

    Ronald Geren, AIA
    RLGA Technical Services
    Scottsdale AZ

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  • 4.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-21-2023 07:28 PM

    Yes, having to do both a record set of specs and having all of the submittals, etc. available is <somewhat> duplicative.


    Specs often get separated from the final submittals once the project is over.  The final set of submittals isn't always provided to the owner or isn't provided in a readable, cross-referrable form (we can't read a CD from ten years ago, computers don't even come with a CC/DVD reader anymore, so a DVD isn't helpful. When will jump drives and USB/C ports go out of style?? Paper copies, if used, usually are scanned and then tossed.).

    Ten years from now, some facility manager or maintenance person is going to find the specs and not the submittals, or vice versa, when a question comes up.

    As an ex in-house owner's capital program manager, I can see the value, even at an additional services cost, of having a single document that has all of the information. Since submittals aren't needed for every spec section and item, the default here would go to marking up an as-constructed set of specs. For even better service, attaching the approved submittals to the electronic as-constructed set of specs would be a really valuable close out service to an owner. 

    Arlen Solochek, FAIA
    Arlen Solochek FAIA, Consulting Architect
    Phoenix, AZ

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  • 5.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-22-2023 12:19 AM

    I think that's a great idea for the client to request.  In the public sector the record specs could serve as an update to future standards, or a record for custodial purposes to operate and look up manufacturers in one binder.

    The submittals are a lot and various sizes pending material or ship dwg.

    Pending the substitutions, it would be good to identify which spec divisions met or didn't meet the intended goal and why as a lessons learned.

    That's what I would do with a record specs and why it's important to ask for one.

    Hope this was helpful.

    Mi Zhang AIA
    NYC School Construction Authority
    Brooklyn NY

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  • 6.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-22-2023 02:37 PM

    Thank you all (I've read up to #5 by Mi) and agree this is really helpful for Public sector clients and facility maintenance folks (provided they have staff that update their systems as voiced by Arlen #4) otherwise only the "Paper RECORD docs survive".  The project requiring this is Design-Build (apologies for not mentioning).  The request can now be another revenue stream as Record Dwgs are typically a separate fee and thus this can be too. Excellent! It will be the CCA manager's responsibility to update the specs as required by the product submitted and approved by the CCA process. That way we revise it as we go versus doing it after making the work more stream-lined as back-tracking is not efficient. Thanks all.

    Janene Christopher AIA
    Steinberg Hart
    San Diego CA

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  • 7.  RE: Record Specifications

    Posted 09-24-2023 04:58 PM

    AIA Document A201-2017 "General Conditions" does not refer to "Record Specifications" or any record documents. Section 3.11 requires that the Contractor maintain a complete set of the Contract Documents annotated to include field changes and selections, and the approved submittals. The Contractor is to turn these over to the Architect for submittal to the Owner.

    AIA MasterSpec Section 017839 "Project Record Documents" provides options for a more detailed description of the Contractor's requirements related to the closeout submittals to be turned over the Architect, including Record Drawings, Record Specifications, Record Product Data, and other record submittals.

    AIA Document B101-2017 "Owner/Architect Agreement" describes As-Designed Record Drawings and As-Constructed Record Drawings as an Architect's  Supplemental Service not included in Basic Services. It does not address specifications but could be extended to include record specifications.

    I would understand this additional service to consist of verifying to the extent possible the Contractor's annotations on their submitted set of Contract Documents and producing a volume of modified specifications that incorporated all modifications made after release of the Construction Documents, including addendum items, selected products, ASIs, Change Orders, and field changes affecting the specifications. This is a significant amount of work and responsibility on the part of the Architect requiring adequate compensation.

    As Ron Geren points out, these responsibilities will be different in a Design-Build project, as well as in projects using other Owner/Architect and Owner/Contractor contract forms.

    Philip Kabza AIA
    SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
    Mount Dora FL

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