Grant A. Simpson, FAIA, is an accomplished Southern cook taught by his Cajun grandmother. This aging warrior can usually be found listening to Hawaiian music in his backyard tropical paradise; cultivating frangipani, enjoying his tiki torches, or constructing a bamboo trellis…(for which he carefully prepared a work plan); red beans and rice anyone? See his Practice article, co-authored by Jim Atkins, on page 79 of the Texas Architect July/August edition.
Jim Atkins, FAIA, likes to fish, whether it is fighting blue marlin in the Bahamas, working the snapper banks in the Gulf, or wading fishing the Laguna Madre. When he can't make it to the big water he settles for a more serene endeavor. His goldfish are the winners. See his Practice article, co-authored by FAIA member Grant A. Simpson, on page 79 of the Texas Architect July/August edition.
Understanding contract documents for managing and directing the Work
This two-part series will take a look at the contractor’s sole responsibility for the Work and how to evaluate the contractor’s approach to its supervision, coordination, and direction. Part 1 examines the planning that is logically and often contractually required, including the primary organizational framework—the Contractor’s Work Plan. The second and final installment (scheduled for publication in the Sept/Oct 2011 edition) will examine the contractor’s obligations for delivering conforming work, common approaches by contractors to alter work scope and avoid conformance, and suggested actions to take to confirm the existence of a Work Plan if indications appear otherwise.
This series does not purport to invent new ways for developing a contractor’s plan for implementing the Work. Many of the tried and true elements of an effective and adequate Work Plan already exist and can be readily found in common construction contracts, general conditions, and guide specifications.
Who’s Responsible for the Work?
In its capacity as supervisor, coordinator, and director of the Work, the contractor must obviously develop and implement a reasonable and prudent plan for organizing, phasing, coordinating, scheduling, and implementing the Work.
This responsibility is clearly stated and repeatedly emphasized in the AIA’s General Conditions of the Contract for Construction.
• Section 1.1.3 identifies the Work as the contractor’s responsibility: “The term ‘Work’ means the construction and services required by the Contract Documents, whether completed or partially completed, and includes all other labor, materials, equipment and services provided or to be provided by the Contractor to fulfill the Contractor’s obligations.”
• Section 3.3.1 states that the contractor is in complete charge and control of the Work and is the only contracted entity that bears such responsibility: “The Contractor shall supervise and direct the Work, using the Contractor’s best skill and attention. The Contractor shall be solely responsible for, and have control over, construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the Work under the Contract, unless the Contract Documents give other specific instructions concerning these matters.”
• Section 3.1.3 states that the responsibility is absolute and cannot be assumed or circumvented by the actions of the architect, or deferred upon the architect: “The Contractor shall not be relieved of obligations to perform the Work in accordance with the Contract Documents either by activities or duties of the Architect in the Architect’s administration of the Contract, or by tests, inspections or approvals required or performed by persons or entities other than the Contractor.”
What Comprises a Work Plan?
The elements of a Work Plan can vary based on the contractor’s expertise and approach, but the minimum services and components required of the contractor can be found in the AIA General Conditions, which include:
• Section 1.2.2: “… dividing the Work among Subcontractors or … establishing the extent of Work to be performed by any trade.”
• Section 3.2.2: “…the Contractor shall, before starting each portion of the Work…take field measurement of any existing conditions…for the purpose of facilitating coordination and construction.”
• Section 3.3.3: “The Contractor shall be responsible for inspection of portions of the Work already performed to determine that such portions are in proper condition to receive subsequent Work.”
• Section 3.7.2: “The Contractor shall comply with and give notices required by applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, codes, rules and regulations, and lawful orders of public authorities applicable to the performance of the Work.”
• Section 3.10.1: “The Contractor…shall prepare and submit…a Contractor’s construction schedule for the Work.”
• Section 3.10.2: “The Contractor shall prepare a submittal schedule…coordinated with the Contractor’s construction schedule…”
• Section 3.11: “The Contractor shall maintain at the site…one copy of the Drawings, Specifications, Addenda, Change Orders and other Modifications…to indicate field changes and selections made during construction, and one copy of approved Shop Drawings, Product Data, Samples and similar required submittals.”
• Section 3.12.1: “Shop Drawings are drawings, diagrams, schedules and other data specially prepared for the Work by the Contractor, or a Subcontractor, Sub-subcontractor, manufacturer, supplier or distributor to illustrate some portion of the Work.”
• Section 3.12.4: “Shop Drawings, Product Data, Samples and similar submittals…purpose is to demonstrate the way by which the Contractor proposes to conform to the…Contract Documents…”
• Section 3.12.6: “By submitting Shop Drawings, Product Data, Samples and similar submittals, the Contractor represents…that the Contractor has…reviewed and approved them,…checked and coordinated the information contained within such submittals…”
• Section 9.2: “[Preparing]…a schedule of values allocating the entire Contract Sum to the various portions of the Work…[to]…be used as a basis for reviewing the Contractor's Applications for Payment.”