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RE: STEEL: Q - What is the proper procedure for submitting/approv ing an alternate design?

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Bill:

I think Mark and Jason have pointed you to the "correct" document...the
contract documents (i.e. the specifical manual and drawings).  As they
said, this is what the contractor (and thus the subcontractors) agreed to
provide with their bid (unless they proposed and got approved an alternate
at the bid phase).  The front ends of most spec manuals that I have seen
have a section that deal with substitutions/alternatives and will detail
whether or not they are permitted and if they are, what is required for
the substitution/alternative to be considered.  If the contract documents
are silent on this issue, then I would have to believe that would mean
that NO substitutions/alternatives strictly speaking would be permitted by
the contract (unless the owner chooses to waive that restriction).

The only thing to be careful of is does YOUR contract "match" with the
contractor's contract.  In otherwords, if substitutions are permitted, but
not real burden is place on the contractor to "prove" the substitution by
way of the contract language, then is your contract clear in what is your
scope of work (i.e. is your scope of work so loosely defined that you
could get stuck "proving" a substitution).

All this is the "technical" side...beyond that you need to also consider
the "client relations" side (i.e. while you might be in the "right" to
deny the alternative or expect a fee to evaluated it, do you piss of the
client by doing so?  And if you do piss them off, do you care? [i.e. are
you hoping for future business?  Have you been paid?] etc).

HTH,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Tue, 16 Nov 2004, Jason W. Kilgore wrote:

> How's this:
>
> The document you need to refer to is the contract documents, of which your
> drawings are a part.
>
> The contractor bid on the original stamped design drawings, and is bound by
> his contract to detail, fabricate, and construct the structure based on
> those drawings.  If the submitted shop drawings do not match your stamped
> design drawings they are in non-compliance and can be legally rejected.
> Also, if the contractor significantly changes the structural system your
> stamps on the original drawings are useless because the drawings are void.
>
> However, to be a "team player" and to potentially save the owner some money,
> you might entertain changing the system.  The final system is LEGALLY
> REQUIRED to be designed and stamped by the SEOR, or designed and stamped by
> a Specialty Engineer and approved by the SEOR.  The specifics of this
> legality depend on your local plan review jurisdiction and PE board rules.
>
> The only question is, "Who pays for designing the changes?"  You have no
> contractual, legal, or ethical obligation to spend time re-designing
> something because the contractor doesn't like your original method.  If the
> contractor is saving money by changing YOUR design, then he should be
> willing to pass some of that along to you for your re-design time.
> Otherwise, he needs to hire a specialty engineer.  If the contractor is NOT
> saving money, then he needs to follow your original drawings.
>
> I know it's too late for this, but all these changes should have been
> coordinated through RFI's long before the shops were submitted.
>
> ---
> Jason Kilgore
> Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
> Kansas City, Missouri
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc]
> > Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:47 AM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > Subject: Re: STEEL: Q - What is the proper procedure for submitting/approv
> > ing an alternate design?
> >
> > As a follow-up:
> >
> > I'm seeing a lot of information about what each respondent expects to
> > see. I do appreciate that, and it provides food for thought.
> >
> > However, I was apparently not clear in my question:
> >
> > What I want to know is, are there any governing standards, notably by
> > AISC (such as the Code of Standard Practice) that governs how something
> > like this ought to be handled? How about CASE documents? Anything?
> >
> > In this case, my contact doesn't cover ANYTHING like this situation, and
> > I am trying to proceed based, not on my own opinion (my recent legal
> > adventures have taught me how much that's worth), but on industry
> > standards or established law.
> >
> > Thanks once again.
>
>
>
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