Construction Administration: Has the Procoring of CA fucked CA for architects?



The old days, maybe 5-10 years ago, when shops were submitted, we'd redline the drawings - do our RAR, RAN, REJ, or APP - send back to the GC, the GC would coordinate and send to the relevant subs, or am I missing something? Now, the sub, and the GC, after we send back the redlined drawings, want us to go back into the AE drawings, and re-issue sets of ASIs. When did this start? Is this typical for you all as well? We don't have the CA budget for that kind of shit, one, and b, where is the GC, and their PM, what are their roles; why the fuck do I have a responsibility to run CA on THEIR work?

What are you seeing? Are you seeing the GC using project management software as a crutch? Wherein, they post submittals, and no one on the construction team has any responsibility to do their job, and it's the architects fault?


May 10, 19 8:55 pm

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Non Sequitur

Only on very rare, and very custom shops, have we had to reissue certain drawings.  Everything is between the CM and his/her subs. I attended some of their coordination meetings on my last project but the heavy coordination is very clearly in the CM's job description.

May 10, 19 11:22 pm

Yes. 1000% this. And it's led to a lot of confusion, rework, and misunderstandings. 

May 10, 19 11:47 pm

Another form of value engineering.

May 11, 19 9:37 am
liberty bell

ASI’s are for details that wasn’t clear in the first go-round, not for redlines. WTF. This sounds really bad.

May 11, 19 10:06 am
Featured Comment

I'm realizing that the disconnect lies in the communication between architect, GC, and their MEP design build. We send our drawings to the GC, they post the ASI to procore, but don't send the updates to the design build. The design build is responsible for setting the sleeves, locating the drains, conduit and junction boxes. I assumed that since the design build is part of the construction team, they would coordinate with their team.

May 11, 19 11:03 am

the architect's role in babysitting the contractor's subs seems to be increasing quite a bit.  often it seems the GC/superintendent don't even look at the drawings anymore.  just look at how many square feet, put a means price to it, and hope for the best.

May 11, 19 11:18 am

Curt, exactly. I refuse to be the huckleberry.

Non Sequitur

I have my hands full babysitting my engineer consultants. Ain’t got no time for the subs.


they don't look at the drawings or the specs

( o Y o )

The architect (in theory at least) cares more about the project than anyone else. Developers are looking for the lowest cost, CMs demenoatrate their “value” by beating up everyone and avoiding responsibility, contractors and subs do as little as possible knowing they’re probably not going to get paid, not to mention competition between consultants angling for the biggest slice of pie. 

Meanwhile the architects tear their hair out in frustration. Well, some is us, at least. Next time you see a bald architect ... having ethics places one at a severe disadvantage in this society. 

May 11, 19 3:04 pm

Bingo. The problem is that the one who cares most is not always at the wheel. This can be solved with reorganization of project delivery methods
. Unfortunately, the law makes innovation in this area unnecessarily difficult.


The majority of my CA experience is from the CM side. I come in peace. I'm here to learn and offer another perspective. I do "coordination" for MEP+FP & STR with ARCH. We use something besides Procore.

1. Can someone confirm the acronyms in the original post? Revise and Resubmit (RAR)? Resubmit as Noted (RAN)? Reject (REJ)? Approve (APP)? I've only seen approved, Approved as Noted (AAN), and Revise & Resubmit (R&R).

2. Can you elaborate on re-issuing sets of ASIs? I've never received one from the AE. On my jobs the AE provide addenda, bulletins, (rarely) sketches, and (rarely) rev'ed sheets with RFI responses. Typically when something requires an RFI (un-constructible, not to code, etc.) the AE demands the following from me:

a. A list of all referenced sheets I reviewed b. A sheet/sketches showing the issue in plan, section, elevation, and 3d axon/perspective c. Different solutions for them to pick from.

3. Typical "coordination" workflow: a. The individual trade contractors draw out their scope as shown on the contract documents b. I flag all the RFI-able items we're unable to re-route without significant changes to the design intent. c. Meet w/ the AE to try and work through issues so we can write confirming RFIs d. Submit shop drawings as a submittal once we're coordinated. d. Work through field issues as they arise.

4. I'm curious to hear what each of you consider the scope of coordination to be. I'm on a job where the MEP engineer's position is their design is both "schematic in nature" and "issued for construction".  They claim they aren't responsible for checking the as-builts & laser scan we provide before they complete their design (new core-shell fitout). They also claim its solely the CMs job to make their design work with itself and the architecture. When I was a designer at an architecture firm 3 years ago this attitude would've gotten the the engineer fired. 

I think the CM and trades should make a reasonable effort to re-route systems that don't fit. However, trying to delegate the redesign of major shafts, risers, food service, FP zoning, steel/slabs, etc. to the trade contractors in order to meet code seems unreasonable. I'm hoping this engineer is the exception and not a new trend.

It sounds like a few of you have had some very bad experiences with CMs/GCs. I"m sorry to hear that. It sucks, but it does happen on our end as well. 

May 11, 19 7:24 pm

if it was designed wrong, I can see how you would want the MEP firm to redo their work. If it was not designed wrong and you're asking them to redo their work as part of the contractor's responsibility to coordinate trades, then the pushback is understandable. their fee probably doesn't include doing their job twice. we will try to be fairly accurate with big things, like duct trunks and maybe cable trays. Electrical conduit is typically not shown and any other piping is diagrammatic. It's not dimensioned on the plan and the sub probably isn't that accurate anyway. we usually don't even see sprinklers until you submit shops because that's delegated design, so we can't coordinate that. The scope for that level of coordination has to be on the contra ctor.


I agree on your first 3 points. I disagree about all piping. Do you consider chilled water risers (8"+ pipe w/o insulation) to be diagrammatic? I can see piping routing being diagrammatic and on the trades to coordinate, but not if the contractor has to change the system to something not in the spec or approved submittal to make it work.

Do you think the architect has a responsibility to coordinate their consultants work, and if so, to what extent?


1. Some firms, and their attorneys, advise against using "Approved as Noted" so I try to use Reviewed. RAR Revise and Resubmit. The others are correct. We even use FIO, For Information Only.


2. ASIs, are Architectural Supplemental Instructions, typically time and money are not involved, and are merely to provide clarifications; dimensions, note clarification, etc. Addenda is provided during the bidding phase, and typically are alterations to the contract documents.


4. The AE team doesn't build anything, the GC team, by virtue of bidding, accepting the work, and signing the contract are attesting to their ability to read the contract documents - note I didn't state, construction documents - have asked the appropriate RFIs during the bid phase...etc. If in the course it's become apparent that some elements don't work, as it often happens with ceiling plenums and MEP work, it's incumbent that all parties are resolute in crafting a solution that resolves the issues.


Thank you, this is helpful.


Architects hire idiot lawyers who think that avoiding the word "Approved" somehow protects them when shit goes sideways, using meaningless terms like "No Exceptions Taken" and the like. Courts, being staffed by people with brains who are not so easily fooled, view this as a distinction without a difference and rule accordingly.


Pete, anything and everything can be litigated. However, when an attorney says do, you do, as with most things in life, there's no certainty, but death.


"The solution has been to explicitly limit the scope of the engineer’s or architect’s review both in the contract and on the shop-drawing stamp itself. Although most shop-drawing stamps now include an “approved” option, this approach uses language that strictly limits the scope of the submittal review to “conformance with information given and the intent of the construction documents.”


define what are willing to do in CA in your contract

May 12, 19 12:39 pm
YES definitely seeing this happen!!! It’s ridiculous!
May 13, 19 12:33 pm
Featured Comment

Digital submittals, in general, have made contractors lazy.  When they had to print everything, they only picked the relevant information.  Now I get the whole fucking catalog, and I'm lucky if they've even circled what they intend to use.  And what do I do when that happens?  I pick the most expensive version. 

Procore and similar programs are just a fancy dropbox.  I don't think it's changed much beyond what was being done digitally, before.  I do hate the emails.  I despise getting tons of emails.  I'm the POC for one of my projects.  Every single item that gets posted, I get an email. 

With regard to drawing updates, all my projects require record drawings.  We get marked up sets from the contractor, and also generate our own to give to the Owner.  So, every sketch is put into the record drawings.  If something done in submittals changes the work, it goes in.  If you're having problems with something like this, you have a contract problem, or have an understanding of contract problem. 

May 13, 19 12:55 pm
Featured Comment

it seems like this might be best solved with a note to the GC asking which drawings they would like help with at the posted hourly rates & an attached contract for time/materials to handle drafting outside of your CA scope

then, it should at least give them pause & assert that you're not a drafting service on retainer by the owner

May 13, 19 4:15 pm

It's complicated but yeah.  Just like AutoCAD and REVIT, now ProCore is extracting a million pounds of flesh from all our asses.  Yet we have put up with these vampiric software companies for decades folks.  (BTW it's not just hurting architects.  It's also hurting Inspectors, AHJ's, Owners, etc.  I have seen it a lot recently) (and it's hurting the GC's too, a lot of them won't have repeat clients because of it)

We are 20 sheep having a discussion with 2000 NWO wolves as to what's for dinner.  Except we're already half eaten.  Aren't computers great though?  Keep posting to Facebook and paying taxes and using credit cards... I'm sure all these problems will go away eventually.   FOL.

Short answer... don't issue any ASI unless it's absolutely necessary.  Invest in lots of lube and use your wallet to bite down on.  This is going to hurt.

May 16, 19 8:17 am

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