Checklists

Construction Submittal Template

Disclaimer: This is a starter template provided for general informational purposes only. Before taking any actions based on using this template, we recommend you consult with the appropriate professionals.

As a construction project manager or principal contractor, you are obligated to dot every I and cross every T when it comes to your contracts. You’re expected to oversee the building of one or more projects in accordance with a set of plans, specifications and cost estimates. You have to manage each phase of the project from pre-construction through closeout, carefully monitoring the scope of work, budget, schedule, resources, quality and safety. In addition to these objectives, you lead a team of workers including superintendents, foremen and laborers and you’re ultimately responsible for the work they do, so you have a system of processes to make sure the project is complete and correct.

Construction submittals play a crucial role in successful project delivery. You’re contracted to build a facility according to construction drawings and specifications that provide details about a design that is subject to governing code. The construction submittal process is one of the ways that a client or owner can verify that the construction company is using the right materials, finishes and methods. Over the course of the project, you’re expected to present samples, shop drawings, product sheets, mix designs and more for review and approval by a representative of your client. Submittals aren’t just a mere formality. They serve as documentation that you’ve held up your end of the agreement.

Making Submittals

Your contracts should outline the submissions to be made over the project duration. As a construction manager, you will be expected to formally present items for approval along with a construction submittal form that generally includes the following details:

  • Name of submittal
  • Submittal number
  • Item code number or specification number, if applicable
  • Description of what is being presented
  • Date of submission
  • Special instructions or notes to the reviewer
  • Requested date for completion
  • Actual date of completion
  • Boxes for reviewer to: acknowledge, approve, conditionally approve or reject the submittal and request a revision and/or resubmittal
  • Comments from the reviewer
  • Signature blanks for the project manager and the reviewer

This form is a critical part of the paperwork that must be completed before the job can be closed out and accepted by the client. On a well-managed project, a construction submittal form is attached with each item and records the entire process, including rejections, revisions and resubmittals where applicable. Having these forms helps to protect you and your company’s interests, as it offers proof that you fulfilled your obligations and each submittal was received, reviewed and approved by someone authorized to do so.

Keeping Track of Items

A responsible project manager maintains a log or running list of all submittals and their statuses. This is an essential part of the construction submittal process, as you can compare this list against contract items as a metric of your project progress.

Let’s suppose you sent the engineer some concrete mix designs a week ago and you haven’t received a response. The submittal log lets you know which ones are still open, prompting you to reach out to a reviewer for an update on the status. This is another type of construction submittal form, but one that helps you keep track of your items. A delay in approval of an item could cause a delay in subsequent ordering and delivery, leading to a project delay that would have financial implications for you, your company and the client.

You can expect such a log to include some of the same information in a submittal form, but in a tabular format:

  • Name of item
  • Submittal number
  • Date sent
  • Current status: open, closed, approved, approved with conditions, rejected, revise and resubmit
  • Responsibility
  • Ball in court, or who is responsible for the latest status of the submission, including the contractor, reviewer or another party who may have to sign off; in some cases this could include client staff or some other key stakeholder

Establishing Consistency

Your client depends on you to establish consistent processes and consistent documentation. Using a template for your construction submittal form makes sure that each item is documented, sent, reviewed and responded to in the same way each time. A construction submittals template can be established on a project-, program- or client-specific basis. A template for your submittal log helps your organization establish consistency when it comes to managing and monitoring progress among projects. Using templates takes the guesswork out of how to document project details, which can be especially important for jobs funded using federal, state and local government dollars.

Establishing Consistency

While you may be the sole manager for a construction project, there are often multiple parties involved in the construction submittal process. Consider the people that work with you and under you to deliver the project:

  • Estimator: Verifies the materials to be procured and sent for review when putting together a bid for the project
  • Scheduler: Identifies “long-lead items” that require a significant amount of time to procure and factors that into the baseline schedule and progressive schedule updates
  • Purchaser: Responsible for ordering materials to be installed
  • Supplier or Vendor: Provides pertinent information for a submittal, including product sheets, shop drawings and schematics
  • Project Administrator or Assistant Project Manager: May be responsible for putting together transmittal packages, completing the construction submittal form and maintaining the log
  • Owner’s Representative: May act as an intermediary on the owner’s behalf who receives all submittals and directs them to the appropriate persons for review and comment
  • Reviewer: May be an architect, engineer or another designer responsible for the plans and specifications that provides review and confirms or denies compliance with contract documents
  • Superintendent: Confirms that materials or supplies ordered are the same as the items approved before installation
  • Document Control Manager: Maintains the record of all submittals including actual and electronic documents

Your project documents will pass through many hands. Tracking every aspect of each submittal not only requires consistency, but everyone should be on the same page when it comes to the construction submittal process.

Managing Change

While you expect to stick to the plan, it’s rare to have a construction project where nothing changes. Circumstances may require deviations from the original agreement. This can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Errors or omissions in the blueprints or specifications
  • Field conditions that differ from what was assumed or determined during the design phase
  • Owner- or client-requested changes to the scope
  • Unavailability of materials due to supplier going out of business
  • Product discontinuation
  • Lack of raw materials
  • Rising production and delivery costs
  • Updated specifications or changes in best practices
  • Emerging technology
  • Value engineering or identification of cost-savings

These changes shouldn’t necessarily affect your construction submittal process or construction submittal form, but your submittals will likely change. When it’s time to complete the project, you will need a formal record of all items presented, including ones not specified in the original contract or agreement.

Implementing Technology

Although you may be required to maintain hard copies, they can be difficult to manage and maintain without an electronic system, especially for projects that last for several years. Moreover, documents can be damaged or lost over the duration. A construction submittal software system can be formalized, standardized and even automated, ensuring that the construction submittal process engages all necessary parties at the right time.

Construction projects, in particular, involve people that are not collocated. You may or may not be at a particular jobsite the entire time. Meanwhile your superintendent and field crews are on a particular job, while other team members are located at a corporate or branch office. When you factor in client’s representative staff, design members, suppliers, subcontractors and other stakeholders, the potential value of a technology-based system becomes even clearer.

Imagine a streamlined construction submittal process system that notifies each person of pending items. Ideally, such a system would be responsible for creating each submittal template as well as form generation and distribution. Forms could be automatically generated at the top of a project or a submittal log could be created based on form completion. Emails and text alerts could be prompted by issues that have been open or unaddressed for a particular length of time. Users would fill forms and sign them electronically for real-time processing. The system could be accessed by any mobile device as well as desktop computers, irrespective of the operating system, user experience or location.

Fluix is a workflow automation tool that makes handling processes such as site induction easier. You can keep all your documentation organized and easily accessible. Plus, Fluix is very easy for people to use in the field, including during hands-on training. Check out the solution today and get started.

Experiencing the Fluix Difference

Fluix stands as your solution for superior construction document management, including project submittals. This platform is a flexible, scalable, lightweight and powerful construction submittal software system that can automate the construction submittal process with groups of any size, shape or configuration.

There’s no need for specialized knowledge of coding or operating systems to make sure your submittals are fully processed in a timely manner. Set up automated workflows as well as reporting and distributing to help you manage your projects better and better serve your clients, your company and the entire project team. We invite you to learn more about how Fluix makes a difference when it comes to your workflows and document management. Experience firsthand a new level of control and improved project management with our free, no-obligation free trial.