Blog post by Dennis Buirge on June 6, 2011
As a general rule, a typical Owner/Architect agreement divides the project design work scope into 5 phases with the following corresponding percentages as part of the total remuneration: schematic design (SD) - 15%; design development (DD) - 20%; construction documentation (CD) - 40%; bidding - 5%; and construction administration (CA) - 20%.
It is in the construction documentation phase that various project documents are synthesized and finalized for bidding. Most documents used by the Contractor fall in the bidding and construction work phases; documents used in these two phases, in most cases, are not the same. Understanding the various documents for technical accuracy and related nomenclature are therefore important when preparing a deliverable to the Owner.
* Official Definition: “Written and graphic documents prepared or assembled by the A/E for communicating the project design for construction and administering the construction contract”. 1
* General Purposes: CDs are used to define the project for bidding; obtain permits from Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ); execute the construction contract(s); and guide construction from administrative and procedural perspectives.
* Rule of Thumb: Since each component has a specific purpose and should be used for that purpose, state each requirement only one time and in the correct location, i.e., information in one document should not be repeated in other documents.
* Universality: Basic concepts for creating, preparing, organizing, and coordinating construction documents are applicable, whether a project is simple or complex, whether it is bid publically or privately, and whether one or multiple prime construction contracts apply.
* Various Types: Procurement documents and Contract documents.
With one of the goals of this blog being a forum for reviewing construction terminology, document terms will be defined at multiple times in future blogs.
Note 1: Page 5.2, Project Resource Manual as distributed by The Construction Specification Institute.