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9 Things the Best Project Engineers Look For

Carrying out a proper review greatly increases the chances of finishing your project on time, on budget, and with as little litigation as possible. With profit margins currently sitting around 3.5% to 5%, a few things missed here and there can really affect the P&L for a project. Factor in the possible cost of claims and litigation, doing a little analysis of the specifications will go a long way to make sure you’re not on the wrong end of a losing project. Or worse, a lawsuit.

This is why we always recommend that you thoroughly review any submittal log, product/equipment list, and/or closeout requirement data, etc., regardless of whether it was generated by hand or through an AI software.

In today’s fast-paced construction environment, design team will often out-source the writing of project specifications to another party. These third parties tend to recycle specifications and product data from previous projects, copying and pasting old specs and turning them into “new ones.” As a result, by the time the project team gets their hands on the specifications, they can be bloated and full of possibly irrelevant information. This can include things like products and equipment that are no longer manufactured, extraneous meetings with the design team or subcontractors, standards that are out of date, and manufacturers who worked “their magic” in order for their products to be listed at the exclusion of other options.

Over the course of working with hundreds of engineering teams on thousands of projects, we have found that the best make sure they ask the following questions in the critical submittal review process:

  • Do the specifications align with the contract documents and drawings? Is anything potentially out of scope?
  • Are any divisions or spec sections missing submittals or product data?
  • How many shop drawings are called for? Does this make sense for the size and scope of the project?
  • Has the architect delegated any design elements to the subcontractors?
  • Will the project be undergoing LEED certification? If so, what is required?
  • Do the requested mock-ups make sense for this project?
  • Are specified materials and products going to need to be imported? If so, what are they and where can you acquire them? How long will they take to deliver? Are there tariffs active on those materials?
  • Do any products/equipment have a sole source designation? What are the specified products with a basis-of-design requirement? Which materials will have a long-lead time or require custom fabrication? Can we start preparing for this before mobilizing?
  • Are there QA/QC requirements that call for very specific inspections and certifications?

AI and automation platforms like AutoSpecs should act as a safety net in your workflow. You can rest easy knowing that the bulk of a task has been taken care of, but with so much at stake, and the time freed up to do it, why not have someone review your log after it’s created?

Want to learn more about submittals?
Watch our webinar for submittal education and best practices.


John Bennett

As Director of Customer Success, John brings almost a decade of AEC industry knowledge to Pype. Specializing in software implementation and with experience consulting and advising project teams, he provides AEC best practices and a love of cranes to his Customer Success Team at Pype.

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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