The Weekly Dig: Submittals
The Weekly Dig is an easy-to-digest peek into trending industry topics, thought-leadership, and product updates from Pype.
June 4, 2019
What is a submittal?
Calling something a “submittal” is kind of like calling something “tall”—trying to rigidly define it is difficult, but you know it when you see it. It’s a broad term that, loosely, means a “point of information.” What you then do with the information entirely depends on what kind of information it is. Generally, most submittals are asking for some sort of proof or evidence that you’re maintaining contract compliance. For example, a submittal could ask you to include fabrication and installation layouts of metals panels, edge conditions, panel profiles, and corners for a project—this specifically would be an action submittal. However, further complicating matters is the fact that the full requirements for metal panels are found in the product data—which is itself a type of submittal. Think of it this way: the submittal log (which should contain all submittals for a project) is a highschool math textbook. Action submittals are all the annoying math problems your teacher made you do for homework. The product data and other types of submittals are the answers printed in the back of the book. Same book, just making sure you read the entire thing.
Why do submittals exist?
Buildings are heavy. Heavy things tend to fall down when they aren’t properly constructed, causing damage and injury. Submittals help check that things are built correctly every step of the way. Not only does it ensure that the GC has read and comprehends the spec book, but it requires the design team to do their due diligence in responding to RFIs and approving/rejecting change orders, and also makes sure that trades are following the design for their scope of work. If a trade submits steel beams that are too weak, the design team will kick it back and say as such. If the specs don’t specify the weightage of the steel beams, the GC and trades submit an RFI to the design team and they provide it. Either way, the steel beams end with the correct weightage (assuming no one misses it).
But wait…. there’s more.
Unfortunately, submittals are not cut and dry. There are a myriad of exceptions and clarifying details to everything above. To take a deeper dive, watch Staci Webber’s webinar focusing on “Submittals: What, Why, and How?”