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Contractor Recovery For Slow Submittal Review

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 05:03 pm

Contractor Recovery For Slow Submittal Review

Contractors sometimes find their work hindered by slow owner response to shop drawings and other submittals. In a worst case scenario, a contractor may be unable to proceed with work on the schedule's critical path until a submittal is either approved or disapproved. In some situations, a contractor can recover additional compensation for this delay.

Contracts sometimes specify a maximum turn-around time, but most do not. Project owners are understandably reluctant to commit to a uniform review period when the nature and complexity of submittals can vary greatly. The question then becomes whether a submittal was processed in a period of time which was reasonable under the circumstances.


In one case, the owner's agreement with the project architect allowed the architect 15 days for review of submittals. It would therefore be reasonable for the owner to turn around a submittal within 21 days of receipt from the contractor. Appeal of C. Walker Construction Co., VABCA No. 1527 (May 19, 1982); CCM July 1982, p. 6.

In another case, 14 days was deemed a reasonable period for review of a complete and accurate submittal. The owner took six weeks longer than that, forcing the contractor to re-sequence its work. The contractor was entitled to a price adjustment. Appeal of Azerind, Inc., ASB [...]

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