Sample Item 3: Change Order vs Change Directive

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    Aaron Perelstein

    Hey Benjamin,

    I think the key portion here related to time is that the walls are already framed. In order to reduce the demolition of additional work, a CCD is issued to prevent items like MEP systems, gypsum board or other materials from being installed. The owner being adamant confirms that the decision is not dependent on the price.

    Hope that helps.

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    Aaron Perelstein

    Glad that helped and good luck. I was an early tester for all the exams and still come around to help out when I can.

    I think that one of the things about the questions in 5.0 that can be tricky - the details matter. I think it is often easy to narrow down to two answers, but the difference between the two may be more nuanced. 

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Thanks, Aaron.

    I agree with everything you said, but I still don't think this scenario necessitates a CCD. The A201 and commentary make it clear that a CCD is a step above a Change Order. There’s one section about Change Orders, there are ten about Change Directives. That’s because it’s a second resort, and has a tendency to introduce conflict into a project. The Change Order process protects Owner and Contractor. CCDs introduce uncertainty. This is my general issue with this question. It treats the two as equal choices, and they are not.

    So the two issues here:
    1) Agreement. We know the owner wants the change, but we can’t jump to a CCD without asking the contractor. We have to go with answer B.
    2) Time. You make great points here about potential demo, I am almost convinced! The problem here is that work won’t stop until you talk to the contractor anyway. You can either hand them a Change Order or a CCD, end result will be the same. Change Order is the better method of getting to the end result.

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    Aaron Perelstein

    Hey Ben,

    I think in this instance the CCD isn't going to introduce any conflict as the work will be done on a T&M basis. This indicates that the CCD isn't concerned about knowing the price up front. If the CO process was to be started the contractor would have to stop work at that wall while they gathered the supporting price and time impact information. That information would then be presented to the architect/owner for review and approval. During that process of the CO the delay and costs would increase for that work vs the CCD. I think you are right that CCDs that are issued over a disagreement in price become much more contentious - I don't see that here because of the cost reporting method.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Ok, I think you got me. NCARB should hire you. I'm not even taking CE! You should come over to the PDD section.

    https://youtu.be/h_LdJ67-TCo?t=97 

    Thanks!

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    Ryan NCARB

    Aaron...looking for a job?  Haha.

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    Good discussion on Change Orders versus CCD's...

    One point about the nature and wording of exam questions -- where you said that  "Adamant" isn't a clue, it's extraneous information."  -- I think it's the opposite.  Those kinds of words are almost ALWAYS a clue in the exam questions.

    And, nice youtube, Benjamin...

     

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    Benjamin Norkin

    I agree that these exams, and most standardized test, are largely about reading comprehension. You have to understand what's being asked, and that's part of the really knowing the material. This involves locating the clues, but also the red herrings.

    Example: Handbook pg 107, the PDD question about the snow load on the roof...the rafter and dimension overhangs are extraneous information. Part of knowing how that load is accounted for consists of knowing what information isn't relevant.

    Example: Handbook pg 26, PcM question about legal entities...there's a whole mess of irrelevant information about where the clients are coming from. These aren't clues, but you have to know to rule them out.

    So I agree that "adamant" ended up being the clue, and Aaron mostly convinced me (51%) but I still think it's a flawed question. The desire of the owner isn't the initial primary distinction between CO vs CCD. We had to make a lot of assumptions about what was happening at that project. Routine visit, no code concerns? Doesn't sound like an emergency to me.

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    Diana Mendez-Estrada

    Great discussion, I was having a hard time understanding exactly how CO vs CCD are applied on particular scenarios.  Brightwood does an OK job of explaining them, but in a quiz I got the answer wrong when choosing between the two for the same discussion points above.  This cleared that up! 

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    Juan Alvarez

    I think the issue here is how the question is worded. I just got off of 11 week Young architect academy bootcamp (which was an amazing experience) and have now moved onto Ben's Hyperfine CE course and as I read your question I kept looking for the keywords that would align with the "correct" answer C but the fact that the owner is "adamant" about something didn't make it enough to order a CCD. My understanding of a construction change directive has always been that it comes from a disagreement between the contractor and owner when the contractor doesn't want to carry out certain work. sorry to open up this can of worms again in 2020 but definitely see a flaw in the question after spending a few months reading about this over and over.   

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    Aaron Perelstein

    Hey Juan,

    Got an alert about your response. While I do think this question is tricky, I think the answer is correct. I think the use of CCD only when there is a disagreement is incorrect - it is when there is not an agreement. Absence of an agreement is different than a disagreement, so when time is of the essence a CCD can be used. I have pasted and linked the AIA website summary of CCD; it indicates it is used if a change needs to be implemented quickly.

    https://www.aiacontracts.org/contract-documents/155076-construction-change-directive

    AIA Document G714™–2017 is a directive for changes in the Work for use where the owner and contractor have not agreed on proposed changes in the contract sum or contract time. G714 should be used to direct changes in the Work which, if not expeditiously implemented, might delay the project. Upon receipt of a completed G714, the contractor must promptly proceed with the change in the work described therein.

    When to use
    Any size project
    Directive for changes that need to be done quickly
    Where the parties have not reached an agreement yet

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    Benjamin Norkin (Edited )

    Aaron, my old nemesis. I am back on Juan's side.

    From the AIA Commentary on the A201:

    [Construction Change Directive should be] "used when a change order can not be obtained due to...disagreement between the parties with regard to associated changes in the contract sum or contract time.”

    That's straight from the AIA, which to me trumps what NCARB's interpretation is.

    Then, the new "when to use" test above has some flaws as well.

    Any Size Project
    This is fine

    Directive for changes that need to be done quickly
    This is fine as a standard, but not applicable to this practice problem

    Where parties have not yet reached an agreement
    In the practice question the GC has not even been informed a change is required. By this standard an owner could make every change a CCD. It's impossible for two parties to reach an agreement if one of them has never been made aware of an issue. For this standard to be legitimate it has to assume some minimum level of communication between the two sides...which has not happened in our practice question.

    The fundamental flaw in this question is that it assumes Change Orders and Construction Change Directives are equal measures for accomplishing an end result. The A201 and the commentary are clear that a CCD is a second resort. This question doesn't understand that.

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    Aaron Perelstein

    Hey Ben,

    Sorry you see this as a nemesis situation. Frankly, I have no skin in the game with regards to the AREs - just providing the best understanding I can to help those still testing. At the end of the day NCARB judges what the right answer is and I think understanding their perspectives on answers makes the test easier.

    I believe my initial point still stands - a CCD is not contentious here. The owner shouldn't have to pay for additional demolition work by going through the CO process, which would likely take a few weeks where construction would progress. I don't think generally a contractor would want to do that additional work just to demo it either. I know in the "real world" this can be handled more informally, but this is a test question.

    Good luck to you both! (I'm unsubscribing as there isn't really anything more to say at this point.)

    Sincerely,
    Aaron

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