Traditional Design Bid Build - RFI Flow Chart

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    Paul Carson

    Pierre ~

     

    Good question: my best comment here takes me to "Amber Books", where Michael Ermann, AIA explains that the RFI flow follows the chain-of-command of whom hired you, the architect (for lack of better words here), on up the command, and back down.  Hence, if there were inconsistencies in the kitchen design work, the "sub" would present such issues to the "contractor" (upline), and the contractor would prepair an RFI to be submitted to the architect.  Then, the architect would review to determine the next course of action to submit to both the owner and the Mechanical Eng.

    Now, If said issues were an oversight of the Architect, he/she would share this information with the owner, and advise/request permission from the owner that he/she plans to issue a "change order" (change orders require signatures from all (3) parties, owner, architect, and contractor; whereas, Construction Change Directives only need signatures from (2) parties, owner and architect....since the ME was hired by the architect, this would be why the architect should review the RFI, then compare with the CD's (since the contractor already won the bid, and hired the "sub", this would be post-bid).

    Ps. here is where I might be adding too much to this post; however, I am thankful that I am using more than 10% of my brain to think this one through; hence, great question.  That said, This would more than likely never be the fault of the owner, and since the architect hired the ME, and the architect plays a non-judgmental role between contractor and owner, a solid form of communication with proper documentation is a must here, so all (3) parties can come to a resolution to avoid outside counsel.

    THEN, after said parties agree to the next level of fixing said issues, you the architect would pass this information (whether a CCD or CO), and after the architect and ME has correct the issues, would then pass down this information to the contractor, and the contractor would pass down to all subs.

    Sorry for lengthy reply, hopefully other out there have a better description and will choose to reply.  Hope this helps, and thanks again for the exercise.

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    Pierre Antounian

    Paul,
    Very helpful thank you. And nope, not lengthy at all because you think and write the way I do. I need to break down all parts to make sure I understand.
    I followed everything here.
    If you look up a similar post about RFI Flow Chart, a quick search within this division, Gang Chen provides his answer on this topic.
    Gang Chen is not the one who created the post, someone else did, I replied asking the same question I created here hoping that having the same question posted in two locations would lead to feedback.
    (before i go further, my only question is who physically creates the RFI, sub-contractor as I have been perceiving it thus far, or Contractor, as you described?)
    Ok back to where I was. Gang was saying the same thing in the issue except with a very noticeable and clear difference. In his description, sub discovers issue, creates RFI and passes to GC who then passes to both the Arch and Owner. Arch passes RFI to his consultant ME, and Owner passes to his consultant the Kitchen Designer. It is my understanding that at this point the Arch is now responsible for handling the coordination efforts of both the Kitchen Designer (if agreed to in B101 Contract) and his own consultant the ME. Then the agreed to solution (either as a CCD or CO).
    I’m using my phone and took a study break to reply to this so will have to proof read my own response but between what you said and what Gang Chen replied I am getting a much better feel for this. It sounds as though it’s case to case and correct protocols are appropriate to follow depending on who creates the “Error or Omission” so to speak.

    My next question is going back to my original question above, suppose a decission is not reached and the oversight was one of the KD, and if proven so in court or arbitration or mediation it sounds as though the Owner pays for this. If Owner if he is part of a professional business say a Development Company, take the funds to pay from their own Professional Liability Insurance? Do developers carry PL Insurance?
    I’m definitely going far above and beyond here, but given that (Business) is an area I have no previous knowledge in my brain has been on fire lol.
    Yes this is lengthy, yes above and beyond.. but I do think very important to know and quite possibly maybe helpful on the exam.
    Thank you for your response.
    I’m going to go back to my studies and i hope i was clear in my description. I look forward to your thoughts or anyone else who chimes in here.

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    Pierre Antounian

    One more thing, if oversight of Arch as a result of poor coordination, between him and ME, does Arch pay? If oversight of ME does ME pay?
    The concept of who pays (although a broad statement and of course depends on decisions reached in a legal setting) is still vague to me.
    Maybe above and beyond but i feel as though important. Thanks again Paul. Feel free to e-mail me if you wish and we can maybe discuss more through email or over the phone. pierreantounian@hotmail.com

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    If the ME is a consultant hired by the architect, then architect shall pay to the owner for the error. There is no question about this since the architect is responsible for his and his consultants’ work.

    The architect can then seek payment from ME to recover his loss. Through the conflict resolution process, if it is decided the ME is at fault, then the ME pays the architect for the ME’s error. If it is decided  the ME is not at fault, then the architect takes the loss and move on.

    In real practice it is easy to deal with, the architect can talk to the ME and requests the ME to pay for the error. If the ME agrees, the issue is resolved. If the ME does not agree, the architect simply withholds the portion of the payment to the ME. The ME may sue the architect to get the money back, or he may thinks it is not worthy to spend the time and move on, but the architect may need to find a new ME from now on.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Pierre Antounian

    Thank you Gang.
    Please see below:
    C401-2017-Architect/Consultant Agreement
    Article 1 General Provisions
    1.4 - “The Consultant is an independent contractor for This Portion of the Project. The Consultant is responsible for methods and means used in performing its services under this Agreement and is not an employee, agent, or partner of the Architect. THE ARCHITECT SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF THE CONSULTANT.”

    Based on this provision, why would the Architect ever be responsible for any acts or omissions of the Consultant?

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    Pierre Antounian

    Which provision in the B101 supercedes 1.4 of C401?

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    We are talking about two different contracts here:

    For the owner-architect contract, the architect is responsible for everything he is contracted for, including SEMP if that is part of his scope of work. This is no question about this at all. If the owner asks the architect to pay for the architect’s consultants’ errors, the architect has no other choice but to pay the owner. For the owner, it does not matter the error is the architect’s or architect’s consultant’s, the architect is the one responsible for the error.

    After the owner-architect contract is signed, then the architect subcontract SEMP out to his consultants. In this contract, each consultant responsible for his own work, and architect is not responsible for any of the consult’s work, that is what the paragraph you quoted is talking about. In fact, the paragraph you quoted is the basis for the architect to seek money from his consultants for damages.

    So, you really need to read the ARE question carefully, and pay attention to which contract the question is referring to.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    It is apple and orange, two completely different contracts. For this issue, the owner does NOT care what the deal is between the architect and the consultant, he always know what is responsible for the error to him and who is going to pay to him.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Pierre Antounian

    Gang,
    I have asked this question half a dozen times and never received an answer as clear and undeniable as the one you just gave. Thank you for that. Clear as water.

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    Pierre Antounian (Edited )

    We covered which provision the Architect uses to seek retribution from his consultant (C401-1.4). Which provision in the B101 does the client use to make a valid claim when seeking retribution from the Architect?

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    Gang Chen

    B101, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect, Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 3.1.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Pierre Antounian (Edited )

    Thank you!

    One final question.  
    i have not received a concrete answer to this, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the topic of paying your consultants.

    If owner has not paid Architect, is Architect obligated to pay his consultant out of pocket?  
    My understanding is No.  As the AHPP describes, “pay when paid” or “pay if paid”.

    To me this is a hard solid No.

    C401 says the Architect shall diligently remind the client and pursue payment, but nowhere in the C401 does it say “Architect shall pay his consultant regardless of owner not paying”.

    Am I correct, or am I mislead?

    Thank You!

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    Gang Chen

    Which section of C401 you are referring to?

    It is still “pay when paid” and also in proportion to the payment the architect received from the owner. See C401, 11.6.2.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Pierre Antounian

    Thank you. Yes it is 11.6.2. Glad to know my original understanding holds true. I had asked various sources and their answers were an even split. 11.6.2 after reading a few times makes sense to me now. As always, thank you for the clarity Gang!

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