Submittal Materials 101: Ultimate guide and Why They Matter

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Submittal materials are an essential component of the construction process. They are critical to ensuring that projects are built to the correct specifications, comply with all necessary codes and regulations, and are completed on time and within budget.

These materials, which include shop drawings, product data, and samples, provide detailed information about the materials and methods used in the construction process. However, for these materials to be used on the job site, they must first be reviewed, approved, and properly documented by the appropriate parties.

Submittal material

Failure to use approved submittal materials can lead to many problems, including building code violations, liability issues, and costly delays. By using approved materials, businesses can avoid these risks and ensure that their projects are completed to the highest quality and safety standards.

In project management, using approved submittal materials also helps maintain proper documentation, manage subcontractors and suppliers more effectively, and streamline the approval process, making it more efficient and cost-effective. In this article, we will delve deeper into the importance of submittal materials, their role in the construction process, and the steps that must be taken to review and approve them properly.


Key takeaways

  • Submittal materials are an important part of the construction process
  • They are used to ensure that materials and systems proposed for a project meet requirements specified in the contract documents
  • Different types of submittal materials include shop drawings, product data, samples, operation and maintenance manuals, and calculation reports
  • They must be reviewed and approved by the architect, engineer, or owner’s representative
  • Failure to use approved submittal materials can lead to building code violations, liability issues, and delays
  • steps for reviewing and approving submittal materials
  • Tips for effective submittal material review and approval

Use the Software to manage whole submittal process

What are Submittal materials

Submittal materials are an important part of the construction process and are used to ensure that the materials and systems proposed for use on a project meet the requirements specified in the contract documents. These materials are submitted by contractors or suppliers and are reviewed and approved by the architect, engineer, or owner’s representative.

There are different types of submittal materials, each with their own specific purpose. Some examples include:

  • Shop drawings: These are detailed drawings that show the design and construction of specific building elements or systems, such as structural steel, HVAC systems, or plumbing systems.
  • Product data: This includes information about the characteristics and performance of specific materials or products, such as product literature, specifications, test reports, or certifications.
  • Samples: These are physical samples of materials or products, such as paint samples, flooring samples, or roofing samples.
  • Operation and maintenance manuals: These provide instructions on how to operate and maintain systems and equipment.
  • Calculation reports: These are engineering calculations that demonstrate compliance with codes and standards.

It’s important to note that these are only some examples and there may be other types of submittal materials depending on the project. The key is that all submittal materials are used to ensure that the materials and systems proposed for use on a project meet the requirements specified in the contract documents.

The use of construction software can help streamline the submittal process by providing a centralized platform for managing and tracking submittals, reviewing and approving them efficiently, and maintaining proper documentation. This construction software can also make it easy for project managers and team members to collaborate and communicate throughout the process, helping to reduce delays and improve the overall quality of the project.

Submittal materials play a vital role in the construction process and are used to ensure that the materials and systems proposed for use on a project meet the requirements specified in the contract documents. Project management is crucial in this process as it ensures that the materials and systems proposed are properly reviewed and approved.

Ezelogs, is our complete construction project management system, can streamline the submittal process and make it more efficient for all parties involved, by providing a centralized platform for managing and tracking submittals, reviewing and approving them efficiently, and maintaining proper documentation. This helps project managers and team members to collaborate and communicate throughout the process, helping to reduce delays and improve the overall quality of the project.

Why do submittal materials matter

submittal material

Submittal materials are a crucial aspect of the construction process and play an important role in ensuring that a project is built to the correct specifications, meets all necessary codes and regulations, and is completed on time and within budget. Here are a few reasons why submittal materials matter:

  • Compliance: They are used to demonstrate compliance with codes, regulations, and standards. They are used to ensure that the materials and equipment proposed for use on the project are approved by the relevant authorities and comply with any relevant laws and regulations.
  • Quality Control: It used to ensure that the materials, systems, and equipment that are installed on the project meet the specified requirements and will perform as intended. This includes ensuring that the materials and equipment meet performance requirements, are compatible with the other systems and equipment on the project, and are suitable for the project’s intended use.
  • Avoiding Risks: Failure to use approved submittal materials can lead to a host of problems, including building code violations, liability issues, and costly delays. By using approved materials, businesses can avoid these risks and ensure that their projects are completed to the highest quality and safety standards.
  • Proper documentation: Using approved submittal materials also helps maintain proper documentation, manage subcontractors and suppliers more effectively, and streamline the approval process, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

Potential consequences

Properly reviewing and approving submittal materials is crucial for the success of a construction project. Failing to do so can have serious consequences, including:

  • Non-compliance with codes and regulations leading to building code violations and fines, as well as potential legal liability.
  • Quality issues such as poor-quality work, defects, and potential safety hazards.
  • Delays and cost overruns resulting from issues identified and corrected later in the process.
  • Difficulty in maintaining and operating the project in the long run
  • Difficulty in future reference and maintenance

How to review and approve submittal materials

submittal material

Here are some steps for reviewing and approving submittal materials:

  • Review the project’s plans and specifications to ensure that you clearly understand the project’s scope and the requirements that must be met. This will help you to identify any potential problems or areas of concern.
  • Carefully read and review the submittal materials, paying close attention to any discrepancies or errors. This will help you to identify any issues or concerns that need to be addressed.
  • Check for compliance with relevant codes and standards. This will ensure that the materials submitted meet all of the necessary safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Review the materials for completeness and accuracy. This will ensure that all of the necessary information and documentation is included and accurate.
  • If any issues or concerns are identified, communicate them to the submitter and work to resolve them. This will help ensure that the submitted materials are of high quality and meet all the necessary requirements.
  • Once all issues have been addressed and the materials are acceptable, approve the submittal materials. This will indicate that the materials have been reviewed and are suitable for use in the project.

Tips for effective submittal material review and approval

  • Stay organized: One of the most important tips for effective submittal material review and approval is to stay organized. Keep track of all submittals, and maintain a log of any issues or concerns that arise during the review process. This will help you to keep track of what has been reviewed and what still needs to be reviewed, and will make it easier to identify any potential problems or areas of concern.
  • Communicate clearly: Clearly communicate any issues or concerns to the submitter and work together to resolve them. This will help to ensure that the submitter understands what needs to be done to address any problems and that the materials submitted are of high quality.
  • Be thorough: Take the time to review and check all materials, paying close attention to detail. This will help to ensure that all necessary information and documentation is included and that it is accurate.
  • Stay up-to-date on relevant codes and standards to ensure that the submittals are compliant. This will ensure that the materials submitted meet all of the necessary safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Use checklists to ensure that all necessary items are reviewed and approved. This will help to ensure that all of the necessary items are reviewed and that nothing is missed. It also makes it easier to ensure that all the items are covered and nothing is left out during the review process.

The bottom line

In conclusion, taking the time to properly review and approve submittal materials is essential to ensure that a construction or engineering project is completed according to the plans and specifications. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can effectively review and approve submittal materials, identify and resolve any issues or concerns, and ultimately ensure the project’s success.

Project management and construction software can play an important role in this process by providing a centralized platform for managing and tracking submittals, reviewing and approving them efficiently, and maintaining proper documentation. This can help project managers and team members to collaborate and communicate throughout the process, helping to reduce delays and improve the overall quality of the project.

It’s essential to remember that proper review and approval of submittal materials is not just a formality but a critical step in the project management process. Skipping or rushing through the review process can lead to costly mistakes and delays.

So, take the time to review and approve submittal materials appropriately. By doing so, you’ll be making a valuable contribution to the project’s success and ultimately help ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.


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