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Industrial Construction RFI Basics and Management

Industrial Construction RFI Basics and Management

Construction projects of all types involve pieces of uncertainty and questions that come up throughout the various phases of the project, and there will often be a need for multiple parties to clarify or receive additional information about these changes. There are a few forms of documentation that may be used here, and one of the most common and useful is known as a Request for Information, or RFI.

At Redi, we're happy to provide a huge range of industrial construction services to clients around Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado, and ensuring proper documentation is a huge part of this for many clients. Here are some basics on what the RFI is, what it will generally include, the kinds of RFIs out there, and some general best practices for anyone involved in the production of RFIs.

Defining Construction RFIs

Within construction, a Request for Information is a written or verbal (usually written) request made by the project manager, the contractor, or any other major stakeholder. It is meant to request additional information or clarifications from architects, engineers or even project owners in some cases.

A key function of an RFI is to allow for proper communication and collaboration between parties, and it should also typically include a timeline as well. This document is usually presented in form of a letter which contains detailed descriptions of the information that is being requested.

What a Construction RFI Usually Includes

Construction RFIs generally include the following information:

  • Date and contact info: Whoever is submitting the RFI should always include their name, contact information, and the date on which it was submitted.
  • Project description: This typically includes a brief description of the project and what phase of it is currently being worked on.
  • Request: A clear and concise explanation of what specific information is requested should be provided in this section. What is the issue? What is the desired outcome or resolution? It's important to try and be as detailed as possible here.
  • Deadline: This section should include a deadline for when the requested information should be provided
  • Relevant support documents: In some cases, documents such as plans, drawings or other relevant files should be included in the RFI to help provide context.

Types of Construction RFIs

There are several types of RFI that may be used depending on the project and situation. Here are some of the most common examples:

  • General issues: The most common form of RFI, this type is used to request clarification on any issues related to the project. It's often used for broad, general questions that need to be answered before the project can continue.
  • Design clarifications: Another frequent type of RFI, this is used to get clarification on design and aesthetic specifications for a project.
  • Product substitutions: Product substitution RFIs are used when an alternative product needs to be considered due to availability or other factors.
  • Issues with constructability: When we talk about constructability, it means the overall ability to actually complete a project. This type of RFI is used when there are issues with constructability that need to be addressed before the project can move forward.
  • Utility conflicts: When issues arise with utilities, an RFI should be used to resolve them.
  • Site condition issues: Site condition RFIs are used to request additional information about the condition of the site for a project, such as soil conditions or other factors.
  • Resource scheduling: Another important type of RFI, this is used to request clarification on any issues related to resource scheduling or availability.

Best Practices for Construction RFIs

When it comes to construction RFIs, there are a few best practices that should be followed in order to ensure the process goes smoothly and efficiently.

  • Accuracy: Always make sure that all information provided in the RFI is accurate, up-to-date and complete.
  • Timeliness: The timeline for responding to an RFI should be clearly stated in order to ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of expectations.
  • Consistency: When it comes to construction RFIs, consistency is key. All parties involved should use the same kinds of language, for instance, and should ensure that all information provided is consistent.
  • Utilize relevant visuals: Whenever possible, utilize relevant visuals to help provide context for the information being requested.
  • Be concise: Keep the RFI as concise and clear as possible so that all parties involved can understand it easily.
  • Follow-up: It's important to follow up with the other party after an RFI has been sent, in order to make sure that it was properly received and understood.

By following these best practices, construction RFIs can be a useful tool for collaboration between architects, engineers or even project managers. It's important to keep in mind that all parties involved need to have a clear understanding of the process in order to ensure project success.

At Redi, we understand the importance of these techniques and work to help teams collaborate more efficiently. Contact us today to learn about any of our industrial construction services in Wyoming, Nevada or Colorado.

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