the client team. It may be in the client's interest to have the construction documents independently verified for accuracy and completeness.

In addition to indicating all components that will be provided and installed by the contractor, the construction documents should also indicate all items that will be provided by others but that will require coordination with services or with components to be installed by the contractor. The client or a subcontractor engaged by the client may provide these items, often referred to as not-in-contract (NIC) items, which may include laboratory equipment that must be coordinated with laboratory services or large furnishings that must be fit in with built-in components.

Large-scale coordination drawings, begun during the design development phase, are completed to confirm that all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems and equipment are fully coordinated with all structural and architectural elements. The importance of coordinating these systems cannot be overemphasized as a critical part of the design and documentation process for laboratory construction or renovation projects. In a study of construction change orders, the Veterans Administration found that failure to ensure such coordination was a frequent reason for change orders.1

The completed construction documents, comprising drawings and specifications, are combined with other contractual documents, such as contract forms, to serve as the basis for a contract between the client and contractors, as well as to develop bidding forms and requirements. The construction documents are used during the bidding phase to obtain competitive bids for the project and during the construction phase to define the responsibilities of the construction, client, and design groups.


This section considers the selection of a contractor, the identities and roles of the active participants, the process of their interactions, and the special issues that need attention. The participants and their interactions are illustrated in Figure 2.4. An important point of this phase of the project is that the construction documentation for the laboratory facility may require clarification, and so the input and evaluation offered by the construction phase team often determines the final quality of the project. A specific procedure must also be developed to handle evolving user needs and desires and construction document omissions and errors, in order to minimize change orders and keep the construction project on schedule and on budget. Finally, it is important to note that the potential for substantial liability commences with the start of construction activities. There-


Reported to the committee by Leo Phelan, Veterans Administration, April 13, 1998.

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