If you have worked on-site, you must have seen various RFIs, but do you know what is RFI in Construction Stage and why RFI is so important?
Please read this blog for details:
What is RFI in Construction?
The full form of RFI is Request for Information and as the name suggests, it simply means requesting the client or document owners to provide additional information.
When an infrastructure project completes the design stage and goes onsite for construction, the contractor receives all the design information, specifications, standard details, setting-out, etc to get the full understanding of the project to execute it properly.
When contractor and sub-contractor review the information and identify the gaps in the information or clarification, they raise the Request for Information (RFI). RFI in construction is raised at every stage of the project so that all relevant information’s are collated and reviewed before commencing the execution process.
In case of missing information or any gap in the information, the contractor informed the client (local authorities or Project Sponsors) regarding that so that any delay or any additional costs are recorded adequately.
Why RFI is so Important?
RFI in construction plays a very important role for the contractor to make sure the project executes as per the agreed program and budget. And if the contractor identifies that there is a huge information gap (supplied by the designers or the project sponsor) and they are not adequate to proceedd, the contractor would simply raise the concerns to the client.
In this case, the contractor will raise an early warning to the client and inform that those information gaps would lead to delay the project programme and it may cost additional fund too. A revised programme and fee estimate will be shared once those information’s are provided by the project sponsor or design consultant.
Who are the Key Stakeholders of RFI Process?
Key Stakeholders are those who directly control and influence the project. Following are the key stakeholders of the RFI Process.
- Project Sponsors and Local Authorities
- Contractor and Sub-Contractors
- Design Consultants
What is the process to raise RFI?
Following are the recommended steps to raise the RFI in an efficient manner:
- Raise RFI at the Earliest:
- Thoroughly prepare the RFI
- Request for the RFI response in a fixed time frame
- Propose the alternate solutions to fill the gap in the information
- Close the RFI once the provided information solves the issue
- Record and maintain the RFI process for the entire project duration
Raise RFI at the Earliest:
As mentioned above, RFI in construction needs to be raised as early as possible so that all the information’s are received within the time or with minimum delay. It is very important to raise it by clearly identifying the problem. A poorly written RFI would lead to delay in getting the correct response. A further follow-up mail must be sent to make sure the responses are received in time.
Thoroughly Prepare the RFI
Prepare the RFI with detailed information of the issues, gaps within the information. It is recommended to raise one issue with one RFI. Combining a number of issues within one RFI would create further confusion and delay the reply. It is also important to write the RFI with minimum technical terms or short forms to make it easy to read and understand.
Request for the RFI response in a fixed time frame
When submitting the RFI, it is very important to ask to provide the reply within a fixed time frame. It is also important to get the reply with complete details of the response along with adequate technical details.
Propose the alternate solutions to fill the gap in the information
If the required information leads to propose a design solution, then the contractor can also propose a design solution or value engineering solution to complement the constructability or construction preferences.
The project sponsor or design consultants will review the proposal and may request for further information or method statement, etc. Sometimes it is required to discuss and review the proposal jointly with designer, consultants and project sponsors.
Close the RFI once the provided information solves the issue
When project sponsor or design consultant provide the response of the RFI, it is very important to the contractor to review the RFI and make sure it completely solves the RFI. Once it is confirmed that the response to the RFI solves the issue, it is very important to close the RFI and update the RFI register accordingly.
Record and maintain the RFI process for the entire project duration
During the entire project duration, the contractor will find various issues and gap in the information. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain an RFI register to record all RFIs. At the end of the project, the final RFI register must close all the RFIs and the register will be handed over to the client or project sponsors.
RFI in construction and associated processes play a very important for the contractor to minimise the risk of project programme delay and project cost overrun. It is also an opportunity for the contractor to identify the change order that will lead to raising the compensation events. In simple terms, it will generate additional funds to the contractor to execute additional tasks that are identified with the help of RFIs.
I hope my blog offers you adequate information of the RFI in construction and associated features. Please feel free to like, share and comment about it.
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