Timely RFIs
(Requests for Information)

One of the largest problems with the RFI process is late generation. The secondary problem is late replies.

Though there are a many RFI subjects that cannot/will not be found until field work is in progress, many could also be found if the contractor/subcontractors made field construction drawings in areas that are not detailed on the contract drawings or in areas know to be problematic on previous work. Not near enough "homework" is done by contractors, subcontractors and/or vendors. We are too anxious to swing the hammer and insert the shovel.

Design drawings will never be perfect. Engineers are not construction oriented to the most part. These days more and more design is pushed to the contractor. The contractors must learn to complete the design before sending workers to the field.

Necessary Inclusions
(If Impacts are Included)



If this is a field or procurement-impacting event or cause describe how this impact effects the schedule planned flow. When it began, the impacted schedule path and its level of criticality.


Fully identified the effect by linking it to specification paragraph, drawing(s)/specific detail(s). Attach annotated sections/details.


Outline any steps taken, work stopped, crews relocated or set home, and anything else that would support impact cost later.


More to come.

Use and Misuse

RFIs are inquiry/question documents. They should never be used in place of proper impact documentation. Think of an RFI as a white document and an impact document as a red document. Impacts require a quicker response.

Unfortunately, in construction today, RFIs have become a catchall document, put through the same review process and under the same contractual level of importance.

We urge you to separate the RFI and Impact Notification processes.

Page Open = rfi.html


James G. Zack, Jr.
Executive Director
Navigant Construction Forum,
Navigant Consulting, Inc.


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Impact Documents

Field Work Stoppage

Activity/Task Work Stoppage


Speed Memos/E-mails

Delay Notification

Cost Impact Notification