BIM 360 Build Submittals Workflow

31 January 2020All, BIM 360RFI and Submittals Workflows



As mentioned in “Here is an Example of a BIM 360 RFI Workflow”, the architecture, engineering, and construction industry is rapidly changing due to technology. This technology has been around longer for architects and engineers but is still relatively new for members of the project management team for general and sub-contractors. 

A crucial responsibility of the project management team is the management of submittals. Submittals are a necessary part of the project because they help to ensure that all the equipment that is needed in a building are per the plans and specifications. Architects, engineers and owners work together in the front end of a project to determine what type of equipment and plumbing/lighting fixtures should go into the building based on quality, performance, price and aesthetic. The contractor’s responsibility is to procure the equipment that the architect, engineer, and owner decides on. This involves the contractor getting product data from their vendors and then sending it up the chain to the architect and engineer to review the submittal for accuracy and compliance to ensure the owner gets exactly what they are expecting.  

Prior to BIM 360 Build, members on the project management team had to log their submittals and keep track of their status using Excel spreadsheets. They also had to use their company’s excel template for the cover sheet, export it as a PDF and then attach it to whatever product data their vendor sent them. The next step would be to email the submittal up the chain and wait for it to come back down without ever really knowing for sure where the submittal was in the review process until it came back. Managing submittals in this fashion can result in things falling through the cracks.  

Using BIM 360 Build’s submittal module, many of the steps above are automated. Much like the BIM 360 Build RFI process, project members receive automatic emails when a submittal has been assigned to them or it is their turn to issue a response. Another similarity to the RFI process is the “distribution list”, when the submittal has officially been closed, any project member that you add to that distribution list will receive an email notification. While the submittal is open and even when it is closed, BIM 360 also keeps a running list of all the activity that has to do with the submittal that way you can know when each step was completed and by who. The BIM 360 Build submittal process ensures accountability among the whole project team and helps to ensure submittals are answered on time so the project can move forward.  

The attached submittal video shows the submittal process all the way from the subcontractor, who goes through the process of choosing a vendor and getting submittal documents, to the architect & engineer. This video illustrates nearly all the players that go into the process of providing the correct equipment with the goal of that equipment being delivered and set on time and within budget.  

This is the second of a four-part workflows blog series. Over the next two weeks we will switch to PlanGrid to show these same stories using their Advanced RFI and Submittal workflows. Watch out for another blog post next week that will feature PlanGrid’s Advanced RFIs workflow! 



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