A common business practice, RFI is an important practice used to collect information in the construction industry. An RFI highlights the abilities of different people and is perhaps an essential part of a construction project needed for managing and minimizing the risk. Henceforth, it is important to write an RFI or Request for Information effectively to ensure the success of the construction project. This ensures all the managers and contractors work together to reduce damage.
A construction Request for Information or RFI is a written document to share and find out the project details among the construction, design and engineering professionals and companies. It helps in having more information on the ongoing project.
RFIs are used to:
This must be noted that RFIs are used in conjunction with the following documents
If you are seeking an answer that does not exist anywhere else, start looking for it. Start the process of writing in RFI in construction. Here is how you should go about it:
A generic title with no context to the actual RFI is like making a vague point. A legible title allows changing details to make them more descriptive. This provides more information in response to the question asked along with an added description in case you would want to refer to in future.
You cannot issue a structural engineer a mechanical RFI. Make sure the RFI is assigned to the right person. Coordination is an integral part of a construction project management. For better coordination, it is important to send RFI to all the people who would be impacted.
The basic thing in an RFI is the question itself. It should be clear, concise and include all the related materials required to make a point.
The RFI should include everything to make answering easy. This includes drawing clouded or highlighted, pictures of the site conditions, current building drawing, email communications, survey results, and cut sheets.
RFIs should specify a time for an answer. If you need it urgently, do specify it.
In addition to the above, follow the following in the process of sending in RFI in Construction:
It is important to collect and write all the information in a well-established manner. The pro forma RFI template is used in the construction industry for the consultants and subcontractors to pinpoint issues they notice. Some RFI programs in construction can help you control the process and also present the right template required by your company.
In the process of sending in RFI in construction, be specific. Asking vague questions will only delay the response. This will result in receiving information not required. For instance, citing a problem can never make the other party/parties understand what is needed. Ask a direct question with a question mark.
While asking a question, be direct and punctuated. It is important to build a context surrounding the question. This will help in understanding why a question is asked. The language should be clear, understandable and without any jargons. This is also important as the RFI receiver may not understand the information but someone else might on the job site. Therefore, it is important to make everyone understands whatever is asked and the reason for doing so.
There are always two parties involved in an RFI process. One, who sends it and the other who receives it. By being mindful while writing RFI, you add positivity and begin a long-lasting relationship.
Well, if you are aware of a particular problem, why not voice it. This will only hasten the RFI process and help in solving the problem quickly. However, you have to be careful with the choice of words. There is a difference between proposing and recommending a solution. These are two different things and must be considered.
The process of sending in RFI in construction can be made clearer with the help of photos and drawings. These can be of extreme help in the RFI process. A picture adds context to the question raised or the issue and this helps the individual receive RFI to understand the question better. The whole exercise is to make the RFI process faster so that a solution is met at the earliest.
The method followed to write an RFI ensures whether or not it will result in any additional expense or time. The right manner helps in managing and removing the risk involved.
Irrespective of how big or small construction RFI, it is extremely important to limit the questions. Asking too many questions can lead to confusions. The best practice is to put across one relevant question at a time to get clarity on the issue. Even if there are many questions involved, these should be related and necessary for the process.
Do add a time frame to receive the RFI back. This is important. The receiver should have ample time to respond. They too need adequate time to source the information needed to answer back. Though the standard time is one or two weeks this can vary depending on the RFI. For this, you must be aware of the amount of information required and the time for the response.
Imagine similar RFIs named differently. It would be such a hassle locating them later on. When you name the RFI files in a similar manner, it becomes easier to locate them in the future. This aids in keeping the RFIs organized.
We know an RFI has various uses in the construction, engineering and design industries. The sole purpose of the process of sending in RFI in construction is the same – to collect as much information as possible on the project details. However, an RFI should not be sent in the following cases:
A construction RFI involves a varied type of information. It is specific to the details needed by the contractor to move ahead. Have a look at a few elements of a construction RFI:
You may be burdened with this: how to write an RFI in construction, but these are essential for allowing the project to move ahead smoothly. With no platform to ask queries, the project may either stop or remain incomplete with and poor quality. The article should serve as a guide for you.
Many thanks to the builder for sharing the details above.
Photography: Lauren Harper.
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