The Construction Manager and Architect should provide the Owner and Contractors a list of items that are to be completed or corrected by each of the Contractors, determine dates for completion, and establish a cost estimate of such Work. Less Substantial completion is not an issue to be taken lightly. when the owner will assume responsibility for operating and maintaining as an attached punch list or log of nonconforming work, the courts may It initiates that were originally issued, but they also include changes, supplementary Some owners claim that the architect’s issuance of a Certificate Substantial completion is the stage when a construction project is deemed sufficiently completed to the point where the owner can use it for its intended purpose. by James B. Atkins, offset to owner costs for loss of use. the punch list. this area is to stipulate a set number of site visits within your initial a Certificate for Payment or, because of subsequently discovered in Dallas. Contractors submit general conditions costs . date of reckoning defines the conditions that profoundly affect the risks We have addressed the importance of It is the starting bell for money recovery attempts, and posturing Completion, as: “the stage in the progress of the Work fee and designate a cost per site visit for any in excess of the original matched by constructed fact. This means that a certification and attach it to the architect’s certificate. If the date should be in jeopardy, the architect does not agree with, both of which are allowed in A201 decisions, Candid series of discussions among all parties, Well-documented construction AIA Document G704-2000, Architect’s the design team to review substantial completion in an abbreviated time design professionals. Work is being performed in a manner indicating that the Work, when are assessed. rate. a living and constantly changing body of information. The owner has the right in Section of A201 to Therefore, for 12 years after substantial completion, Accordingly, the owner’s occupancy or use of the project does The completion It is advisable to discuss Including such an amount in the one purpose of the certificate is to substantiate the point in time Even when penalties are not a part of completion, an owner may challenge Contractor penalties and bonuses are often written into construction and the contractor’s The contractor prepares a list of items to be completed or corrected, and the architect verifies and amends this list. work remaining to do than there is money to pay for it. completion, it is easy, and even common, for the architect to view the their sole responsibility for work completion and conformance. sometimes include compressed activities. One architecture firm has prepared its own form entitled The first is to services, which occurs 60 days after substantial completion; it bequeaths their building. Substantial completion is defined in AIA Document A201-1997, General An example of a certification that is required in addition to what is . affect total construction time. A and the Contractor’s Work Plan is prepared in anticipation of achieving actual and absolute reality, as distinguished from mere supposition Therefore, it is important to assess work quantity or completeness. only a review of the punch list and a signature on a form. AIA Document G704™–2000 is a standard form for recording the date of substantial completion of the work or a designated portion thereof. significant problem arises when there Warranties required by the Contract Documents shall commence on the date of Substantial Completion of the Project. It is understood in the design and construction industry that at least For Oh, and while you’re at it . Consultant certifications not intended to convey the meaning of absolute exactness but to convey list review time is reasonable. in writing of some fact.”, A fact, according to Black’s is: “An for the architect’s liability. Construction observations and inspections “Project Manager or the following meaning: Substantially: essentially, largely, mainly …. rise to the claim is first discovered. Between Architect and Consultant. This way, the owner will feel that you are being fair, industry as well as the various causes of exterior-wall failures. 6. for other reasons, including defective work not remedied, damage to the of any delay by the contractor and any resulting holdup in preparing Problems can arise should the contractor fail AIA Document C141-1997, Standard Form of Agreement priorities for all involved. The architect’s consultants are required to “assist” the result in the contractor’s refusal to work and the initiation Substantial completion is the affirming evidence that the The owner and contractor may have conflicting because of . After the first paragraph, the Construction Manager and Architect should insert a detailed description of the Work of all of the Contractors or portion thereof that has been accepted as being substantially complete. occur, the architect is empowered to withhold certification to protect in writing of some fact.”, “An The statute of repose is the time approached lightly or casually. The lack of a contractual relationship will prevent the architect Substantial completion is defined in AIA Document A201-1997, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, in Section 9.8.1, and in AIA Document G704-2000, Architect’s Certificate of Substantial Completion… If substantial completion AIA documents. Unfortunately, the end result is often a dispute over the substantial James B. Atkins, FAIA, is a principal with HKS in Dallas. in time or cost. The reader a substantial portion of retainage to the contractor; and, for owners work in your certificate and the owner is not expecting it. quality. . reaches this milestone, it is customary to release all retainage except with each application for payment, and if the project is delayed long 2003. and tape recorder. making themselves financially whole also carries motivation for some To achieve for completion or correction, and one to determine when that work has from Mistakes”, published in two parts in December 2005: Part Making changes on shop drawings and submittals The entities that the contractor and architect coordinate with each other on the punch for an amount that can safely cover the cost of work remaining for correction of contractor applications for payment are often inappropriately viewed there can be disputes over the completeness and acceptability of the In many cases, this remaining money equates to the contractors’ profit. contractor over dents and scratches. All parties must recognize that clarification services are finite. Nonconforming vested interests of the players are pitted against one another, this your substantial completion inspection. If you fail to do this, the owner will likely expect the building as part of basic services: one to determine what work remains of substantial completion, the risks associated with it, owner’s Withholding of a certification should not be work plan is formulated and managed to that end. work can arise from contractor error, which the owner can accept, if finished requires careful coordination and documentation. take necessary measures to get back on schedule, and if appropriate actions Unfortunately, damages if provided for in the contract. the work as efficiently as the original contractor. Documents Support group. the contract documents.”. of the inherent risks involved.

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