Shop Drawings Review Process

(including Product Data Sheets)

Shop drawings are construction drawings provided by the general contractor which are utilized to facilitate compliance with the plans and specifications. They are:

  • supplementary to, and form part of the contract;
  • vital for monitoring contract compliance;
  • utilized in areas where some flexibility is required due to variations in product supply, fabrication or erection within the terms of the contract;
  • provide essential information on the contractor's proposed product submissions and the implementation strategy within the terms of the contract.

The requirement for their submission is specified in the Canadian National Master Construction Specifications, Section 01 33 00, Clause 15. Specific shop drawing requirements are usually identified in the specification sections calling up the products in question.

There is a 'generic' quality review process utilized in Real Property Branch (RPB) for the review, stamping and signing of shop drawings and the project manager must ensure that all members of the project team are aware of their roles, responsibilities and liabilities related to this review. The review by RPB staff or by consultants is for the sole purpose of ascertaining conformance with general concept. It does not provide 'approval' of the detail design inherent in shop drawings (which remains with the contractor, or the facility owner in cases of a leased facility), nor does it relieve the contractor of responsibility for errors or omissions in shop drawings or for meeting all requirements of the construction and contract documents.

The general contractor should submit shop drawings bearing their approval/signoff directly to the project manager. In cases where this process is not followed, the consultant or RPB in-house designer should not accept the drawings, return them to the sender and advise them of the proper process, or, forward the drawings to the project manager for action. Project managers have a legal responsibility to ensure that the review and signing of all shop drawings takes place. RPB and consultants staff must never provide a statement of 'approval' of the contractor's shop drawings as this could constitute an unconditional endorsement of the drawings.

Table Summary

This table lists the shop drawing review process roles and responsibilities of the Consultant or In-house Designer, the Project Manager and the contractor.

Roles and Responsibilities - (Shop Drawing Review)
Role Responsibilities
Consultant or In-house Designer
  • Specifies within the construction documents, the items for which shop drawings must be submitted by the contractor.
  • Reviews shop drawings for content within time frames negotiated with the PM to determine conformity with general concept/intent of the construction documents and indicates such conformance with the general concept or lack thereof.
  • Coordinates against overall delivery requirements.
  • Provides the contractor with reviewed/stamped/signed copies of shop drawings when reviewed.
  • Ensures each shop drawing returned identifies the applicable specification section number, and sub-section numbers, individual shop drawing number and title and the individual shop drawing review status i.e. reviewed, reviewed with annotation, or revise and re-submit.
  • Retains one copy for their records and forwards two copies to the PM for the project file and the site file.
  • Ensures that the reviewed shop drawings are returned to the contractor under cover of a transmittal form which provides all pertinent record information including addressor, addressee, project title, project number and contract number.
Project Manager
  • Reviews shop drawings for documentation completeness, (quality, specified quantity, adequacy, timeliness, date of receipt, etc.) prior to submitting them to the in-house designer or consultant.
  • Ensures that the review and signing of all shop drawings has taken place.
  • Negotiates a reasonable, agreed-upon time frame for completion of review (this time frame should consider project scope and complexity, number of drawings etc. and is normally stipulated in the contract specification).
  • Determines extent of involvement of resource discipline expertise (mechanical, (commissioning, environmental, etc.) based on project scope and complexity, number of drawings etc.
  • Tracks submissions within the review process for completeness and timeliness.
  • Ensures that the appropriate wording is utilized on all shop drawing review stamps whether project is in-house or designed by private sector consultant.
  • Ensures that the site minutes include an item for shop drawing status.
  • Ensures that the drawings have been reviewed and signed off by the designer(s) or their designate within the specified time frames.
  • Ensures that one signed copy of the shop drawing is retained on the project file and one copy on the site file.
Contractor
  • Each shop drawing submitted for review shall be line itemized and referenced by the contractor to the applicable specifications section number and sub-section numbers; individual shop drawing number and individual shop drawing title.
  • Coordinates delivery requirements with subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Signs and submits all proposed shop drawings for the project to the PM and ensures that subcontractors or suppliers do not submit shop drawings directly to the consultant or RPB.
  • Ensures that all shop drawing submissions are made under the cover of a transmittal form which provides all pertinent record information as per Section 01 33 00 of the specifications including addressor, addressee, project title, project number and contract number.
  • Distributes reviewed shop drawings to originators.