CE practice exam question

Hi @coachjoricolarusso can you explain to me this answer?
I get that the subcontractor must follow the specifications as part of the contract documents, but what is work change proposal request? That sounded like another word for a change order.
I understand that based on the contract only the owner can approve and give directs and architect must follow compliance to the contract documents.

During the renovation of an existing theater, the painting subcontractor has decided not to prime existing walls before new paint (P-3) is applied. The subcontractor says this is because the new paint (P-3) is self-priming and there is no need to worry about the existing paint color showing through. The painting specification in the project manual clearly states that every surface receiving new paint (P-3) “must be prepped and primed with the manufacturer’s recommended primer before new paint is applied.”
What should the architect do?

Correct. Reject the work because the painting subcontractor should prime the wall as required, unless the painter submits proper documentation and receives approval from the architect through a work change proposal request
The subcontractor should follow specifications unless directed by the owner to do something different. Owners approve and give directives. Architects merely review for compliance.

I selected, Ask the painter to submit manufacturer’s documentation that the paint is self-priming, thus meeting the requirements of the painting specifications that the surface receive primer
Incorrect. This would constitute a substitution and that would require approval by the owner.

A work change proposal request is used when the owner is considering making a change, and is asking how this potential change would affect the contract sum and/or contract time. They are requesting a proposal for making the change, but not approving it or allowing the contractor to proceed with it. Once the proposal has been reviewed by the owner and they would like to move forward, a change order is the document used to make this change an official part of the contract documents. See AIA G701 and AIA G709 to help you understand the difference.
I can definitely see why you chose the answer you did. As the architect, you would reject the work because the subcontractor went ahead with it without submitting proper documentation, and the owner was not consulted. The documentation should have been submitted before they did the work. I do think that the answer you chose could be an option, if the painter is able to prove that it did in fact comply with the specifications. However, this discussion should have happened before the painter proceeded. I hope that helps!

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Ok I see, so the work change proposal request had its own contract as well.
And the owner must be consulted and be documented properly, I get it, that helps.

Hi @coachjoricolarusso ,

Could you help clarify the correct answer further? Even with your response above I am still confused by this question.

I selected the same answer as @sergioclaure93 because I understood the self-priming paint to meet the specification as written in that it complies with “the manufacturer’s recommended primer.” If the manufacturer’s product data sheet/installation instructions say no primer is needed as it is self-priming, then why would a primer be necessary to complete the work as specified? Why would even a substitution request be needed in this circumstance? If instead the specification read along the lines of “must be prepped and primed with a primer before new paint is applied,” I definitely see where a substitution request might be necessary for self-priming paint, and, as you said above, this documentation should have been approved prior to the start of the work.

I did not think the correct answer was correct because of the use of work change proposal request. As you pointed out in your response, “A work change proposal request is used when the owner is considering making a change, and is asking how this potential change would affect the contract sum and/or contract time.” I understand these to be used for owner and architect driven changes, in which the contractor responds with a work change proposal and the owner then determines whether or not to proceed with the change and a change order be created. I thought a contractor or subcontractor driven change should be submitted via a substitution request, which would be reviewed by the architect for compliance with the design intent and code requirements and approved (or denied) by the owner. I don’t understand why a work change proposal request would be appropriate here, given that the change is driven by the subcontractor. Additionally, I don’t understand how a work change proposal request would give approval in any case, as changes associated with these are put into effect via a change order. I thought this answer was testing knowledge of the appropriate document, and that a correct answer would have read “Reject the work because the painting subcontractor should prime the wall as required, unless the painter submits proper documentation and receives approval from the architect through a substitution request.”

Am I totally misunderstanding? Thanks!

As I look at this question a second time, I do agree with you that the use of “work change proposal request” is confusing here and may not be appropriate. Typically a work change proposal request is used when the owner is considering making a change, but wants the contractor to assess the affect on contract sum or time before proceeding. I don’t think a contractor driven change typically causes a work change proposal request, but rather a substitution request. @coachchrishopstock would you be able to weigh in on this, or tag someone else who could?
Thanks!

I agree that that the inclusion of ‘work change proposal request’ created some unnecessary confusion about the correct answer so we replaced it with ‘substitution request’.

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