Change Order vs. RFI

I’m looking at question 30 on the PDD Practice Exam 3. The scenario describes a discussion between a sub and the architect, where the sub suggests a change that would save time and material.

Firstly, the scenario sounds a bit odd, because the architect should not agree to any changes to the contract documents with a subcontractor during a field visit. The architect should request an RFI from the contractor in order to document the question / suggestion, not to document the change itself.

If there is a change in the work that affects time and money, it is my understanding that this would be documented with a Change Order, not an RFI, since the contract sum and schedule would be affected.

Additionally, the architect can prepare the change order (p726, Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th ed).

Is my summary of the scenario incorrect? Or could the question be more clear?

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@Smith.Marks we will do our best to help clear this up!

@coachchrishopstock can you please look into this question?


Hey @Smith.Marks thanks for the question!
Could you please PM me a screenshot of the question, or the exact verbiage? Our exams randomize the order of the questions each time, so I can’t find it by looking at question 30 of the exam.
Without seeing the question, I think it may be getting at the ‘sender’s recommendation’ portion of AIA G716, which notes that the sender should note any time or cost implications when submitting an RFI. In my experience in these types of situations, an RFI is the first step, in order to memorialize the conversation, and then a change order would be prepared. Jumping directly to preparing a change order would skip the part of the process where the architect reviews the proposed change vs. the contract documents.

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