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What is Request for Information (RFI) in Construction?

Hello Friends! Welcome to my blog Mad About Construction. My name is Dipak Varsani, and I am the author of I am a Civil Engineer by profession, and I have taken the journey as a Site Engineer in my company.

In this blog, we will see, What is RFI in the Construction? And other important questions related to RFI.

What is RFI in Construction?
What is RFI in Construction?

What is RFI in Construction?

Full form of the RFI is Request for Information. A Request for Information is a standard process in construction to collect the information in written form. Writing RFI and collecting the missing information or data is very important for the best project management, and it should be followed to avoid conflicts and issues. Construction documentation is Skelton of any construction project, and RFI is one important construction document to collect the information from the authorised party or team in the construction project. RFI can also be used in other areas outside of construction. The missing information can also be asked in the form of a letter, but that is very difficult to track as it can mix with all other matters. The list of unresolved RFI can be raised in the meeting or the RFI reference can be used to notify for the delay of the project completion due to delay or no-response to the RFI.

Who can raise RFI in Construction?

Anyone in construction can raise RFI. It depends on the nature of the contract. So, in a construction contract, anyone can raise the RFI to get the missing information or to get clarification. If any party in the contract feel that given information in the construction contract or drawing or any document creating conflict or it is not too specific and not sufficient to deliver the work then that can be confirmed or asked by raising RFI. In short, RFI is not only for the contractor to write to Engineer, Architect, Consultant or Client, but it can be vice-versa as well. The way letter is not only for the contractor to write, but anyone in the contract can raise it to any party, the RFI also can raise by anyone similarly. Purpose of the RFI is just to seek the missing information or to seek the confirmation of unspecified details.

Most of the time, contractor writes RFI to a relevant authorised team like an Architect, Engineers, Project Manager or Client. In most of the projects, Contractor writes RFI to Project manager in a specific format and then project manager forward the same to the relevant authorised team in their particular process. Whatever response they get from the concerned team they forward back to the contractor.

For example, you have received some information and instruction from project manager to start the production of any construction element and the received information for this work is not enough then you can write RFI to project manager. Then the project manager will confirm whether the raised RFI is required, means the requested information is really not shown in the contract or specification or in the drawing. The project manager will also check which team supposed to answer the RFI whether the architect, engineer, Quantity Surveyor or Client it depends by whom the information or detail was designed or delivered initially and forwarded to the contractor. After confirming these two things, the project manager will forward to the relevant team. Suppose the RFI is related to architectural information than Project manager will forward the RFI to the architect. An architect will check the RFI and generate the response with the information, and he will send it back to the Project manager. Again project manager will confirm whether the generated response fully answering the RFI of the contractor and if the Architects response contains enough Information, the Project manager will forward that information to the Contractor.

If you are the main contractor and you have domestic sub-contractor, then he will raise RFI to you, and you will forward to the project manager. Then as mentioned above, the project manager will get the response for you, and he will deliver the response to you so you can forward the response of RFI to your domestic sub-contractor. And if there is nominated sub-contractor in your project, then they can send RFI directly to the project manager and project manager will get the response for him from the relevant authority and answer the RFI.

Sharing the RFI?

You have to find out which party will get affected by your RFI? You have to share RFI and its response to the affected party. This can be done by Email or documentation. By sharing RFI and its response to the affected party will help to avoid conflict in the work implementation, and this conflict can cause re-works in the project.

For Example, If you need to write RFI regarding the door, then you have to copy the same and its response to the client, domestic contractor, nominated contractor etc. to keep them on the same board. Not doing this can cause several repetitive works and extra cost due to improper communication. The workmanship of the work can also get affected.

How to write RFI?

Below are examples which will help you to understand the RFI meaning or Request for Information meaning, and by referring the examples, you can learn how to write RFI. In below RFIs, we have shown detail elaboration of the particular case and discussed all the above points for the specific situation.

RFI-01:- RFI to provide the location of steps in the seawall foundation

So, you can click on the above RFIs link and understand the RFI in construction.

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