Construction RFIs – The Paper War & How To Prevent It

James G. Zack, Jr.

James G. Zack, Jr.

Jim is the Principal, James Zack Consulting, LLC and Senior Advisor, Ankura Construction Forum™. The Forum strives to be the construction industry’s resource for thought leadership and best practices on avoidance and resolution of construction project disputes globally. Formerly he was the Executive Director of the Navigant...
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Pre-recorded
90 Mins
James G. Zack, Jr.

Impact & Control of RFIs on Construction Projects

This webinar discusses the genesis of RFIs and their development. The webinar discusses the impact of RFIs on construction projects, drawing upon data provided by ACONEX and other studies to assess how RFIs and the RFI processes impact both small and large scale construction projects. The webinar addresses the abuse of the RFI process examining how some contractors misuse RFIs to increase profitability, a practice that has become somewhat institutionalized in the past decade. The webinar discusses a claim case study involving a laboratory building at wastewater treatment facility to illustrate how the process can be abused and examines the legal arguments for cumulative impact as a result of a large quantity of RFIs. The webinar explains how owners inadvertently contribute to the abuse of RFIs by failing to adopt practices that may contractually safeguard against the potential negative impacts of the RFI process. The webinar sets forth a framework for reducing the impact of RFIs that consists of three principal recommendations: the incorporation of critical definitions and an RFI control specification; electronic RFI tracking and monitoring RFIs; and sets forth best management practices concerning RFIs that owners and contractors can adopt and implement for managing the RFI process.

Webinar Objectives


  • Gain a better understanding of the issues, risks, and challenges concerning the use and abuse of RFIs on construction projects.
  • Learn about how the RFI process can be abused and used as the basis of claims.
  • Learn how to mitigate the adverse impact of RFIs through contractual mechanisms.
  • Be exposed to a method for controlling the risks posed by RFIs and a system for managing the RFI process.
  • Understand the value of an electronic RFI tracking and monitoring system.
  • Understand the best management practices concerning RFIs and the RFI process.

Webinar Agenda


  • Purpose of Research
  • Generis of RFIs
  • Impact of FIs on Project
  • Cost & Time Impacts
  • Abuse of the RFI Process
  • RFIs In Action – A Case Study
  • Legal Decisions Concerning RFIs
  • Owners – Part of the Problem
  • Incorporate an RFI Clause
  • RFI Review System
  • Electronic Tracking System
  • Forward Thinking Index™
  • FI Best Management Practices
  • Means of Preventing RFIs
  • Final Notes

Webinar Highlights


  • Learn how the RFI process came about and is intended to be used in the construction industry.
  • Better understand the impact of RFIs on construction projects based on data from approximately 1,400 projects including the average time and cost to review and respond to an RFI.   
  • Gain an understanding of how the RFI process can be abused.
  • Be exposed to legal decisions concerning how the number of RFIs on projects has been used to prove delay and cumulative impact claims.
  • Understand what definitions should be included in construction projects to help lessen the impact of RFIs.
  • Examine a proposed RFI specification which may be included in contracts to mitigate the impact of RFIs.
  • Understand how electronic tracking and monitoring of RFIs will help further mitigate the adverse impact of RFIs on projects.
  • Finally, learn about the best management practices concerning the management of RFIs.

Who Should Attend


  • Attorneys dealing with construction delays and cumulative impact claims.
  • Owners and owner representatives managing capital improvement projects.
  • Contractor executives, project managers, project sponsors and project control personnel.
  • Construction managers and design professionals performing services during construction.
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