Construction RFIs– The Paper War & How To Prevent It

Training Format: Recorded Webinar

Format Type: DVD

Speaker(s): James G. Zack Jr.

Webinar Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Training Duration : 90 minutes

Training Material Download : Conference Material (Password Required) (3.31 MB)


Untitled Document

Set Contractual Parameters That Will Stop RFI-Based Disputes Before They Happen

Requests for information (RFIs) are the pesky and prevalent paperwork bane of construction projects. While they can be a useful tool, they can also be misused to improperly increase profitability or form the basis for costly cumulative impact or delay claims that hobble both small- and large-scale projects. But you can keep the paper war at bay.

Join industry leader James G. Zack, Jr. to discusses the genesis of RFIs and their development. He will discuss the impact of RFIs on construction projects, drawing upon data provided by a global construction software provider and other studies to assess how RFIs and the RFI processes impact construction projects. The session also 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 two decades. In this session, James willl discuss 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 resulting from a large number of RFIs.  The session will 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 and 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 best management practices concerning RFIs that owners and contractors can adopt and implement for managing the RFI process.

Learning Objectives

In this 90 min session, you will:

  • 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 has been and 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; and,
  • Finally, learn about the best management practices concerning the management of RFIs.

Session Highlights

  • 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.
  • Understand the value of an electronic RFI tracking and monitoring system.
  • Understand the best management practices concerning RFIs and the RFI process.


The webinar discusses in some detail a case study of how the RFI process was abused in order to create a cumulative delay and impact damage claim. 
The webinar also summarizes several courts cases involving the use of RFIs as “proof” of damages.

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.



James G. Zack Jr. is the Senior Advisor to the recently formed 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. Jim was the founder and former Executive Director of the Navigant Construction Forum™. Formerly.. Read More >>



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