Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RFI Mapping

 How do we know which location an RFI is referring to? A nice way to monitor your project is to use an RFI map.


Put simply, RFI Mapping is a method noting the physical location of all RFIs on a set of drawings. It may take time out of your day, but with a little planning, you can better monitor your projects and foresee potential coordination issues before they arise.

The benefit of RFI Mapping is that when reviewing the drawings, your notes will help remind you of other changes to date. “Oh yeah, the contractor raised the question about the spacing of anchor bolts? This information will help you if you’re redesigning another part of the building.

I recently had a project where I was reviewing a condition specific to an elevator pit. In providing me with relevant information to the project, my client provide me with a set of drawings where RFI locations had been noted. Because of this, I was able to ask for the relevant RFIs and was able to ascertain that a Xypex admixture had been included in the concrete mix and a below-grade waterproofing detail had been modified.

Daily Routine 

One method of implementing RFI Mapping into your routine is to establish a 15 minute print & file appointment per week. Print all RFIs from the past week and as you file away in RFI binders, make note of each RFI location on the drawings.

The Big Picture

After a while, you will be able to see which areas were under-designed. If there is a concentration of questions about plumbing or related to the kitchen, it is a good indication that there areas were under-designed. It may also be time to have a discussion with the MEP engineer.

Other Documents

The RFI Mapping technique is not unique to RFIs. It can also be used to Field Reports, Architect's Supplemental Instructions (ASI), & Change Orders. You can use alternate colors to differentiate the document type.

Colors & Versions
Some people keep different drawing sets for different document types. For instance, there is a set with marking for RFIs and a set with markings for Field Report issues. I find that this creates excessive printing requirements. I like to keep one set and use different colors for different document types. In teh image below:

Requests for Information are in Red
Change Orders are in Green
Architect's Supplemental Instructions are in Purple
Field Reports are in Blue.


Below I include a number of photos related to RFI Mapping. For more information on my numerous Site Photography articles, start with the first article here.

i did not create this drawing. i merely marked it up

RFIs printed and taped to backside of drawings in field office

photos can also be taped to backside of drawings

details are also annotated w. reviewer comments

always good to know what sheet you are looking at

note in red ink referencing other RFI