Use of Wall Panel Layouts by Jobsite Contractors


What level, if any, of responsibility does a CM assume if the contractors on the jobsite use our layout plans to do more than just put the walls together? Specifically on the job in question, the panel layout was used to place plumbing for a kitchen island. Unfortunately, the layout had the pony wall for that island out of place by 11”. As a result, there is additional work needed to relocate the plumbing. We send the layouts as a guide for the framers to know what goes where numerically and have never implied that the layouts were specific enough to use in place of the actual engineered prints. Has this issue come up before? If so, how was it handled?


Wall panels, much like trusses (except they are not engineered), are components only. TPI-1 defines them as “Structural Elements” that become part of the “Building Structural System” (a defined term in TPI-1) of each Building (also a defined term in TPI-1). Wall panel suppliers commonly produce wall panel component or elevation drawings that identify the component itself, and wall panel layouts, which are diagrams that are to be used only as an aid in the installation of the wall panels by showing numerical wall alignment and dimensions. Both are to be reviewed and approved by the Contractor (defined term in TPI-1) for the Building and in some instances by the Building Designer (TPI-1 defined term). The IBC and TPI formally recognize the truss placement diagram as an illustration identifying the assumed location of each truss and as a guide for installation only. Similarly as wall panels like trusses are Structural Elements, wall panel drawings, including layouts should be treated the same way and not relied on for any other purposes other than assisting in wall panel installation. 

Likewise for trusses, the IBC states with regard to a truss placement plan under 2303.4.6 that the design of metal-plate-connected wood trusses shall be per TPI-1. Section 2303.4.2 also states the purpose of a truss placement diagram (same as a plan) is “[identifying] the proposed location for each individually designated truss and references the corresponding truss design drawing.”  This section goes on to state that a truss placement diagram should be part of the truss submittal package and provided with the delivery of the trusses, and that it need not be sealed unless prepared under the direct supervision of a licensed engineer. TPI-1-2014, defines the Truss Placement Diagram as an “Illustration identifying the assumed location of each Truss.” For more detail, see What the Code Says: Truss Placement Diagrams.

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