Andrew Queenan CSI, AIA, LEED GA, NCARB, sparked a lively discussion on the CSI-Connects members-only community page (with presently 40 responses and counting!) when he posed this question:
“I have always understood an addendum to be organized in the write up by sheet. This way, a bidder, goes right to that sheet to see what is changed. As the design professional, it is incumbent upon us to coordinate the other disciplines and ensure they are doing the same with their sheets.
A bulletin is to be written topically. If I am removing a door with electric strikes, for example, I would state that and describe as one line item the removal of door, frame, and electrified hardware and then reissue all sheets (if warranted).
Is this how others are doing it? We are having some discussions in our office about writing addendum and bulletins all the same way.
Eric Murrell RA, CSI, CCS, CDT replied, “Andrew, that is the way I structure Addenda and Bulletins (Proposal Requests), and I am continually having to explain why there is, and there needs to be, a difference. If you are experiencing pushback from someone, I am not surprised.”
Steven Groth CSI, CCS, CDT, AIA added, “An addendum is a modification to the construction documents prior to contract award. As such, it is written in the format of revised drawings, revised specifications, or language referencing chapter and verse and the exact change to make to the documents.
To my knowledge, a bulletin is not defined in any of the commonly used General Conditions or General Requirements. What is it intended to accomplish that the standard instruments (e.g. Supplemental Instructions, RFI, Proposal Request, Construction Change Directive, etc.) do not?
If there is a purpose I'm not envisioning and you determine it is necessary, you will then need to define it in your front end. Since you are defining it, you can use it however you want.”
Heather Salisbury CSI, AIA, LEED AP, agreed, adding, “In my 25 years of practice an addendum is a modification prior to contract award and a bulletin is after award. They look the same as far as how the list of changes are shown. My work is not with any public type entities, so maybe that is where you see the difference?
As several participants in the discussion said they had rarely, if ever used the term ‘bulletin,’ Larry Whitlock CSI, CCS, CCCA, CDT, AIA, NCARB, added this comment, “Although I have never issued a bulletin, I was told many years ago that bulletins are issued only during the bidding phase to alert every company that has received a set of construction documents from the architect that the bid date, time, or address for receipt of bids has been changed, as an addendum is about to be issued, especially if it is to be issued within 7 days of the original bid date.
Plan services and newspapers will, of course, need to publish the new bid date, etc., so product representatives and other bidders unknown to the architect will be made aware of the addendum about to be issued.”