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Manufacturers' Specifications - Opportunities or Pitfalls?

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Conspectus, Inc.

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of Manufacturers' Specifications - Opportunities or Pitfalls?

MANUFACTURER GUIDE SPECS Opportunities and Pitfalls Different Persective,
Different Purpose Get products specified
Limit liability
Limit competition
Establish responsibility lines

Format Questions MasterFormat number & title
SectionFormat article sequence
PageFormat and word processing General Considerations Div-01 coordination
Editing notes for decision points
Terminology for drawing notes
True specs: individual items or work for improvements to real property? PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 Performance Criteria Manufacturer's Spec: Contact info and web links?
How free is the Contractor to shop?
Substitution restrictions: are they useful, or just a sales tool?
Comparable manufacturers / products: did rep suggest some? Did you double check them? Product Type Manufacturers Product Description Basic material to be installed with other products in an assembly?
Primary material with critical performance?
Group of products marketed and warranted as a system?
Commodity product?
Product with special attributes?
Quality level and service life?
Standard manufactured product, product with limited options?
Product made to order for specific project requirements? Describe everything? Or just enough to achieve design intent?
Objective information on performance and other "salient" product characteristics?
Are all product attributes important to the specific project - or just some?
Are characteristics of interest to just the installer included?
Are product options listed and explained?
Hidden ‘gotchas’ that exclude competition? Are descriptive physical and chemical characteristics mistakenly listed as "performance" requirements?
Are available test reports current and applicable?
Are tests properly selected and properly cited?
Are identified criteria germane to use of product?
Are criteria objective and verifiable?
Are criteria supported by submittals and testing? Materials Are material standards appropriately cited? Up to date? Verifiable?
Are material sustainability characteristics appropriate to the project?
Are fabrication issues mistakenly specified under Materials? Accessories Are secondary products generically described or named by proprietary names only?
Are secondary products not made by manufacturer but required for installation specified here? Fabrication Does spec distinguish between standard manufacturing procedures and fabrication to specific sizes or finishes?
Do manufacturer’s manufacturing procedures unnecessarily limit competition?
Are there critical fabrication tolerances that need to be specified? Finishes Standard or custom colors?
Primers: Coordination with field finishes?
PVDFs and Powder Coatings: Use industry reference standards to specify instead of proprietary names. Section Includes /
Related Requirements References Look out for ‘by others’ statements. Manufacturers often use Related Requirements to exclude work items to protect themselves against liability or define scope of subcontracts for the benefit of their installers.
Some manufacturer specs have information on multiple products but may need modifications to specify more than one type.
It may be appropriate to include products and procedures in a spec section that are not in the manufacturer guide spec.
Do guide specs mistakenly cross reference to non-existent sections? Does not require contractor to do anything.
Use sparingly. Good reference information, but not needed for most privately-funded projects. Submittals Few manufacturer guide specs distinguish between action submittals, informational submittals, and closeout submittals.
Few manufacturer guide specs distinguish between samples for selection and samples for verification.
Manufacturer guide specs commonly include requirements that are specified in Section 01 3300 Submittals Procedures, such as number of copies. Manufacturer Qualifications: Are they reasonable or do they exclude legitimate competition?
Installer Qualifications: Does the manufacturer have a program for approving or certifying installers?
Are there reference publications that set industry standards that apply to this product?
Is a separate mock-up needed for products in the section or are they part of another mock-up? Quality Assurance Manufacturer specs are frequently either ‘comply with manufacturer instructions’ or excessively detailed. Delivery, Storage, Handling Not all warranties stated in manufacturer guide specs are to the advantage of the owner. Delete warranties that conflict with the conditions of the contract or Division-01 specs.
Do the warranties cover what’s important? Most EIFS warranties only warrant the constituent components, not the performance of the system.
Warranties that limit coverage to one year may reduce owner’s protections under standard documents like the A201 General Conditions. Warranties Examination Substrate installation or preparation requirements that require coordination with other product specs.
When manufacturer specs use the phrase ‘by others’ or ‘work exclusions’ do they mean ‘NIC’ or are they trying to set the scope of the subcontract for their product? Installation Why are manufacturer installation specs so brief?
Can we rely on 'comply with manufacutrer's instructions?'
Can an industry standard be used to specify installation?
Should we include requirements for installation tools and equipment from the guide spec?
What kinds of installation requirements should we specify? Field Quality Control Special tests or inspections needed?
Manufacturer inspections? Cleaning and Protection Identification or definition of defects.
Cleaning techniques.
Special protection needed for installed products? * Relationship to other construction: support, anchorage.
* Layout: plumb, level, parallel, straight rows, aligned patterns.
* Finishing: smooth surface, uniform color and texture.
* Jointing: sizes, locations, appearance. Will manufacturer's commit to providing field service? Demonstration Does manufacturer provide training services?
Will manufacturer participate in commissioning? What about equipment startup?
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