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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 745
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 01:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yesterday I was given a substitution request form to review for a project that is currently being bid. Everything looked good. All pertinent the manufacturer's information was there and the manufacturer's products were reputable.

Today, however, I realized that the subcontractor/distributor had not indicated the specific product that they wanted to substitute. I had naturally assumed it was Product X but only the manufacturer's name was indicated on the form.

So can I indicate on the substitution form a product that exceeds the specs and give it back to the contractor? After all, they gave me a menu to choose from. Right?
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 482
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 01:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

No, they gave you incomplete data and an improper subsitution form! [and it is rejectabel!]

The whole of the substitution submittal is THEIR'S, and it is they who pick the specific product they wish you to consider.

T'weren't no menu- t'was a "trick"!
Nathan Woods, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 133
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 01:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You could do that, but it will ultimately cause more headache and work for you. Likewise, so would rejecting it for clarification.

Just call them, figure what product(s) they have in mind, and review it accordingly, and make the proper annotations on the submittal/substitution request form and return it.

If you are in the bid phase with multiple bidders, you may need to distribute your response to all bidders.

Also remember that any substitution you approve is as if you originally specified it. Do it cautiously.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 204
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 01:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

David,

I agree with Ralph. Reject the substitution request for being vague and ambiguous. The proposer may resubmit with the missing requirement.

If your requirements for substitution requests during bidding are clear and concise, the proposer has not complied with the requirements.

For further reading on this subject, I recommend you read Maynard Blummer's article "Prior Approval Process." I adopted Maynard's practice in the early 90's and have not had an issue since that time. If you cannot find the article (originally published in CSI mag) I will share a copy with you and anyone else.

Wayne
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 746
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 04:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In the past I have always rejected incomplete submittals and marked them up to be as such. In this case I really wondered what would happen if I went ahead and indicated a "top-of-the line" super expensive product instead of the mid quality mid priced product specified.

It would be interesting to see the out fall from that. I may even teach them a lesson about completing the form lest someone else complete it for you. Note to Self: Donít give someone a blank check.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 228
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 04:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What's the benefit to the Owner from accepting this substitution?

My first impulse is to agree with the others about rejecting it, but since this is a pre-bid substitution, where's the harm if you specified a Camry to accept the Lexus and the Avalon, while rejecting the Corolla?
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 229
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 04:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wayne, if you are emailing the article to others, please include me. geverding@cannondesign.com
John Hunter
Senior Member
Username: johnhunter

Post Number: 13
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 05:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If this is a pre-bid situation, then if the product is deemed acceptable, wouldn't the response via addendum be to add the product to the list of acceptable products? If that is the case, then if it isn't cost competitive, bidders won't be including it in their bids, and even if it is, some will and some won't. Regardless, it would appear that the likelihood of this actually ending up in the project is less than 100%. Since the error appears to be clerical, it might be appropriate to give the proposer opportunity to rectify the clerical error.

HOWEVER, having written the above, extreme caution should be exercised in deviating in any way from the established bidding procedures, particularly if this is a publicly bid project. Bid protests can easily arise from seemingly innocent acts.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 205
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, October 27, 2006 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

George,

Will do at the earliest convenience.

Wayne
Nathan Woods, CCCA LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 134
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wayne, I'm interested in that Maynard Blummer article also. Please email it to:
nathan AT woodsfamily.cc

Thanks!

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