|Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP|
Post Number: 146
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 10:23 am: |
We have a client on a highrise condominium project who would like us to inlude catalog cuts of equipment that they specifically want to use in the project rather than the specifications. The equipment consultant does not write specs nor is it our responsibility to prepare these sections. Including catalog cuts in the specs, would be a first for us, so our question is should we have any concerns, other than contacting the manufacturer for the equipment and obtaining permission to 'publish' their catalog cuts in the project manual. Comments welcome.
|William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS|
Post Number: 450
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 10:36 am: |
There is a precedent for this in the way that many Architectural Lighting consultants work. Though they do include specifications, much of their work is the modification of manufacturer's standard fixtures. We often receive many more pages of cut sheets from them than pages in their spec for a project with major architectural lighting.
However, though these are all manufacturer's catalog cuts, what they do typically is create a page format onto which the cut sheet is printed. They also include any modification information there as well.
When I get these, since they are not a spec section and are more akin to 'sketches', what I do is creat an appendix and locate them there. Typically I call it "Lighting Catalog Appendix".
We had another project where this was also done for AV equipment.
I try to discourage it as much as possible, I think it is a poor substitution for a real specification.
I don't know about permissions required to print them - the actual provider of them to you is responsible to obtain that. Though if you were truly concerned about it you might want to do something yourself.
It sounds to me like the provider does not want to even create a page format on which to print them and intends to just send you raw catalog pages. I have never had that happen, but if it did and I could not prevail upon them to provide a page layout, my separate appendix, though I would list it in the table of contents, would be a separate volume. Mostly that is for ease of use and then lack of need to carry that around with you in the main volume all the time.
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 12:01 pm: |
Jerome and William,
I think this idea has some merit. Words and pictures together. I go back to the time I became a certified tennis instructor. I had to explain (words) the technique and follow up with a demonstration (pictures).
A typical project has words (specifications) and pictures (drawings). I think including a properply formated catalog cut complies with this approach. Just one more trick in our BIG bag of tricks.
I have used product data as part of a budgeting process when deadlines intervened. It was well received by the PM and contractor assembling the construction budget during DD phase.
On the matter of "contacting the manufacturer for the equipment and obtaining permission to 'publish' their catalog cuts", should the GC also ask permission to 'publish' their catalog cuts for submittals or are these two separate matters?
William, I agree standalone product data is a poor substitute for a real specification, but it may be useful to provide a picture of an uncommon piece of equipment. What I call miscellaneous specialties comes to mind, such as a Knox Box. Or the parts and pieces of a seismic brick veneer anchor. Whatever it takes to make our intent clear and concise. Sometimes substance takes precedent over format.
Just some thoughts. This kind of topic makes this web site so valuable when we cannot meet face to face at a conference mixer.
|J. Peter Jordan|
Post Number: 109
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 12:14 pm: |
We have used the "product binder" (my term) on repeated work as information provided to the contractor during a pricing phase around design development, but have not included cuts in specifications. Owners have found it very useful, and when the Contractor takes the time to go through the material, they find it useful as well. Even these owners, however, will often say that much of the product data is "design guideline" and not proprietary spec information. "We want Cortega ceiling panels or something that looks like Cortega; whatever is cheaper." One of the tricks is to find out what is really closed spec and what is design guideline.
You could cut down the spec section to a page or 2 with a proprietary spec and the product data attached to the Section.
|William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS|
Post Number: 452
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 01:32 pm: |
I forgot to mention, that we have a couple landscape architects in the local area here who take catalog cuts and put it directly on their drawings. Typically related to items like site furnishing (bicycle racks, benches, trash receptacles, etc.).
I am not a real fan of any of this except the situation of the Architectural Lighting Consultants.
As far as catalog cuts augmenting a proprietary spec, I would rather just see the proprietary spec. Items like Wayne points out, knox boxes, and other proprietary specialties where the item is not being modified and is a simple item that is just put in place and connected (of required), these are just as easily listed with a short description (3 or 4 lines at most, and the model and manufacturer. Part 3 says install in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and other general criteria. I don't think the catalog cut gives any more information. In fact, it may distract or conflict. Unless you are willing to take a marker to the catalog cut and mark out any options or features you are not wanting and select those options you do want, then you can see the potential for problems. And puting in marked up cut sheets - well, ok for a quick package for pricing something maybe, but it sure looks bad in the final. And a marked up cut sheet then is only duplicating the listing in the proprietary listing in the project manual.
Note that I say a proprietary spec - when I do that, it really is just a few lines at most to define the options and specific features wanted (or not wanted) in the final product. Nothing else. Cut sheets will just increase the page count. In a miscellaneous specialties section I can put 5 (often several more) of these to a single page. Where cut sheets I am going to have at least 5 pages, sometimes more.
I think also that even on the most elementary project, the owner deserves both a functional as well as a neat product. Marked up cut sheets are not so neat.
Cut sheets are a good tool during the design process and during any process where the merits of 2 or more products is being discusses so you can see the different things that different manufacturer's call options that might be included in some other product.
There have been times in the past where for an outline spec the owner specifically requested that we assemble a package of catalog cuts for each product in the outline spec. Not common, but a few times over the past 25+ years. We put that to good use internally - it became part of the project managers cut sheets, which he maintained updated, modified, etc. for his record of the project. We gather catalog cuts here for that purposes anyway, this just started it off earlier.
|Doug Brinley AIA CSI CDT CCS|
Post Number: 64
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 01:59 pm: |
For really fast projects, especially in bilingual locations of the country (and international projects) cut sheets in a specification/'project manual' are extremely beneficial. I've done these as an additional service. The selection has to be very well marked.
Most people can describe a product if they can see the package, and much of the time you actually get what was specified!
Cut sheets are absolutely inappropriate in a competitive bidding situation and public works. I'm interested in knowing those public agencies who allow cut sheets in their bid documents. I'm still working on my retirement plan.
Post Number: 46
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 04:38 pm: |
I never used this technique in bid documents for GMP. It was used exclusively during DD to fill in the gaps when a product or system was left undecided but the project required something for basis of budgeting. Design decisions lag behind the budget process in a large number of projects.
I should say, 95% of the projects were team build with the pre-selected GC preparing the estimated cost of construction based on works in progress.
| (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 04:48 pm: |
Public School Districts have been using this practice for years via their Ed. Specs.
|Robin E. Snyder|
Post Number: 26
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 06:29 pm: |
I just (today) had a plumbing engineer ask if he can provide a stack of cut sheets for all plumbing fixtures in lieu of specs. He wrote: " I'd rather put a cut sheet book together and include it with the specs. Describing these things in typical spec format would be arduous." The architect (my client) asked what my opinion is. This is, ironically, the first time I have had this situation arise. Anyone else get this for plumbing fixture?
|Doug Brinley AIA CSI CDT CCS|
Post Number: 65
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 07:15 pm: |
Robin - We get this subconsultant request from time to time. We don't allow anything other than 'complete' specifications in project manuals for publicly funded construction.
We do use cut sheets in Schematic Design and Design Development specs up to and including sets for 60% completion.
We don't allow lighting cut sheets in specifications for publically funded projects. FF&E packages generally consist of purchase orders and cut sheets and very little in the way of specifications. I guess you could tell the plumber that when he starts specifying furniture you'll start accepting his cut sheets in lieu of specifications.
Cut sheets are used in our office when we have an immediate need to communicate concisely about a product using pictures.
If the product is roof membrane, we want to show the actual packaging as indicated on a cut sheet as opposed to the membrane (which is, of course, nondescript). It's a 'buy this' sort of thing.
|Doug Brinley AIA CSI CDT CCS|
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Monday, August 15, 2005 - 07:17 pm: |
In Los Angeles, while working in the contractor's field office, we watched as the superintendent would xerox a screw or some other small part, and send the non-english speaking worker to Home Depot or wherever.
|Ron Beard CCS|
Post Number: 70
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 03:26 am: |
As an independent specifier with a wide range of clients, I have always had a goal to assemble a project manual which correctly reflects the needs of the project, architect, and owner. My approach to a strip-retail store spec is totally different then a detention center spec. Why assemble a sophisticated Division 1 for an architect who doesn’t have a properly trained staff nor a caring attitude about CA. Some owners have a construction/development savvy staff while others have a church building committee made up of avid watchers of “This Old House.”
A specifiers major objective is to produce documents that properly communicate the technical and administrative needs of the project in a clear, concise, and correct manner to what, hopefully, is a receptive reader. There is no reason that pictures/catalog cuts should be excluded from a project manual when there are compelling reasons why their inclusion would be beneficial to a specific project. I know there are a lot of specifiers out there that are “afraid” to deviate from the party line [PRM] but the “prime directive” is to clearly, concisely, and correctly conmmunicate to the reader and pictures/catalog cuts can sometimes accomplish that objective.
In the past, I have successfully included catalog cuts and other pictures in gym equipment, food service equipment, site furnishing, and similar specification sections. Even recently, I have inserted SMACNA flashing details into the specifications because the architects drawings where weak and I didn’t have time to do both my work and the architect’s work. I do not use catalog cuts that are proprietary and I do provide some specification text to further describe the item.
For the record, I do not advocate this practice without careful consideration but I think as specifier’s we need to keep an open and flexible mind toward how we can best communicate our projects.
Historical Note: In the mid-1960's, I worked for an architectural firm that specialized in schools. During that period [when the war baby boomers were first reaching public school age], schools could not be built fast enough. As most of you know, schools can be pretty repetative in design - once you’ve designed one, one has a pretty good basis for the next school. These school projects became “cookie cutter” operations.** As a consequence, this firm’s response was to produce drawings both in the standard drawing format [plans, elevations, wall sections, etc. ] and a separate “Detail Book” containing details for blackboards, lockers, thresholds, gym equipment, etc., etc.. Each page was a separate detail with it’s own ID number and these numbers were then referenced on the drawings where applicable. These books were sometimes 2" to 3" thick. Speed was important to getting these projects out and it saved a lot of drawing time [ink/lead on linen in those days]. The process worked well so it should be knocked too hard.
As an interesting side note, this architectural firm was the one the late Everett Spurling, FCSI, FAIA, one of the countries first independent specifiers, left to open up his specifiation consulting practice.
** Reminds me of the old cartoon in the Architect Record showing an architect with a pair of scissors in one hand and unrolling of sheet of high-rise building elevations from a roll similar to a roll of butcher paper with the other hand and a caption saying: “How many stories did you say?”
Post Number: 27
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:35 am: |
I have never been in the position of being asked to include catalog cuts in the specs, but in listening to this discussion, it seems to me that the main question is why it's being requested.
If it's to be a shortcut, I would ask what the shortcut doesn't provide that the long method does -- obviously, some people have thought the long way was better in certain circumstances. Public work, as mentioned, certainly requires competitive pricing, but most other owners expect that as well. How does a bidder know which aspects of a brand name product shown on a catalog sheet are "non-negotiable" (in his parlance, how does he choose an "or-equal"). Where do the procedures for substitutions reside? Where are the quality assurance, submittals, and installation instructions? The plumbing eng sure is correct that writing specs on plumbing fixtures is arduous -- is he going to arbitrate the substitutions disputes? or the protests when no substitutions are allowed?
The other aspect, providing a visual or graphic aid, is a completely different issue. The description of non-proprietary graphic "specs" in a detail book sounds to me like an eminently practical method.
|J. Peter Jordan|
Post Number: 110
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 11:00 am: |
I have been doing some further thinking on this subject and am coming to the conclusion that this is not a yes/no issue, but more like a depends/maybe issue. Catalog cut sheets are by their nature proprietary; they also include information that is extraneous to the specifications or, in some cases, that may contradict contract requirements. I would not include them as a part of a specification on public work period. I would think carefully before including them on private work.
Including such information into the Contract Documents restricts the responsibility of the Contractor and shifts more liability to the A/E. In keeping with the idea that CDs express "design intent", final product selection and its incorporation into the work is the responsibility of the Contractor. Unless there is a very real need to restrict the Contractor's responsibility in this area, this should be avoided. Unless you have a Contractor that doesn't understand what his contractual obligations are and how to build buildings; in which case, you should advise your client to avoid this beauxeau.
That being said, offices where I have worked have usually found the "Product Binder" to be a useful tool both during design and construction. I have suggested to Project Architects that they keep copies of all products being considered, marking through sheets showing products not being considered. When done correctly, it is an excellent means of communication amoung the team since such information often includes information which will be on the Drawings as well as information that will work its way into the specifications. The CA people also find it useful when reviewing Submittals, especially when they find that a product submitted as a comparable product or a substitution has been previously considered and explicitly not used. On one of the projects on which the PA ignored my insistence on maintaining a Product Binder, the client requested it late in the CD phase and we had to scramble to assemble it.
As others have indicated, our office will provide this information to clients and their contractors at sometime during DD. This is not so much of a specification, but basis of design documentation. Clients find it useful; many contractors will ignore it while they put together their preliminary prices.
Perhaps if one wanted to include this information in the published Project Manual, it could be bound in as "Available Information" (MF04 No. 00 30 00).
|David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI|
Post Number: 497
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 12:49 pm: |
If you going to include manufaucturer's catalog cuts in your specs, are you going to include manufacturer's details in your drawings?
|Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, MAI|
Post Number: 192
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 01:05 pm: |
I've been following this thread waiting to see if someone has opened their PRM-MOP to pages 5.89 and 5.92, with the text discription in paragraph 18.104.22.168. Clearly (Sorry, Ron B.), but it appears the "party line" has changed.
I don't disagree with the position that cut-sheets are not a substitution for specifications (how do you establish the salient requirements of a product?), but pictures do add another dimension of getting the message out on exactly what the architect wants; something that neither specification text can describe nor construction drawings can show.
|Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, MAI|
Post Number: 193
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 01:07 pm: |
Argh! I clicked "Post this Message" just as I noticed that I misspelled "Description." I hate it when I do that!
|Mark Kalin (Unregistered Guest)
|Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - 09:18 pm: |
Putting cuts in the specs is not new. Remember "Desktop Publishing" from 1982? Food service consultants and lighting designers have long issued an appendix to the spec to let the contractor (and owner) know what their selections are based on. Retyping those pages into words only would just have been a waste of time. Its usually easier to include such items as an appendix to the spec as they are often bulky and disrupt the flow of the spec ...
|John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP|
Post Number: 223
|Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 01:10 pm: |
Interior designers, food service consultants, medical equipment designers and graphic designers (signage) have different concepts of what specifications are. Whether they are right or wrong is not the issue. They WILL produce documents which combine text and graphics. I call these "abstracts" and have either incorporated them into the Project Manual as appendices or referenced them as "under separate cover."
These documents, which describe the products with a list of attributes, including selection of optional features, may include an illustration or picture of the manufactured product or fabrication. But what I'm describing is a formal presentation and not merely a copy of a catalog page.
A reproduction of a manufacturer's catalog, with circles and arrows and handwritten notes conveys most of the attributes of the product. The presentation may be crude but it probably works, especially for communication between the designer and the specifier. But I don't think this is suitably "professional" for a construction contract or a Request for Proposal (design-build project).
What is lacking in the catalog-cut-as-specification concept is the stuff that makes a construction specification section, as we know it. Sure, the product is identified and it may be sufficient to buy the product. But installation information and, most critically, quality assurance are absent. If you can do without the stuff that only words can describe, then the catalog cut may suffice.
Note that this only works when the "specifications" are proprietary and "closed proprietary" (sole source) at that.
I think this is a concept that the SectionFormat task team should consider in its development of the updated SectionFormat and PageFormat. Should CSI address formats for furnishings and equipment specifications using the "abstract" format?
|T.J. Simons, CSI, CCS|
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 03:56 pm: |
Going back to the original post, catalog cuts are not a substitution for a specification, especially in a final Project Manual. I like John Regener's "abstract" idea, and I think the Section Format task team should definitely consider this concept. I can see applications, especially for furnishings and medical equipment, where 3-Part specification Sections and catalog cuts/abstracts can be combined into a very comprehensive document.
Here's how I have used catalog cuts in SD and DD level Project Manuals:
Typically, our office will bind these into a separate volume of the Project Manual, entitled "Product Data"-that's the cleanest way to do it in my opinion.
Recently, I had to produce a DD submittal Project Manual for a new hospital. Time was short, and the product selection process was all over the map-some systems almost fully detailed, other items were not selected. I ended up assembling my Project Manual with a combination of full-length and outline spec sections. The full-length sections were fully edited, and named specific products and manufacturers; the outline sections were more descriptive in nature. For products in these sections, I selected something myself, and bound the product data in immediately following the respective section. In these sections, I added a brief Article at the end named "Product Data", which stated, "Manufacturer's data for products selected as Basis Of Design is bound in immediately following this Section".
Another thing to consider is that much of this material is available in PDF form from manufacturer's web sites. I've worked for firms in the past who imported these images into an 8-1/2x11 title block with the project named on it. This makes for a more professional presentation, and allows you to electronically archive (and re-use on future jobs where appropriate) your cut sheets.
|John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA|
Post Number: 395
|Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 09:58 am: |
Responding to Ronald's frustration of a misspelling after posting: If you click the "edit post" icon at the upper right of your post within ten minutes (I think that's the time) of your posting, you can still edit it. I've done this a bunch of times. Also, if you click the "Help/Instructions" link at the bottom of each thread, there's lots of goodies on how to use this forum's technologies.
|Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, MAI|
Post Number: 197
|Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 11:53 am: |
John: Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely be sure to use it in the future.
|Doug Frank FCSI CCS|
Post Number: 117
|Posted on Friday, August 19, 2005 - 12:36 pm: |
COOL Now I know how Sheldon gets those little smiley faces in his posts. Thanks John