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09/10/2020

It occurred to me that I could make note of some of the interesting things that happen every day in my specification consulting practice. I will try to keep this going for the second half of this year, posting a couple of times a month. They are all learning experiences for me – maybe for someone else, too.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Hot Aisle: In case you didn’t know there is such a think, large server arrays use this special type of enclosure structure to channel and exhaust hot air coming off of server banks. I didn’t know, but I do now. Specifiers become quick studys.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Ballet Barre: We put these in high school dance classrooms, and a ballet barre just became the solution to the large glazed opening in the second floor fitness room that overlooked the gym. Instant guard. We work with some clever architects.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

4specs.com: Do you know about this site? Thousands of well organized links to building product manufacturers, and the best specifier discussion forum in the business. The forum has been going for over 20 years and can be subjec searched.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Restoration/Rehabilitation/Refurbishment: Whatever the definition, we get a particular satisfaction in helping bring old buildings back to life. This one is a 1932 school and community auditorium. The design team is experienced with historical items and doing a fine job of documentation. As it is public money, the front end will be half of our work, but we’re delighted to have the project and looking forward to the completion photos down the road.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Leftover Issue: There’s always a leftover issue on a project – the can that gets kicked down the road until the Contractor says: “I need an answer.” 25 emails later, someone finally makes a decision. This one was a single drawing note calling for an acoustic blanket above a decorative ceiling grid. What is it, and how is it installed, what with all those grid suspension wires to contend with? We ended up suggesting a conventional fabric covered sound absorbing panel with some stiffeners on the back. Good luck with the wires.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Geotech Reports, Soil Boring Logs, Hazardous Material Reports: I prefer locating these as far from the architect’s seal as possible, which means as Appendices at the end of Volume 2. No they are not contract documents! I have this conversation with every team. On this one I usually get my way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Alternates! Alternates are usually the last work in a Project Manual before it goes out the door. The CM wants to protect the budget; the Owner wants to see if they can afford the more expensive boiler, and the interior designer hopes to get the cool wall finish into the project. The bidding estimators look on in horror as the list grows to 15 or 20 items. I always advise the team to hold the alternates to 3, or maybe 5, significant cost items. They don’t listen to me.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Hooray! SpecGuy is delighted to welcome Julia Hall CSI CCS CCCA as a Consulting Senior Specifier. Julia has over 30 years’ industry experience as a firm and independent specifier. She has specialties in building envelopes, hurricane high velocity wind zone and flood zone requirements, and drawing/specification coordination. We worked together “way back” at LS3P Associates. She has served as Chair of the national AIA MasterSpec Architectural Review Committee and has been a mainstay of the Charleston SC CSI Chapter. We welcome Julia with her great array of insights and practice knowledge.