Archive for August, 2018

The Power of a Precise Product Specification

As the Architect/Designer for a project it is our responsibility to select the most appropriate products and materials for our clients. While we are researching manufacturer catalogs and websites for a certain item, we rely on the company’s high standards and expertise of their product and on the specifications they provide. For example, after every project is finished I present my clients with a specification manual, which contains all items and materials used in their project, orders, and manuals for each product. This is a helpful tool for the client in case they have a challenge with any item in their home after the project is complete. They have the information needed to contact manufacturers or showrooms if necessary for replacements, repairs or maintenance.

The product specification or cut sheet is very integral to the project. There may not be enough time to go to every showroom or company that is providing the material so in the design process, so a precise specification gives the Architect/ Designer the information needed to further the project along; dimensions and material, installation instructions, and the specific tools needed to install.

We rely on the correct information because that determines so much of the design’s success. For example, integrated appliances that go into built in cabinetry must have the correct dimensions. We order the product with the exact dimension to go with our design especially when we do a custom fabrication from a manufacturer of cabinetry, closets, and shelving. When the product arrives, we expect that it will fit within our design, allying ourselves to the fact that the specification we studied is correct.

The challenge arises when the product specification is incorrect, or the dimension of the specification differs from the real product when it arrives on site. Then our job is to understand if the product will even work. Manufacturers sometimes do not put specific dimensions on their product sheet, measurements that can indicate allowances and depth or thickness that are necessary for the designer to know.

Having a product delivered and not being able to insert correctly into a design could damage an Architect/Designer’s reputation. The client hires us to design and identify the most appropriate products for their project. If the product ordered is not fitting with the design because the specification has even the smallest discrepancy, we must find the solution quickly. The right specs are integral to installation of appliances, fixtures and lighting. As Architects/Designers we rely on their accuracy to bring our designs to fruition.