The focus of this blog is construction-related topics. The purpose is discussion, so please feel free to comment! See Specific thoughts for thoughts from the daily life of a specifier.

24 July 2011

Whose responsibility?

Design professionals rely on manufacturers and suppliers for the information necessary to design a project, and to create specifications and details for incorporation of those products. Advertisements, specifications, and performance data distributed by manufacturers are a primary source of information used by design professionals to determine if a product will meet the requirements of a project. This information is supplemented by discussion with the manufacturer's representatives, distributors, suppliers, and installers, but the written documents must be accurate, factual, and reliable illustrations of how products and assemblies should be used.

It is not unreasonable, then, to expect that a product advertised for a particular use is indeed suitable for that use. Consider a company that produces wood doors. The company's literature calls them wood doors, it specifies them by standards used for wood doors, and it shows pictures of them being used as wood doors. An architect should be comfortable choosing this product for use as a wood door; a specifier should be confident that it can be specified as such; and the owner should have no doubt that it is, indeed, a wood door, with all that implies. But I'm not talking about wood doors.