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Question for Architects and Project Specifications


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I'm not an architect but an intern.

If the CD's have already been produced then the spec sheet needs to be red lined and changed. If you are the client, just request such a change and the architect will tell an intern to make the change on CAD.

Architects determine products by their performance, cost, and/or aesthetic taste; depending on which factor weighs most significantly into the clients vision.

Yes, many architects work closely with suppliers, this is true for many aspects but usually for door & hardware schedules, window schedules, finish schedules etc.

Talented architects have been known to either use unconventional materials (read not from a product catalog) or conventional materials in an unorthodox manner but this breed is extremely rare or extremely expensive in such a conservative place such as Texas.

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I'm hoping an architect or two can enlighten me with their expertise. What is the procedure to get a new product specified into your projects? How do you determine which products you spec into plans? Do you use services like Upchurch Kimbrough, or come across building/design materials in other ways?

Upchurch is a supplier/distributor for numerous lines of brick and stone from multiple manufacturers.. and Yes, it is common to go through suppliers when spec'ing a project.

The architect indicates in plans, specs, or both, when he has specific manufacturers in mind for certain building components. For some, it's less important to get the exact component, so you would add a note like "or equal in performance".. then if the contractor wants to use a similar component, say for door pulls, he would issue a submittal to the architect, who will then accept or deny the substitute.

Brick, stone, usually does not fall under the "or equal" category since there are hundreds and hundreds of different but similar brick colors out there and we wouldnt want the contractor deciding aesthetically what is equal. Additionally, exterior brick and stone is something that has to be approved by the municipality design review process, as well as by the neighborhood if they have a Arch review committee.. so once you've selected brick and had it approved... there is no deviation or substitution without much sweat and tears..

How do architects decide what to specify? Some of it is based on what they know or are comfortable with. Sometimes they see new products in other projects, architectural magazines etc., and pull information themselves from the manufacturer or local distributor. Most architectural firms have libraries of material specs and samples and product literature that they have built up over years. Most architectural firms are visited quite often by product reps showing the latest and greatest.

If you are a supplier, distributor, or manufacturer and you want architects to start specifying your product... you would have to make lots of field trips to various architect firms to introduce your project, drop off product literature, and feed the architects.

EDIT...

I just noticed your signature.... You work for http://www.ahi-supply.com/?

Guess you know who Upchurch is...

Edited by Highway6
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Hi there, thanks for the info and yes I do work for AHI Supply. Upchurch has done some decent work at getting some of our colored mortar, cleaners, and cast stone spec'd into jobs but I am trying to take a more aggressive approach; i.e. meeting with architects personally! :D

Upchurch is a supplier/distributor for numerous lines of brick and stone from multiple manufacturers.. and Yes, it is common to go through suppliers when spec'ing a project.

The architect indicates in plans, specs, or both, when he has specific manufacturers in mind for certain building components. For some, it's less important to get the exact component, so you would add a note like "or equal in performance".. then if the contractor wants to use a similar component, say for door pulls, he would issue a submittal to the architect, who will then accept or deny the substitute.

Brick, stone, usually does not fall under the "or equal" category since there are hundreds and hundreds of different but similar brick colors out there and we wouldnt want the contractor deciding aesthetically what is equal. Additionally, exterior brick and stone is something that has to be approved by the municipality design review process, as well as by the neighborhood if they have a Arch review committee.. so once you've selected brick and had it approved... there is no deviation or substitution without much sweat and tears..

How do architects decide what to specify? Some of it is based on what they know or are comfortable with. Sometimes they see new products in other projects, architectural magazines etc., and pull information themselves from the manufacturer or local distributor. Most architectural firms have libraries of material specs and samples and product literature that they have built up over years. Most architectural firms are visited quite often by product reps showing the latest and greatest.

If you are a supplier, distributor, or manufacturer and you want architects to start specifying your product... you would have to make lots of field trips to various architect firms to introduce your project, drop off product literature, and feed the architects.

EDIT...

I just noticed your signature.... You work for http://www.ahi-supply.com/?

Guess you know who Upchurch is...

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  • 2 months later...
Upchurch is a supplier/distributor for numerous lines of brick and stone from multiple manufacturers.. and Yes, it is common to go through suppliers when spec'ing a project.

The architect indicates in plans, specs, or both, when he has specific manufacturers in mind for certain building components. For some, it's less important to get the exact component, so you would add a note like "or equal in performance".. then if the contractor wants to use a similar component, say for door pulls, he would issue a submittal to the architect, who will then accept or deny the substitute.

Brick, stone, usually does not fall under the "or equal" category since there are hundreds and hundreds of different but similar brick colors out there and we wouldnt want the contractor deciding aesthetically what is equal. Additionally, exterior brick and stone is something that has to be approved by the municipality design review process, as well as by the neighborhood if they have a Arch review committee.. so once you've selected brick and had it approved... there is no deviation or substitution without much sweat and tears..

How do architects decide what to specify? Some of it is based on what they know or are comfortable with. Sometimes they see new products in other projects, architectural magazines etc., and pull information themselves from the manufacturer or local distributor. Most architectural firms have libraries of material specs and samples and product literature that they have built up over years. Most architectural firms are visited quite often by product reps showing the latest and greatest.

If you are a supplier, distributor, or manufacturer and you want architects to start specifying your product... you would have to make lots of field trips to various architect firms to introduce your project, drop off product literature, and feed the architects.

couldn't of said it better myself

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