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Setting the Standard
January 5, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's tip is about how facility executives should work with architects and engineers to establish standards for the products used in their facilities.
Establish a list of products and manufacturers you've used before and feel comfortable with. This list should include products for new construction and ongoing operations and maintenance in existing facilities. For new construction products, provide that list to the architect to use as the basis for the project specifications document. Make sure the architect understands that this list represents preferred vendors and products, but is not written in stone. The architect should make suggestions about products he or she has used successfully or which may be a little less expensive for the same level of quality.
Also, make sure to ask around among other facility executives for their recommendations. Most facility executives are eager to help others with unbiased advice on what works and what doesn't. They can also let you know if they're getting a better price than you may have been quoted!
Finally, for big-ticket items like roofs or HVAC equipment, you may not have shopped for in awhile, it's a good idea to establish performance specifications like length of warranty or an Energy Star label. That way, you give the architect some very specific parameters for selecting the make and model of the product. Of course, you're the customer, so you'll always have the final say!