Iowa's Anamosa Community School District in Anamosa, Iowa has chosen a Garland Metal Roof for their new facility.
Their bid specification is clearly a Restrictive Proprietary Performance Spec.
Not only is Garland listed as the basis for design without listing at least two other manufacturer's products and the term "or equal", it limits competition through its' very restrictive "performance" specification listings.
Here is a summary of what is contained in this specification:
1. Pages of very detailed manufacturer's installation instructions and business activities with their approved roofing contractor. These items have no place being in a specification that details what a general contractor will bid with their subs, and what work they will perform. What a manufacturer does with a roofing subcontractor to achieve a real warranty is between each other, not the Owner.
2. This Owner chose not to demand a real warranty - a No Dollar Limit Warranty. Now they have a real problem on their hands....instructions for installation in the spec, which puts the responsibility for any of the roofing work on the Owner and his specifiers (architects/engineers). In other words, the Owner has bought the roof without any assurance it will truly be installed so that it will perform... which then allows for the possibility of a leaking roof that could negatively affect the structure - weakening it in snow country.....causing great expense to the owner if they caught the problem in time to save lives - the worst possible outcome.
3. A requirement for an ISO 9000 Certification. Such certification is not only expensive, it is pointless to obtaining a good roof actually made by the manufacturer (not private-labeled) with a real, No-Dollar limit (NDL) Warranty.
4. Requirements for manufacturer's certifications. They are not ascertainable.
5. Who can bid, based upon where they have done projects (so many miles within the project bid), how many projects with their products, how happy the clients have been, etc. With certain manufacturers, a tight, round-robin "pool" of three or so contractors show up at the manufacturer's jobs....and in the San Francisco Bay Area, have been known to collude as to who would get the job.
6. The number of contractors certified to install their products vary widely by manufacturer. If they have more certified, the better for the owner.
7. The fact that the manufacturer must own and not lease manufacturing facilities. etc. (if required). Some of the larger manufacturers who do not engage in such practices have discovered scammers buying their products through "shell" companies, relabeling product, and offering "warranties" on product far longer than the true manufacturer does. We are aware that a Georgia manufacturer of metal roofs may be the product actually submitted, under the "Garland" label. Where are the requirements to disclose whose system has been private labeled and submitted as the manufacturer's "product"?
8. A list of tests to be met, and without values to meet. Beware. Start checking every test, call the Testing Agency in question if you don't understand the tests. Ask about applicability, the latest test to use, the values to use to meet, and what if any tests supplant the tests listed.
9. Details should not be called out in the specification. Rather, they should be drawn, done specifically to the project, and they should cover all conditions. Avoid all double notations and possible conflicts in the bidding documents by doing so.
10. Owner carrying insurance on the roofs is not the purvue of the manufacturer nor should that information be contained in the bid spec.
11. Any requirements for the manufacturer to have staff overseeing or inspecting the installation is not in the Owner's best interest. How the manufacturer achieves their No Dollar Limit Warranty is up to them.
12. In the Owner's best interest, include provision for the roofing contractor to accommodate the Owner's own consulting Registered Roof Observer and Testing Agency personnel. You can find Registered Roof Consultants and Registered Roof Observers at: http://www.rci-online.org/ and at: http://members.rci-online.org/wcm/RCIWeb/Directory/RCIWeb/Member_Listing.aspx?hkey=8c84a154-d359-4549-9a2e-a1b57c9a220d
13. And last but not least: All specification "Products" sections should list three manufacturer's products and ther term "or equal." Not "or approved equal", or any other verbage.
In Summary: The basic, good, competitive bid spec should be written by the Owner's rep to the advantage of the Owner, not the manufacturer. There are more issues, but these cover the highlights.
Feel free to use the analysis below with the next bid on a "Lock-Spec", call your lawyer, and start the letters to your School Board, local newspapers, etc. And feel free to call me if you need help - please. I will be glad to dissect your problem specification. Or give this post to your attorney. It will help them.
The Anamosa New Middle School Flat Seam Metal Roofing specification is copied in below, with notations: