I am developing specifications for E/C's working in my facilities in order to have more uniformity of installations. Before I came here the E/C's ran amock and some of the installations were very trashy as they were cutting costs trying to be the low bidder. So needless to say I need to level the playing field to eliminate miles of mc cable and various manufacturers of componets and attempt to establish guidelines for how I want the E/C's to install the systems, any ideas?
there are really only 3 ways to establish uniformity.
1- find a reliable EC and use him. Don't beat him over the head for every nickle and dime. Don't get multiple quotes on simple projects. Let him make money and make sure it's a two way street (that he doesn't look to kill you either) A good symbiotic relationship goes a long way.
2- put everything out to bid with full drawings and spec sheets. This way all prices are apples to apples.
3- have a list of do's and don'ts. No MC. EMT only. etc. This is the hardest way to do it. You spend more time meeting with different contractors to explain your rules than they do performing the work.
As a contractor, I prefer option 1. If i know that you are not constantly looking for a cheaper price, I'll give you everything i have and then some.
Ditto Mahlere - you're better off with #1 if you can. For the effort it will take to make your projects air-tight (scope wise), you might as well hire some sparky's and do the work yourself.
There are canned specs available, they need to be edited to suit your situation. I'm sure other folks here can provide information regarding how to get these.
Our engineers here pretty much don't design much of anything anymore - our construction solicitations going out are mostly design/build, and we're not too good about defining existing conditions, and sometimes we even want the bidder/contractor to determine the base contract requirements. This is for firm fixed price contracts for work that is uncertain. We transfer as much risk as possible from us to the bidder/contractor.
One problem with this - we frequently have trouble obtaining bidders for projects. Wonder why (duh)?
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
Purchase a set of the template specifications, and pick out the pieces that you are passionate about such as requiring certain raceway types for certain work, or steel compression fittings, or compression terminations, or .... Be sure to only pick out general items, because if you don't you will need to tailor the list to each project which would be best done by a design engineer. The ones we use are http://www.arcomnet.com/visitor/masterspec/ms.html
I have read specifications for years and some were very constrictive while others were not. The very constrictive specs were very detailed and, as such were quite lengthy. Lengthy specs do take time to put together, as they must be thought out. But, they don't necessarily have to be entirely rewritten for every project. Some projects that I have worked on had specifications that very detailed but standard for the customer. The customer provided the drawings and one-line, I did the "take-off" using product that complied with the specs. The contractor was responsible for and installation that complied with the spec. You've really got to start with looking at your whole distribution system an deciding on the manufacturer that you are going to standardize on and be product specific. Then you must be clear about the work that you would want do and how it is to be installed. Remember that the NEC and local codes should determine installation standards and techniques but the gray area would be in the quality of the installation. This is where you would have to consider the contractors track record with regard to the quality of work that they do. But keep in mind that everybody is looking for a cheep price. You start limiting the their options and you will have less bidders and higher quotes. But, you get what you pay for. If you want to standardize on a specific product that limits competition. By specifying installation techniques you should get a better installation but that will come at a price also.
Where did i hear that before, just about every electrician, can tell you that story, let me guess, there undersized feeders all over the building, sub panels fed from subs, more J-boxes then you can count, and usually without covers, MC cable running across the ceiling in every direction, unmarked panels, and abandoned wiring all over the place.
No such thing as cheap, and good.
I remember, one high rise manager that always put out bids looking for the best prices, well they got them, and just about every job they had done, had to be tore out and done over, cheap at twice the price must of been their motto.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 01-20-2006).]