Reading & Interpreting a Specs
Learn how to read (interpret) a spec.
Bid the most competitive product
- Generate more business…
Oh No!!!
Moderco Is Not In The Specs
Most specs are based
on Modernfold or
Hufcor products.
Most specs don’t
include Moderco as an
approved supplier.
There are as many
specs as there are
architects and
What has been driving the
Market for the last 15 years
The lowest bidder
wins most of the time.
It isn’t so much what
you supply but who
you know.
A majority of the
specs are between 10
to 25 years old.
Which product should you
The lowest priced!!!!
As long as it matches
the layout and the intent
of the specs.
In order, your should
consider the following:
Can I bid 700-S?
Can I bid 700?
How important is it to meet
the specs?
Each project is different
(wall layout; STC; seal
mechanisms; etc…)
Each Architect is
different (many Architects
don’t even know what they
specify, they simply copy a very
old spec that they are comfortable
Each GC is different (this
is YOUR game, you need to get to
know them)
…Most times $$$ is more
important then meeting
100% of the spec.
What are we looking for?
Usually Operable
Partitions will be in
division 10 under section
10650 or 10 22 26.
Read the spec carefully.
Note, highlight, circle
&/or underline all info
that will affect your price.
Filling out the Moderco
RFQ form would help you
summarize the spec.
Typical construction of a
MasterSpec (published by the AIA)
sections are broken down in 3 parts:
1) General
2) Products
3) Execution
Part I - General
1.1 Related Documents
1.2 Summary
1.3 Related Work
1.4 Action Submittals
1.5 Maintenance Material Submittals
1.6 Quality Assurance
1.7 Delivery, Storage, and Handling
1.8 Project Conditions
1.9 Warranty
Part I – General
Quality Assurance
Where you find all ASTM standards, important
ones to look for are:
ASTM E-90 indicates the required STC.
ASTM E-336 indicates a site sound test is required
and indicates the required NIC or FSTC.
III. ASTM E-557 details around the Operable Partition.
IV. ASTM E-84 will indicate Fire Hazard Classification
required. (note that all moderco standard finishes are
Class A).
Part I – General
Where you find the expected warranty period for
both the products and the installation.
Note that Moderco will match any
written warranty requirements at no
extra cost, advantage for you.
Part II - Products
This is usually the Part of the spec that
will vary the most from one project /
architect to the other.
There is no universal way to organize
this part of the spec.
This being said, all specs need to cover
the same basis; this is the meat of the
Part II - Products
2.1 Products and Manufacturers
2.2 Materials
2.2.1 Panel Type
2.2.2 Panel Construction
2.2.3 Sound Seals
2.2.4 Panel Finish
2.2.5 Acoustical Performance
2.2.6 Suspension System
2.2.7 Accessories / Options
Part II - Products
Panel type
Where they indicate the panel configuration
(single, paired, electrically operated, etc.).
Often the configuration descibed in the spec doesn’t
match the drawings. Send an RFI for clarification,
this may get you to talk to the architect.
If in doubt, use your own judgement. The drawings
usually should prevail although not in front of a
Judge. Keep in mind, paired panels are more
economical than single.
Part II - Products
Panel Construction
Usually only the specified product can meet
100% of the description.
Every manufacturer has it’s own panel
construction, bid the intent.
II. Look for the basic; trimmed or trimless.
III. This is where some rejections occur, if they
reject your alternate because of panel
construction, they simply don’t want you or us.
Part II - Products
Sound Seals
Astragals, top and bottom seals operation.
Top seals are either fixed or manually operated;
lowest price is fixed top seals.
II. Automatic bottom seals are base design on all
our products, bid auto seals whenever
III. Many specs will leave place to
Part II - Products
Bottom Seals descriptions
Retractable b.s. – bid automatics
Mechanically operated b.s. – bid automatics
B.s. operated by a built-in mechanism – bid
Manually operated b.s. – bid manuals
B.s. manually operated by activating tool
inserted at 42’’ A.F.F. – bid manuals
Part II - Products
Panel Finish
Where you can make it or break it.
« vinyl covered fabric » is also used to describe
Standard vinyl. Don’t be fooled.
II. When nothing is specified, send a RFI or bid vinyl.
III. Be very carefull with wood veneers. Finished wood,
FSC standards, etc.
IV. Read carefully as custom painted panel trim are
often hidden in there.
Part II - Products
Acoustical Performance (STC)
Always consider if the STC ± 1 factor can help you
lower your bid price; if so use it to your
Part II - Products
Suspension System
Most Modernfold specs on short walls will call for
steel tracks and trolleys.
We bid an alternate. Convince, battle, make your
point about aluminum (we will help you doing so, we
have reports, letters, facts).
Talk about noise of operation.
Offer an extended warranty.
Part II - Products
Accessories / Options
Watch for hidden options that represent
significant price increase. They might not
show on the drawings, but may be required. If
in doubt, send a RFI.
Pass doors and accessories (door closer, exit sign, etc.)
Work surfaces (white boards, tack boards, etc.)
Window frames
Pocket doors
Part III - Execution
3.1 Examination
3.2 Installation
3.3 Field Quality Control
3.4 Adjusting and Cleaning
3.5 Demonstration / Training
Part III - Execution
Field Quality Control
Make sure the required NIC is achievable (if in
doubt, please check with us). Clearly
indicate in your bid if the cost of field
testing is included or not.
Use ASTM E-557 to your advantage. If not
indicated in the spec, refer to it in your bid.
Objections to the Moderco
Who’s Moderco?
Never heard of them!
Where are they located?
How does their product
compare to the spec?
What products do they
What similar size projects
have they done?
ETC !!!!
When do we run into
these objections?
After the project has bid!
When we are trying to gain approval for
the use of Moderco products.
When the shop drawings have been
Very often: When it is too late!
Gain approval for
Moderco products PRIOR
to bidding a project.
Gain approval with
Architectural firms before
projects come out for bid.
Make sure that Moderco
is in the standard
specification of all of your
major Architectural and
specifying organizations.
What You need to know
Get to know your biggest
competitor (s) and which
product they might bid.
Which Moderco product
will give you an edge
(price, feature, etc…) on
the competitor (s).
Beside the spec you need
to know what the client
really need – Don’t forget
“YOU are the Operable
Partition expert”.
Now I see the Light and the Opportunities