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Design Specification

Creating a basis of design specification vs. writing a performance specification

Standards are always evolving due to change in technology, codes, rating system performance requirements, and marketplace fluctuations. Manufacturers expend vast resources to create product and brand portfolios to keep up with these ever changing standards. Specifying the appropriate product over writing a performance based specification will keep your projects compliant with current standards and ensure that the projects are completed to your expectation. In addition, basis of design specifications will ensure that you and your customer will receive product that performs, provides value, and is easily supported. According to veteran specification writer, Billy Mathis, of Taggart Architects, Inc., “Where possible, we like to use a known manufacturer to shortcut any issues”.

Unsurpassed Performance

When specifying products, Mathis chooses brand reputation, product quality, and that it meets the need of the end-user at a compelling price. “The brand is important to the customer and having the upgraded features and benets that a brand can provide will ensure satisfaction for the end user,” said Mathis.

Offering Best Value

Each project is different and the needed features vary. Mathis states, “My customers are looking for durability, strength, that you back your warranty and that you have product recognition within the market. Bang for the buck is what we look for here”.

Pre-Bid Support

Selecting a specific product that meets your project’s specific needs will also allow for pre-bid support and keep you current on standards, such as UL 325. It’s important to architects that when any questions regarding application arise, they can contact the manufacturer to receive support and information.


A brand can provide many additional resources that increase your knowledge and make your job easier. Let them help you with writing specifications, product training, or other services.

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