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3 If several manufacturers are identified as capable of producing a custom design, they should be mentioned by name with a predetermined product reference number/code. Provide contact names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses whenever possible.



4 The custom luminaire manufacturer must include in his/her bid a working prototype and/or mock-up for review as part of the custom design and manufacturing process, if requested in the specification.

5 Accept absolutely no substitutions on custom designs. Decision-maker must understand the rationale for this prior to bidding.

6 Construct a separate ‘deduct alternate’ if budget may become an issue. This will keep the specifier more in control in case of “value engineering.”

7 Custom designs should be fully worked out in the design phase if possible and finalized in construction documentation at the latest. This allows manufacturers to provide product numbers and appropriate unit costs so that detailing can be worked out with the architect and project team. Keep in mind that quantities have a significant impact on pricing for custom designs.

8 Custom luminaire designs often require longer lead times than standard products.

Note: Custom designs developed too late tend to get very expensive or simply value engineered and substituted with something off the shelf and undesirable.

F ALLOWANCE SPECIFICATION. Purpose: When actual product has not yet been selected or specific design approved. Often used in situations where the bidding climate is uncertain or unknown. Always include an allowance when the schedule is issued for bid ifa luminaire has not been agreed upon with your owner/client or design team.

1 Include enough information in the specification to allow the contractor to accurately price installation, electrical and special needs (weight, voltage, wattage, etc.).

2 Allowance should be a distributor net, plus “the distributor and contractor mark-ups.”

Note: Allowances can be effectively used in the early design phases of a project when designs are still fluid. However, later in the project allowances can be easy targets of value engineering and should be avoided whenever possible.


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