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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.

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reading interpreting a specs

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
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 designers.
what has been driving the market for the last 15 years
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 bid
Which product should you bid?
  • 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
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 with)
  • 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
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 specification
Typical construction of a Specification
  • General
  • Products
  • Execution

MasterSpec (published by the AIA) sections are broken down in 3 parts:

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
part i general beware
Quality Assurance

Where you find all ASTM standards, important ones to look for are:

ASTM E-90indicates the required STC.

ASTM E-336 indicates a site sound test is required and indicates the required NIC or FSTC.

ASTM E-557 details around the Operable Partition.

ASTM E-84 will indicate Fire Hazard Classification required. (note that all moderco standard finishes are Class A).

Part I – GeneralBEWARE!!!!!
part i general advantages

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 I – GeneralADVANTAGES!!!
part ii products
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 section.
part ii products12
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 beware
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 - ProductsBEWARE!!!!!
part ii products don t over analyse
Panel Construction

Usually only the specified product can meet 100% of the description.

Every manufacturer has it’s own panel construction, bid the intent.

Look for the basic; trimmed or trimless.

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 - ProductsDON’T OVER ANALYSE!!!!!
part ii products interpret correctly
Sound Seals

Astragals, top and bottom seals operation.

Top seals are either fixed or manually operated; lowest price is fixed top seals.

Automatic bottom seals are base design on all our products, bid auto seals whenever possible.

Many specs will leave place to interpretation.

part ii products interpret correctly16
Bottom Seals descriptions

Retractable b.s. – bid automatics

Mechanically operated b.s. – bid automatics

B.s. operated by a built-in mechanism – bid automatics

Manually operated b.s. – bid manuals

B.s. manually operated by activating tool inserted at 42’’ A.F.F. – bid manuals

part ii products beware17
Panel Finish

Where you can make it or break it.

« vinyl covered fabric » is also used to describe Standard vinyl. Don’t be fooled.

When nothing is specified, send a RFI or bid vinyl.

Be very carefull with wood veneers. Finished wood, FSC standards, etc.

Read carefully as custom painted panel trim are often hidden in there.

Part II - ProductsBEWARE!!!!!
part ii products take advantage
Acoustical Performance (STC)

Always consider if the STC ± 1 factor can help you lower your bid price; if so use it to your advantage.

part ii products steel or aluminum
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 beware20
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 II - ProductsBEWARE!!!!!
part iii execution
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 beware
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.

Part III - ExecutionBEWARE!!!!!
objections to the moderco products
Objections to the Moderco products
  • Who’s Moderco?
  • Never heard of them!
  • Where are they located?
  • How does their product compare to the spec?
  • What products do they make?
  • What similar size projects have they done?
  • ETC !!!!
when do we run into these objections
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 rejected.
  • 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
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”.