8.1.7 "Or Equal" Specification. Specifying an item by naming an acceptable commercial
product followed by the words, "or equal" is permitted when:
1) there are no Government specifications for the item;
2) the cost of the item is a minor part of the overall cost of the construction project;
3) the item cannot be adequately described because of the technically complicated
internal composition or method of assembly.
To use the "or equal" specification, specify a minimum of three (3) manufacturers followed by
the words, "or equal." The essential features of the item shall also be indicated in sufficient
detail to allow determination of the suitability of nonlisted products.
The A-E shall notify the PDE when "or equal" specification will be used.
8.1.8 Performance Specifications, as opposed to descriptive specifications, are used when the
Government desires to give the construction contractor maximum freedom in achieving the
desired end result. A typical performance specification will identify essential (end result)
requirements in terms of verifiable and measurable criteria. Examples of end result
requirements are fire endurance, toxicity, strength, durability and rate of system output or
In general, performance specifications, like descriptive or prescriptive specifications, will not
include provisions for proprietary products or product features.
8.1.9 Trade Names. The A-E shall not use trade or brand names in specifying products or
equipment, except in a proprietary specification, which has been approved for use by the
8.1.10 Experience and Warranty Clauses. The use of experience and special warranty clauses
in a project specification requires approval by a Level I Contracting Officer. To obtain such
approval, the A-E shall prepare the justification supporting the recommendation to include such
clauses and submit the justification to the PDE.
188.8.131.52 Experience Clauses. When it is determined that special qualifications are required to
perform the required work satisfactorily, the A-E shall include a Contractor's experience clause.
The experience clause shall state that the successful Contractor shall be a Contractor that: 1)
is experienced in the particular type of work specified, 2) is of established reputation and 3) is
generally recognized by the industry (that performs the type of work specified) as having the
level of capability and competence required to successfully complete the project. The experience
clause shall also identify the criteria to be used in ascertaining and verifying the experience
qualifications of the Contractor.
The specification shall not stipulate that a Contractor must have been in business for a stated
period of time; to include this provision, prior approval by the Contracting Officer is required.