are considered satisfactory in professional architectural and engineering
practice for private industry but which are not acceptable for government
practice. Some of these phrases and statements are listed in the chapter
titled "Preparation of Drawings". Additional instructions regarding use of
proper specification phrases and terminology, avoiding the misuse of words,
and use of abbreviations and symbols will be given at the Specifications
Special Requirements for Preparing Project Specifications
Selection of Materials and Specifying New Materials
The government, through its various agencies, has, and may, place restrictions
on the use of certain materials. It is therefore advisable to thoroughly
investigate all new materials which have not been proven in the specific type
of service involved, and whose promotion is based upon unsupported statements
and lists of supposedly satisfied users before including such materials in the
project specification. Materials must be used in a manner which will afford
the maximum service at the lowest comparable cost. Operation and maintenance
costs must be weighed against initial costs to achieve maximum economy.
Before deciding upon a specific material for design or specification purposes,
the following shall be considered:
Contemplated life of the construction.
Climatic and operating conditions.
Fire resistance requirements.
d) Will the material be used to the best advantage under the
contemplated conditions of use.
Is the material a stock item or does it require special processing.
Is the material proprietary (see "Proprietary Specifications"
g) Is the material or any of its ingredients scarce or critical in the
area of usage.
Transportability of the material.
i) Is the material produced within the United States or its possessions
(see "Buy American Act" below).
From time to time requests are made to consider the use of materials which are
comparatively new. The use of new materials and techniques which have gained
commercial acceptance is encouraged whenever it will result in economies or
increased utility. The fact that a material is new should not necessarily bar
its use, provided it has been thoroughly investigated. Neither should
previous use place a material in an "approved" category. Usually, service
records of new materials do not exist. It is necessary, therefore, to base
judgments upon laboratory tests. Such tests, in order to be accepted as
authoritative, should be made by impartial qualified laboratories. Tests
conducted by laboratories employed by manufacturers do not always show
possible defects in the material tested. Unless a material is tested under
the conditions of actual use, or comparisons are made under like conditions,
the results are not conclusive. Most reputable manufacturers will readily
furnish all requested information and answer all reasonable questions. Unless
the manufacturer of a new material furnishes factual data sufficient to
evaluate the material, it should not be considered for use. If a material is
considered for use, a suggested competitive-type specification should be