In the October 2002 issue, various authors championed the pros
and cons of proprietary specifications in "In their opinions," page 18. The writers listed numerous
advantages for using proprietary specifications, which ultimately
yield far greater returns to building owners and the tax-paying
However, one author strongly advocated against the use of
proprietary specifications, citing several disadvantages.
Unfortunately, this author's arguments are based on the mistaken
assumption that "proprietary" means proprietary "product"
specifications. Public bid proposals written around a
manufacturer's proprietary "product" specification may, in fact,
But as the other writers seem to understand, the industry
frequently uses the phrase "proprietary specification" when
referring to another category of specification that might more
objectively be called "performance-based." Reputable roofing
manufacturers that differentiate their products based on objective,
laboratory-proven, performance-based specifications provide a great
service to the roofing industry.
As an attorney specializing in construction litigation, I think
it is important to differentiate specifications that cite a
proprietary product name from those that define specific criteria
for material or...
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