Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Specify Paint: Part 2

Joseph Berchenko, AIA, CSI, CCS
Director of MasterSpec Specifications

This blog post is a continuation of How to Specify Paint: Part 1

Part 2 – Products

Part 2 begins with the Manufacturers article, which lists manufacturers that can fulfill project needs. The Master Painters Institute (MPI) Approved Products List includes many manufacturers, so even if you specify paint products by MPI numbers in the schedule at the end of Part 3, you still might want to include this article to limit bidding to selected manufacturers. By listing these manufacturers, bidders still have freedom to select multiple products within each list and products will come from manufacturers who meet your requirements.
Another article in Part 2 is Paints, General. This article provides requirements that apply to all paint materials on the job. It might include the following paragraphs:
  • MPI Standards – if you're using MPI standards and the MPI Approved Products List, state that here
  • Material Compatibility – here you can explicitly require that materials must be compatible with substrates and one another
  • Colors – here you can reference a color schedule on the drawings rather than providing the schedule, and you can also indicate the general cost range expected if colors have not been fully selected by the time the documents are released
  • VOC Content – provides specific numerical requirements for volatile organic compound (VOC) content based on the sustainability rating system used
  • Low-Emitting Materials – includes requirement that materials are tested according to California Department of Public Health (CDPH)'s "Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers"

VOC content is measured by taking the paint's wet volume and subtracting the water content. It is important to note that this measurement doesn't take into account the spreading rate of the paint, the number of coats required for coverage, or the paint's service life. However, using the test method outlined by CDPH provides a more accurate measurement of the deleterious effects that paint has on indoor air quality than does VOC content. VOC content measures the contribution to smog creation, thus exempting certain noxious VOCs from calculation because they don't contribute to smog, although they may affect the well-being of building occupants. But less paint and less frequent repainting can help lower VOC emissions over the life of the building.

Part 3 – Execution

This part begins with the Examination article, which lets the specifier spell out moisture content and other substrate requirements prior to the start of paint application. Here you can also define quantifiable measures that painters and field inspectors can verify.

The Preparation article covers a miscellany of preparatory requirements such as removing hardware and cover plates and cleaning surfaces. The Society for Protective Coatings field preparation methods may be included for steel that is not shop-primed.

Rather than providing a lengthy description of methods and techniques, the Application article instructs readers to apply paint systems in compliance with manufacturer's written instructions and the MPI Architectural Painting Specification Manual. Use this article to help prevent potential disagreements in the field by making explicit requirements, even though some might seem obvious; describe good practice techniques to ensure superior quality, such as coat tinting to help identify that the proper number of undercoats have been applied; and list mechanical, electrical, and piping components and equipment that should or should not be painted.

Also in Part 3, the Interior Painting Schedule lists specific substrates and MPI numbers for each coat and takes up the bulk of an unedited specification. You must cull the number of substrates and systems to match those on the project. If you choose not to use MPI numbers, there is an insert option provided.

MPI and ARCOM are jointly developing a web-based specification tool to allow specifiers to select appropriate paints and paint systems for common building surfaces and to simplify editing by producing a detailed schedule that seamlessly transfers to MasterSpec sections. (For more on this tool, read this blog post.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Specify Paint: Part 1

Joseph Berchenko, AIA, CSI, CCS
Director of MasterSpec Specifications

Specifying paint can be difficult, but this is a faster and more cost-effective process when the specifications are prepared by editing prewritten text rather than writing them from scratch. Specifiers can use MasterSpec Section 099123 "Interior Painting" as a basis for their paint specification, which is designed for use with Master Painters Institute Approved Products List.

As you probably know, the Construction Specification Institute's SectionFormat establishes a standard, which MasterSpec follows, for presenting requirements within sections. MasterSpec organizes each section into three parts:
  • Part 1 – General: Contains administrative and procedural requirements unique to the section
  • Part 2 – Products:  Details assemblies, products, and materials to be incorporated into the project
  • Part 3 – Execution: Outlines installation of assemblies, products, and materials, including preparation, installation, cleaning, and protection; sometimes concludes with a schedule, which is a concise list of products and their locations within a project
For paint specifications, specifiers often start with the Schedule in Part 3, then edit Part 2, and then finish with Part 1 and the rest of Part 3. We'll save the discussion on Parts 2 and 3 for next time. For now, we will focus on Part 1 – General.

Part 1 – General

One of the first articles of Part 1 is the Summary. As the specifier, you should provide a general, succinct list—not an all-inclusive list—of painted substrates so reader can quickly assess the section's content; include the Related Requirements paragraph, which cross-references other sections that contain requirements readers might expect to find in this section but are specified elsewhere; and only list sections requiring reference or coordination, such as those specifying shop-priming of products that are later field-finished.

Another article included in Part 1 is the Definitions article, where you can define terms unique to the section and that aren't defined elsewhere. It can also be used to define gloss levels, for instance, because they vary from one manufacturer to the next.

In the Action Submittals article, you should include written and graphic information and physical samples that require the architect to review and then respond to the contractor (unlike Informational Submittals, which do not need to be returned to the contractor). Examples of action submittals include:
  • Product Data – may include data sheets or other standardized information specific to each product
  • Sustainability Submittals – may include data indicating volatile organic compound content or lab test reports
  • Samples – may include color charts if colors and other characteristics have not been preselected
  • Product List – requires submission of a contractor-prepared schedule of paint products and systems indicating locations and colors

The Maintenance Materials Submittals article allows you to require a specified amount of paint to be packaged, labeled, and set aside for the owner's later use to avoid the difficulty that can come with matching paint colors.

Part 1 also includes the Quality Assurance article, which is on-site quality control activity prior to construction, not to be confused with source quality control, which occurs at the factory during manufacture, and field quality control, which occurs at the site during construction. In this article, you can require mockups, or the painting of a test surface, to demonstrate aesthetic effects and set a quality standard for the remainder of the job. Mockups are a good idea when aesthetics are a concern, but don't use mockups as backdoor approvals; properly document any changes to the colors or paint system materials (using, for instance, Change Orders or Construction Change Directives).
The Delivery, Storage, and Handling article requires that paint is stored at not less than 45 degrees F (or 7 degrees C) and that waste is removed daily. If necessary, you can insert special requirements for fire protection, heating, ventilation, and other conditions for on-site storage areas.
Another article you can use in Part 1 is Field Conditions, in which you can specify surface and ambient air temperatures and relative humidity critical for proper application of paint. By defining these parameters in the specification, you alert painters to the range of conditions necessary for work to proceed and also give field inspectors clear, precise guidelines for rejection of work.

For information on MasterSpec sections' Parts 2 and 3, look out for the following blog post.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ARCOM and GreenWizard Form New Partnership

ARCOM has partnered with GreenWizard to create a software platform interfacing their unique tools to help architects and specifiers better identify building products and materials that fulfill the green and budgetary goals of their projects.

ARCOM and GreenWizard will jointly build an interface that integrates GreenWizard's robust software platform with ARCOM's SpecBuilder+Expert, which features tools that assist specifiers in editing manufacturer product specification sections. ARCOM will provide GreenWizard with the ability to populate existing SpecBuilder+Expert manufacturer sections, allowing GreenWizard users to quickly create specifications through this interface. GreenWizard, the market leader in materials data and documentation for the construction industry, will work directly with ARCOM to simplify the specification process for users.

This partnership will simplify building product selection and lead to faster integration of green products, which benefits architects, engineers, and the building product manufacturers that rely on MasterSpec for accurate specifications.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Specifying Lighting Control

Part 1 - Common Types of Lighting Control

Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT
MasterSpec Engineering Specification Writer

Lighting control is an effective way to save energy beyond using energy efficient lighting sources and manual or sensor operated switches. A lighting control system controls multiple luminaires at one central point or it may be modular. This type of system allows local control or communicates with building automation systems, and employs energy conservation measures such as daylight harvesting and occupancy sensing. With modern digital communications, the possibilities are essentially limitless, and the integration, operation, and coordination of these systems can become quite complex.

An engineer can use MasterSpec to specify one of four lighting control methods in a commercial or industrial project:
  1. Lighting control panelboards
  2. Central or modular dimming controls
  3. Addressable luminaire controls
  4. Relay controlled circuits
Note that these four don't cover every single type of lighting control, but they are the most common types of lighting control specified in the United States.

The following is a breakdown of how each of the four types of lighting control works.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages for each lighting control system.
It should be noted that these four methods all can use similar time, light sensing, or computer control to control lighting. These systems can generate control signals internally by using occupancy schedules or responding to alarms. They can also accept external inputs from manual overrides, daylight harvesting sensors, or the building automation system that can trigger action on part of the lighting control system and send information to related control systems, such as power demand control, tenant billing, or the building automation system.
Choosing the proper lighting control system will depend on many different factors, some of which include the owner's desire for flexibility, energy savings, individual or group control, sensor or building automation system integration, reporting, ease of use, and maintenance. The pros and cons of each type of system should be discussed between the engineer and the design team during programming or design development. The results of that discussion can help the engineer make the appropriate choice of lighting control system and coordinate the information on the drawings and in the specifications.