DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

9 Must Haves for a Steel Structure Specification

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Apr 22, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Specification are to Steel Structures like...Cherries are to a Banana Split.BananaSplit

Specifications come in all shapes and sizes.

From the very informal 3 page document to the all-encompassing formidable documents.  The specification is a tool for the Owner (End User) to convey their minimum project requirements to the supplier.  Defined by Wikipedia, it is a set of documented requirements to be satisfied by a material, design, product or service and also a type of technical standard.

In the utility industry we see specifications presented in many different formats.  As a result, it is very important that a specification be clear and easy to follow.  Be careful about providing multiple specifications and documents that start contradicting one another. In these wordle_2situations the Owner’s requirements and overall message can get lost in a sea of documents resulting in different interpretations by the suppliers.  This can ultimately lead to proposals that can’t be compared properly, Owners not getting what they want, or additional unforeseen costs. When it comes to fabricating substation and transmission steel structures there are many variables that need to be relayed during the design, detail, and fabrication phases.  These specifications provide that direction.  Whether you are using an already created specification, updating a previous version or crafting a brand new one, there are certain sections you want to include.  Below are 9 sections that are not to be missed when deciding the content for your specifications. 

  1. Purpose/Scope – This is the heart of the document.  This is the owner’s chance to define the purpose of the document and clearly layout their expectations for the scope of work.  Example: Intended to serve as a system wide guide for structural design of steel structures.
  2. References – This section typically lists out the required design standards and any other applicable documents.   (e.g. ASTM Standards, ASCE Design Stanards, etc.) 
  3. Submittals – This section typically covers the owner’s expectations of any document to be submitted by the supplier.  This includes things like bid proposal requirements listing out the needed forms and design summaries.  It also covers formal design and drawing submittal requirements.
  4. Loading and Geometry – If the scope of work includes design, this section typically covers the minimum information needed by the Structure Designer to design the structures.  This would include things like loading criteria, unique weather conditions and terrain for the service area, and any other usual loading conditions the designer should consider.    This section also covers the different structure types, general layout of the structures, and the types of connections permitted.  (e.g. slip-fit vs. flange, embedded vs. base plated)
  5. Design – This section typically includes any restrictions to the design, material, field erection, fabrication, etc.  Examples of this include anchor bolt circle limits, minimum material thicknesses allowed, deflection limits, aesthetic preferences, weight limitations, etc.
  6. Fabrication – This covers owner’s expectations of workmanship and quality. 
  7. Finishing/Coating – What type of coating is supposed to be used such has galvanizing, painting, sandblasted, etc.
  8. Inspection – This section typically covers the type of inspections and testing required for the project. 

Of course these are just a few of the main sections.  There may be other sections that pertain to your specific product need, corporate formalities and/or industry.  No matter what your final Specification Document instills, it is important that you and those that use them agree on what is expected from a product and/or service.  This form of communication between the two parties can be a key component to a successful project.

How do you communicate your expectations to your vendors?  We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below and let us know if this information has been useful.

Pole Design References

Tags: substation design, specific standards for structures, Engineering, design of steel transmission pole structures

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider an Alliance Partnership

Posted by Brooke Barone on Mar 19, 2013 9:05:00 AM

Being a VIP, no matter the situation, is always a good feeling. Not only is it a feeling of importance and status, but it comes with perks that improve your overall experience. Getting to skip a line at a concert, getting the best seats in the house or experiencing top-notch service in a business venture are all aspects of being a VIP.

So what are some of the perks of being an Alliance Partner?

Well, for starters every detail of your project from start to finish is communicated directly to you, service is tailored to deliver top quality solutions and your needs are anticipated beforehand. Communication and information flow is enhanced by having a personal “go-to” Alliance Coordinator who provides a seamless operation, enabling you to relax and know that the job will get done, no matter the situation at hand.

Alliance Jenn

Alliance Coordinators work with their partners on a day-to-day basis, even answering emails or phone calls at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. It’s not just their job that they are doing; it’s being loyal to a relationship they built. They get to know you on a personal level and understand your needs and wants. They’re on your side, fighting to get you the best possible delivery date, paired with the highest quality product and experience. They are your customer advocate.

What to look for in an Alliance Partner?

You want to make sure the partner you choose has the knowledge, experience and longevity in the industry to meet your requirements as well as agreed upon lead times. Their capacity is also an important factor, along with their ability to have open communication both ways.

5 Reasons Why You Should Become an Alliance Partner

  1. You have the ability to lock in production space ahead of time.
  2. Improved lead times since there’s no need to issue a quote or approve pricing.
  3. Terms and conditions are already in place and no need to evaluate bids.
  4. A familiarity is developed and the Engineering staff can design specific standards for structures that are the most efficient and cost effective.
  5. You have a customer advocate dedicated to you and all your project needs.

Pricing for partnerships is negotiated and can be a combination of firm pricing, structure type pricing or estimated price per pound with final price known when the design is complete.

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Tags: Alliance Coordinator, customer advocate, specific standards for structures, project needs, Alliance Partnership, Engineering, alliance partner

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