Cut Sheets are product information sheets that describe the attributes and features of a product. They go by several names; Cut Sheets, Data Sheets, Spec Sheets, and Specification Sheets. Cut sheets are used for many types of products and they serve to quickly convey technical information about dimensions, colors, materials, and other features. While cut sheets are necessary for many manufacturers, providing only cut sheets may put building product manufacturers at a disadvantage when it comes to being specified if their competitors have well-written 3-Part guide specifications available for the AEC community.
Who is a Cut Sheet Development For?
Cut sheets can be handy documents for anyone that needs to quickly review a product. For construction projects, these documents may be part of the submittals and may be used by the contractor, project owner, project manager, and design team.
What Type of Information is Included in a Cut Sheet?
The information in a cut sheet will vary depending on the product type. For example, a planter manufacturer may include several photos, color and material options, dimensions, and text discussing design features while a circuit breaker manufacturer would need to include more extensive technical information such as rated operating voltage, breaking capacity, and network type. Generally, a cut sheet includes product images, product descriptions, manufacturer contact information, model numbers, product features, product benefits, product options, a range of technical specifications, performance data, certifications, reference standards, and sustainability information.
What are the Limitations of Cut Sheets?
While cut sheets can be a handy resource, a design team that aims to include a product in their project specifications cannot quickly adapt a cut sheet for use in their projects. Rather, they would need to create a 3-Part specification section specific to the product or system, or incorporate the product into an existing specification section. Cut sheets can assist this process by providing a quick reference for specification writers. Manufacturers that want to provide a document that can be quickly adapted to any construction project should explore the development of 3-Part guide specifications for their products.
What is the Alternative to Cut Sheets for Building Product Manufacturers?
Many building product manufacturers opt to have 3-Part guide specifications developed specifically for their products. This does not mean they throw out their cut sheets, but rather increase the breadth of design files available for the design community. 3-Part specifications are required for construction projects in North America, and design teams spend a significant amount of time writing these documents. Manufacturer-provided guide specifications alleviate the time constraints for an architect or specifier by reducing the work required to include their products in the designer’s projects.
What Does a Cut Sheet Include That Is Lacking in 3-Part Specifications?
This is not to say cut sheets are useless. Far from it, cut sheets can be a quick reference and valuable resource for many in the AEC community. While they lack the standard formatting of formal 3-Part specifications, they provide a means for including information not found in 3-Part specifications. This can include product images, color charts, marketing descriptions, and anything the manufacturer wants to communicate about the product or system.
As a building product manufacturer, having a robust offering of various design file types is advantageous when it comes to being specified. A range of file types available means meeting a range of needs of the various people involved in a construction project. While 3-Part guide specifications are essential for maintaining a competitive edge when it comes to being specified in a project, the standards by which they must be prepared can deter manufacturers. However, this need not be a barrier to having 3-Part guide specifications available for the design community. Specification writing services are available to ensure your 3-Part guide specifications are prepared according to the standards of the Construction Specifications Institute and Construction Specifications Canada. To help manufacturers in need of specification writing services for their building and landscape products, CADdetails offers specification writing for your products. Talk to us about developing specifications for your products.
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