1 July 1998
Corps of Engineers' guide specifications, manuals, and similar documents in the design.
Products, equipment, or system characteristics such as size, capacity, and efficiency, may be
defined as minimum requirements in the RFP technical specifications.
d. Controls for Adequacy and Quality. When technical specifications are performance-
oriented, many elements of final design and material or systems selections are delegated to
the Design-Build contractor. However, the specifications should include controls to ensure
minimum level of adequacy and quality. Design Criteria Professionals can exercise varying
degrees of control over proposed design and construction solutions according to the specific
project requirements. When developing performance-oriented specifications, the appropriate
degree of control, the minimum level of quality, and the appropriate technical evaluation
factors must all be determined to place priorities from most desired to least desired.
e. Maximizing Offerors Innovation. Optimum latitude is enhanced by specifying building
elements in mainly performance terms and minimizing constraints on the configuration,
materials, and methods. A specification of "Superstructure," for example, would include
loading, seismic, fire safety, and other fundamental performance criteria. Performance
requirements are qualified by prescriptive criteria to the extent necessary, such as by design
standards for each structural approach.
f. Limiting Option. If the Corps of Engineers must retain greater control over
configurations, materials, methods, and costs, it is necessary to limit the potential options
available to the offerors. This control is ensured by more specific requirements, or by more
precisely describing the specified building elements. The inclusion of specific data reduces the
offeror's options to only those appropriate for specific project conditions.
g. Minimum Technical Requirements. Maximizing the use of performance specifications
and minimizing the amount of design prior to receipt of proposals is not always appropriate.
The use of prescriptive requirements is relative to the type of project and the need to clearly
delineate specific project requirements in the RFP. Minimum features that the Government
really want must be clearly stated as minimum technical requirements.