I received an interesting phone call last week from the job superintendent (JS) that was in charge of the Winthrop school project that I provided doors, frames and hardware on last Fall. If you don't remember the blog post here is a refresher. At the time the GC was building two schools concurrently and had given the doors, frames and hardware scope to two different distributors. The JS called me because he was receiving several phone calls from the school I didn't get that the levers on the locks were breaking. Was the same thing happening at Winthrop? No it wasn't. The JS wanted to know why. I asked him to email me the Hardware Schedule from the other school so I could review what type of locksets were supplied. After some investigation the hardware distributor supplied exactly what was specified. I had not however.
When I originally quoted the project I felt the Grade 2 lockset specified were not a good fit for a school application. This is the description from the manufacturer's website: cost-effective performance for entrance doors and interior passages where heavy duty levers may not be required. This keyed lever lock is especially designed for both light/medium commercial and multi-housing applications. Based on my experience a school is exactly where heavy duty locks are required and to be fair the manufacturer specified offered heavy duty locksets. I quoted & submitted a different Grade 2 Lockset with a lifetime warranty and had the free wheeling clutch built into the lever. Pricing didn't come into play either as the locks I submitted were actually less expensive than the locksets specified. I made sure to take a sample of the lock I wanted to supply with me to the first jobsite meeting so the Architect could physically look at it and hold it to better understand why I was requesting this change. He approved the lock and that is what I supplied.
I am not writing this post to bash architects either. I admire architects and wouldn't want to do their jobs. The knowledge they need to know to design a building and meet all the codes is overwhelming to me. In my opinion part of my job as a supplier is to communicate to the GC and/or Architect if I see something on the plans or in the specifications, for my scope, that doesn't make sense. We all have the same goal - to provide a safe building that meets code with good longstanding material that the end user is happy with.
I am disappointed that the other distributor didn't step up. At this point I have provided a quote to change out all the classroom locks at the other school. This will entail extra expense, time and a major inconvenience to the school that could have been avoided.