B-156886, SEP. 24, 1965

B-156886: Sep 24, 1965

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TO YORK CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 24. THE PARTICULAR SPECIFICATION TO WHICH YOU OBJECT IS SECTION 58-11. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT BECAUSE THE HERMETIC CENTRIFUGAL MOTOR IS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN AN OPEN-DRIVE CENTRIFUGAL MOTOR. BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE MANUFACTURER OF CENTRIFUGAL WATER COOLING SYSTEMS WHO CAN BID ON A HERMETIC UNIT OF THE SIZE AND TYPE CALLED FOR. THE SPECIFICATION IS RESTRICTIVE. YOU CONTEND THAT BECAUSE OF THE SUPERIORITY OF THE OPEN-DRIVE UNIT OVER THE HERMETIC UNIT IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO "AVOID HERMETIC COMPRESSOR SYSTEMS IN FAVOR OF OPEN- DRIVEN COMPRESSOR SYSTEM.'. IT IS PRIMARILY IN THE AREA OF "MOTOR BURN- OUTS" THAT YOU CLAIM THE SUPERIORITY OF THE OPEN-DRIVE UNIT IS DEMONSTRATED.

B-156886, SEP. 24, 1965

TO YORK CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 24, 1965, AND JUNE 21, 1965, PROTESTING AGAINST THE USE OF CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS IN GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PROJECT NO. 49924 FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE HOUSING AND HOME FINANCE AGENCY OFFICE BUILDING. THE PARTICULAR SPECIFICATION TO WHICH YOU OBJECT IS SECTION 58-11, CENTRIFUGAL WATER CHILLERS, WHICH PERMITS THE INSTALLATION OF EITHER A "HERMETIC INDUCTION TYPE OR THE UNITY POWER FACTOR SYNCHRONOUS TYPE" COMPRESSOR MOTOR.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT BECAUSE THE HERMETIC CENTRIFUGAL MOTOR IS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN AN OPEN-DRIVE CENTRIFUGAL MOTOR, AND BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE MANUFACTURER OF CENTRIFUGAL WATER COOLING SYSTEMS WHO CAN BID ON A HERMETIC UNIT OF THE SIZE AND TYPE CALLED FOR, THE SPECIFICATION IS RESTRICTIVE. IN ADDITION, YOU CONTEND THAT BECAUSE OF THE SUPERIORITY OF THE OPEN-DRIVE UNIT OVER THE HERMETIC UNIT IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO "AVOID HERMETIC COMPRESSOR SYSTEMS IN FAVOR OF OPEN- DRIVEN COMPRESSOR SYSTEM.' IT IS PRIMARILY IN THE AREA OF "MOTOR BURN- OUTS" THAT YOU CLAIM THE SUPERIORITY OF THE OPEN-DRIVE UNIT IS DEMONSTRATED. YOU STATE THAT WHILE THERE MAY BE APPROXIMATELY THE SAME FREQUENCY OF MOTOR BURN-OUTS IN BOTH UNITS,"WHEN A BURNOUT DOES OCCUR ON A HERMETIC UNIT, THE SITUATION CAN BE EXTREMELY SERIOUS AND BECOME VERY INVOLVED, TIME CONSUMING, AND MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE, THAN WHEN A BURNOUT OCCURS ON AN OPEN TYPE MACHINE.' IT IS ALSO YOUR POSITION THAT BECAUSE OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HERMETIC UNIT THREE TO FIVE PERCENT OF THE CAPACITY OF THE SYSTEM IS REQUIRED TO COOL THE MOTOR ITSELF, THEREBY INCREASING THE COST OF ELECTRICITY WITHOUT GENERATING ANY USEFUL COOLING POWER FOR THE BUILDING. FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, YOU REQUEST THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS BE REVISED SO AS TO ELIMINATE THE OPTION TO FURNISH A HERMETIC UNIT.

IT IS REPORTED BY GSA THAT BOTH THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH THE HERMETIC UNIT AND INFORMATION FROM VARIOUS MANUFACTURERS FAIL TO BEAR OUT YOUR ALLEGATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE INFERIORITY OF THAT TYPE OF A MOTOR AS COMPARED WITH THE OPEN-DRIVE TYPE. IT IS STATED THAT IT IS NOT THE TYPE OF MOTOR WHICH DETERMINES THE COST OF REPAIRS, BUT RATHER THE ADEQUACY AND AVAILABILITY OF SERVICING FACILITIES, WHICH ARE DETERMINED BY THE SIZE OF THE LOCALITY IN WHICH THE UNIT IS BEING USED. WITH RESPECT TO DOWNTIME, IT IS THE AGENCY'S POSITION THAT ALTHOUGH THIS MAY BE AS MUCH AS THREE DAYS LONGER WHEN A HERMETIC UNIT IS INVOLVED, THIS IS NOT A SERIOUS CONSEQUENCE. THIS IS SO BECAUSE IN NEARLY ALL BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTED BY GSA MORE THAN ONE UNIT WILL BE REQUIRED, AND EVEN DURING THE FEW DAYS A YEAR WHEN MAXIMUM CAPACITY IS REQUIRED THE FAILURE OF ONE MACHINE WOULD NOT SERIOUSLY AFFECT THE COMFORT OF THOSE DEPENDENT ON ITS OPERATION. MOREOVER, GSA POINTS OUT THAT SINCE EITHER UNIT WILL MEET THE NEEDS OF THE AGENCY, TO ELIMINATE THE HERMETIC UNIT FROM THE COMPETITION WOULD NOT ONLY BE AN UNREASONABLE RESTRICTION BUT WOULD ALSO DEPRIVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO EFFECT A POSSIBLE SAVING IN THE INITIAL COST.

IT IS ALSO THE GSA POSITION THAT THERE WILL BE NO APPRECIABLE INCREASE IN THE COST OF ELECTRICITY WITH THE USE OF A HERMETIC UNIT, SINCE THE MUCH HIGHER OPERATING TEMPERATURE OF AN OPEN-DRIVE UNIT NECESSITATES THE INSTALLATION AND OPERATION OF AN EXHAUST FAN IN THE MACHINE ROOM TO CARRY OFF THE EXCESS HEAT IN THE ATMOSPHERE.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE DETERMINATION OF THE NEEDS OF AN AGENCY AND THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS TO REFLECT SUCH NEEDS ARE MATTERS WHICH ARE PRIMARILY THE FUNCTION OF THE PROCURING AGENCY. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554. THIS OFFICE WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE ITS JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE PROCURING AGENCY IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY DETERMINATION IS ARBITRARY OR NOT FOUNDED ON SOME SUBSTANTIAL GROUNDS OR IS OTHERWISE IN VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LAW. ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD HERE PRESENTED, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE EITHER RESTRICTIVE OR DO NOT PROPERLY REFLECT THE NEEDS OF THE PROCURING AGENCY.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FAIL TO FIND ANY LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH OUR OFFICE MAY PROPERLY OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE SPECIFICATION AS DRAWN, AND YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.