If you are on a major hospital project and your specifications are "traditional,” you might be on the hook to provide literally tons of attic stock materials to the owner upon completion. Depending upon the project and the owner's needs, this might not be the best use of limited monies available and may also present a storage dilemma. We have all been there when the superintendent waves a hand at a heap of stuff stashed in a penthouse or similar space and says, "It's all yours," to the facilities personnel. Many of us have also been there five years later when it is time to clean out the penthouse and throw most of that stuff away!

I would suggest that the project team review the specification requirements and pare down the attic stock in order to avoid wasting space and money. I think the key criteria for what makes "useful" attic stock versus a junk pile are as follows:

  • Does it need to match? This covers custom fabrications, runs of wallcovering, runs of flooring materials, and maybe even a few bags of stone chips from the terrazzo contractor.
  • Does it take a long time to procure another one? Examples of this would be a window glazing unit or oversized door. I recently sent a patient care unit manager into shock when I advised that the broken window would not be able to be replaced for 20 weeks! This category would also include spares for items that are operationally critical. Many facilities personnel would gladly trade a ton of attic stock for an organized list of where to go to get replacement items.