Product-neutral tendering in the construction of outdoor facilities

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Every landscape architect who prepares construction tenders for public clients is familiar with the problem of so-called product-neutral tendering: public procurement law wants to prevent concrete products or makes from being demanded because such specifications could hinder the market.

However, this goal often comes into conflict with technical or design requirements from the project: How is one supposed to maintain the appearance of a listed old town alley if completely different paving stones suddenly have to be laid next to each other? How are the municipality's ideas on the design of the street lighting to be implemented if the lamps that have already been sampled are not allowed to be specified? And how can an artistically designed playground be put out to tender in a "product-neutral" manner if the special playground equipment is only available from one manufacturer or is even produced as a one-off for this project?

Because this conflict of interest exists, public procurement law also recognizes exceptions to the obligation to tender on a product-neutral basis, but these are quite "tricky" in concrete application.

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