As Architects, we go through school learning about design and drawings and how drawings go together for a construction project. We don’t really delve into specifications until we start our first job. This is a very basic description of what specifications are and the coordination of them with the Drawings.
Quite often when architects are putting their proposals together, the Owner will outline what each deliverable is required to have. When it comes to specifications, most often what we see is a request for CSI 3-part format specifications. The other requirement you might see in an RFP is that specifications need to follow MasterFormat. This session briefly describes these 2 industry Standards – MasterFormat(R) and SectionFormat(R).
Division 01 and Part 1
PART 1 – GENERAL is the first part of every specification section. Much of the information found in PART 1 is an expansion of requirements found in the Sections within Division 01 – General Requirements. This session briefly explains this relationship to help the A/E decide the best place to add specific information that will apply to the Project.
It never fails where you get a substitution request on a product you’ve never heard of, or you are doing a QA review and realize we are missing a spec for a product. It’s always in a rush, or last minute. Here are some resources.
Capitalization and Language
With all the different mediums we have to communicate, most all require written text. If it was a conversation, we likely have a follow-up memo. Because specifications are legal documents, it is important to use the correct language and capitalization when “speaking” to a subject. Understanding the difference between a Section / Article Heading / Paragraph is one aspect of being clear. Another is the terminology we used on the Drawings. Another still is the correct use of capitalization. Capitalization assigns responsibility and clarifies discussion about the Project. This short course reviews words that are to be capitalized based on the Agreement and general awareness of the confusion misused words can create.
Specifications can be a daunting task! If you haven’t done it for some time it can be hard to figure out where to begin. This session describes some strategies I have used to take those difficult first steps toward editing.