Organized using MasterFormat® and into what is commonly called the Project Manual, this document is developed during the Construction Documents phase of the project. It is organized by work results into 50 Divisions (Division 00 through 49). With Specifications, one size does not fit all and they must be tailored for each specific project.
The Project Manual describes the qualitative requirements of the project, whereas the Drawings describes the quantitative requirements. The Specifications and the Drawings are complementary, each with their own purpose and in support of the other without duplicating information. The Project Manual also includes the Bidding and Contracting Requirements (Division 00) and the General Requirements (Division 01) in addition to the technical Specifications (Divisions 02 through 49).
Specifications follow the 5-C's principle - clear, concise, correct, complete, coordinated.
Organized using UniFormat®, this document can be used during Schematic Design and Design Development phases of the project to record design decisions before all the details are completely worked out.
Because it is organized using UniFormat®, there is a natural tie-in to Revit objects as well as the Construction Cost Estimates required by many building owners. It is easy to see how early design decisions and changes relate to changes in the estimates provided by the Cost Consultant.
Like design, this document is iterative and will grow as decisions are made. It is organized by construction systems and assemblies, but also correlates to work results which makes it an excellent tool to use as a roadmap to define the specifications sections that will be used in the Project Manual!
Preliminary Project Descriptions can also be used to document the Owner's Project Requirements for Design-Build or Public-Private-Partnership (P3) project delivery methods. This is due to the fact that the content describes systems and assemblies and can include performance requirements which can be measured to see if the design-builder has achieved the building owner's requirements.
Many building product manufacturers offer Product Guide Specifications to architects, engineers, interior designers and other consultants. These documents are used by the design professional as a starting point in developing their Office Master Guide Specifications or Project Specifications.
Well-written Product Guide Specifications offer the design professional a technically correct, concise and complete document they can use for their own purposes. What this accomplishes for the building product manufacturer is assistance in getting their products specified so they have the chance to have them included in a project.
Unfortunately, some building product manufacturers do not engage Specifiers to help them develop these documents. Without this expertise, their Product Guide Specifications are missing critical information, technically incorrect or biased and deceptive. An experienced Specifier will look at a document that has these defects and question if they should specify this product or if they should keep looking for some other product that is better suited to their needs. Documents such as these can actually be worse than not having a document at all, as it undermines the integrity of the manufacturer.
We can help you develop these documents so they will be trusted by design professionals and support your networking endeavours to make your products their first choice!
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