What is Specifications?

Definition of Specifications in Construction

The detailed requirements of each element of the project. Normally set up in similar and consistent fashion with all projects, the specifications relate to all the requirements regarding the construction of the project normally presented in written form. Specifications are the requirements for any operation or product on the construction site, and can also be a reference to a detail or schedule anywhere in the documents. To specify a construction activity or product is normally done by the engineers and architects designing the project. In many cases the specifications are generic requirements that are not specific to the job, but a general specification describing the activity, no matter, where or what the project is.

Specifications unfortunately, in many instances, are simply copied from one project to another, and may not be properly customized to accommodate special requirements of a particular project. This tendency is becoming more common due to the simplicity of cutting and pasting functions on the computer. The contractor must take special precautions when reviewing the specifications for the project to ensure that any special situations are not simply assumed. The specifications for any project can present an element of confusion and disagreement, due to their tendency to be of a general nature. However, once a specification is acknowledged for concrete, for example, unless the project requires a customized specification, such as hot water, or a special admixture, the specifications are all identical.

Care must be taken to clearly identify the requirements of the specifications, even though they appear generic, due to the expense and exposure, if not properly and thoroughly read. In many cases the specifications are presented in a separate book that accompanies the drawings, however the listing of the specifications on a drawing sheet is becoming more popular and economical for the architects and engineers presenting the specifications.