Not sure you need support? That’s fine – some architectural practices like to prepare specifications themselves and feel that having their own architects preparing the specifications is important – we agree, although we think that even these architects and practices could benefit from some support because specifications are very important contractual documents and require specialist input to get them right.
If you are preparing specifications yourself ensure that you have considered the following issues:

  • Use a format recognised by the local market (NATSPEC/ Masterspec etc.).
  • Include local and international Standards and Codes of Practice as appropriate.
  • Incorporate terminology nominated by the main contract conditions.
  • Prepare the specification to reflect the selected procurement route (D&C, Construction Management, Traditional, etc.).
  • Correctly align risk and responsibility according to procurement.
  • Use tried and tested baseline specifications containing the latest Standards and Codes.
  • Appropriately reflect the design intent, performance requirements, product selection and quality targets.
  • Adopt detailed nomenclature for ease of reference in use.
  • Utilise a coding system to create a link between the drawings and the specification.
  • Pay particular attention to document identification and issue control.
  • Avoid conflict with Site Preliminaries.
  • Ensure that the specification is of the best technical quality and is fully coordinated with other consultants’ documents, preventing duplication and/or conflict.
  • Identify potential bulk purchasing opportunities on multi-site projects by ensuring common material palettes are adhered to.
  • Focus on elements that require post-contract design input from the contractor or specialists.
  • Liaise with industry to ensure that design is practically achievable