Specifications are written documents that describe the materials and workmanship required for a development. They do not include cost, quantity or drawn information but need to be read alongside other contract documentation such as quantities, schedules and drawings.
Written information about materials and workmanship should not appear on drawings or in bills of quantities as this can result in contradictory specifications and can cause considerable confusion, instead they should refer to the appropriate clauses in the specification.
The first stage in the development of a specification is the preparation of an outline specification. An outline specification is a brief description of the main components to be used in construction. They should be described in sufficient detail to allow the cost consultant to prepare some approximate quantities.
Components might include:
- Cladding (including external windows and doors).
- Internal walls and partitions.
- Internal doors.
- Building services (including lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water supply and drainage and other special installations).
- Fixtures and fittings (such as sanitary fittings).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Bills of quantities.
- Common Arrangement of Work Sections.
- Contract documentation.
- Cost consultant.
- Insulation specification.
- Output-based specification.
- Performance specification.
- Procurement route.
- Production information.
- Project brief.
- Specification basics.
- Tender documentation.
Featured articles and news
Read about Belgrade's Brutalist landmark - the Western City Gate.
Read about the measures that can be taken by individuals to protect and minimise exposure to outdoor sourced air pollution.
Government announces leaseholds on new-build houses will be banned.
Transport Secretary announces public consultation into London's funding of Crossrail 2.
Have a look at some of the most impressive concert stage designs of all time, including Pink Floyd, U2, Rolling Stones, and more...
What is the Home Quality Mark? Find out how it can help you when buying/renting a new home.
Business Secretary launches £246m Faraday Challenge to establish UK as world leader in battery technology.
Government announces new plans for regulations to improve safety and security awareness of drone users.
Read our introductory article to the various different types of fuel.
IHBC book review: Charles Barry’s monumental struggle to rebuild the Houses of Parliament.
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.