- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 Sep 2020
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.
- Contract documentation.
- Final specifications.
- Insulation specification.
- Output-based specification.
- Performance specification.
- Prescriptive specification.
- Procurement route.
- Production information.
- Project brief.
- Schedule of accommodation.
- Specification basics.
- Tender documentation.
Featured articles and news
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.
Campaigning to change perceptions about American Brutalism.
Sprinkler head configurations can prioritise people or property.
Report from The Carbon Project reveals shortcomings and recommendations.
Advice on how to join the electrotechnical profession.
BREEAM Building Back Better briefing paper provides initial guidance.