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
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.