Masterspec
24 May 2022
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In this article, we talk about the approaches to putting a specification together and what to consider.
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The Different Ways to Create a Specification
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The Different Ways to Create a Specification

18 May 2022

Here are a few common practices we have seen used by designers to produce project specifications.

Not Recommended: Using Raw Data

In the past, design practices have created an internal system of creating every project specification from raw data. This has resulted in a very stressful way of working that is cumbersome, unnecessary, and expensive. The result is normally an inconsistent specification document that cannot be easily maintained or managed as the project progresses and changes occur. However, sometimes this approach is still applicable when specifying a new or unusual product, system, or process.

Not Recommended: Adapting A Previous Specification

Adapting a specification from a previous project is an approach commonly used by many designers. However, this limits you and the options you can use when creating a new project. This approach can also offer a false impression that the content is up to date when it may not have been independently reviewed for some time.

For example, the previous project may have been specified in 2019 and then reused for a new project in 2022. The codes and standards that may have been accurate and up to date in 2019 are no longer current in 2022.

Though it may appear to save you time, in the long run, manually making the required changes will be very time consuming. The only exception to this is if a project closely mirrors its predecessor. Even then, a better approach is to create an office master as a stable base for each project type.

Recommended: Using an Office Master

Most medium-sized and larger design practices maintain a form of office master specification system. This can range from a system based on a series of standard sections, designed to be interleaved with project-specific selections and clauses, through to sophisticated computer-based systems containing a full range of clause and section options, for individual customising by the project specifier.

Recommended: Using A Master Specification System

A master specification system simplifies the specification process. There are many benefits to using a master specification provider.

  • Easy to create and maintain your specifications.
  • Access to a wide range of industry expertise.
  • Greater certainty and risk reduction due to the fact that the available information is accurately reflecting the industry.
  • You will not need to manually find and maintain your own reference base and technical content.

Standards, codes, acts of parliament, industry references and accepted construction practice are all subject to continuing development and change.

Keeping in touch with regular changes is difficult, if not impossible, for a single design practice to achieve successfully and economically. Individual specifiers can then concentrate on the core task of accurately reflecting and recording project requirements.

When using a master specification system, the information about your project can be entered and complied in a simple, consistent, and orderly manner. Spec systems include only proven construction methods, standards and conditions and provide a range of suitable alternatives for building elements. They also enhance co-ordination by following generally accepted principles for setting the boundary between specifications and other parts of project documentation.

Master specification systems assist the documentation, pricing, and construction processes by offering a default standard for presenting project data. By creating a quality specification document, you allow all parties a part of the construction process to access and interpret the project information. Having a degree of independence, a master specification systems provider can act as a forum for the exchange and consideration of a wide range of industry views (both local and international) leading to a general consensus on best practice.


 

Explore your options when deciding to create a specification by speaking to the experts. Masterspec is New Zealand’s largest online specification system and construction library that is relied on for up-to-date information and maintained specification content. Whether you are designing a kitchen, large commercial building, or a civil engineering project, Masterspec has the latest NZ codes and standards to help you build consistent, easy to read specifications.Start your free 30 day trial today.


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