The following specifications establish require-
ments mainly in terms of performance. Referencing
these documents in project specifications assures the
procurement of economical facility components and
services while considerably reducing the number of
words required to state such requirements.
Federal and Military Specifications
Federal specifications cover the characteristics of
materials and supplies used jointly by the Navy and
other government agencies. These specifications do
not cover installation or workmanship for a particular
project, but specify the technical requirements and
tests for materials, products, or services. The
engineering technical library should have all the
commonly used federal specifications pertinent to
Military specifications are those specifications
that have been developed by the Department of
Defense. Like federal specifications, they also cover
the characteristics of materials. They are identified
by DOD or MIL preceding the first letter and serial
Technical Society and Trade Association
Technical society specifications should be
referenced in project specifications when applicable.
The organizations publishing these specifications
include, but are not limited to, the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI), the American Society for
Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Underwriters
Laboratories (UL), and the American Iron and Steel
Institute (AISI). Trade association specifications
contain requirements common to many companies
within a given industry.
Manufacturers specifications contain the precise
description for the manner and process for making,
constructing, compounding, and using any items the
They should not be
referenced or copied verbatim in project
specifications but may be used to aid in preparing
Construction drawings are supplemented by
written project specifications. Project specifications
give detailed information regarding materials and
methods of work for a particular construction project.
They cover various factors relating to the project,
such as general conditions, scope of work, quality of
materials, standards of workmanship, and protection
of finished work.
The drawings, together with the project
specifications, define the project in detail and show
exactly how it is to be constructed. Usually, drawings
for an important project are accompanied by a set of
The drawings and project
specifications are inseparable. Drawings indicate
what the project specifications do not cover. Project
specifications indicate what the drawings do not
portray, or they further clarify details that are not
covered amply by the drawings and notes on the
When you are preparing project
specifications, it is important that the specifications
and drawings be closely coordinated so that
discrepancies and ambiguities are minimized.
Whenever there is conflicting information between
the drawings and project specs, the specifications take
precedence over the drawings.
ORGANIZATION OF SPECIFICATIONS
For consistency, the Construction Standards
Institute (CSI) has organized the format of
specifications into 16 basic divisions.
divisions, used throughout the military and civilian
construction industry, are listed in order as follows:
General Requirements include information
that is of a general nature to the project, such
as inspection requirements and environ-
ment al protection.
Site Work includes work performed on the
site, such as grading, excavation, com-
paction, drainage, site utilities, and paving.
Concrete includes precast and cast-in-place
concrete, formwork, and concrete reinforc-