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
manufacturer produces. They should not be referenced
or copied verbatim in project specifications but may
be used to aid in the preparation of them.
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. Usually, drawings are accompanied
by a set of project specifications. 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 and clarify details that are not covered
amply by the drawings. 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 Specifications
Institute (CSI) has organized the format of
specifications into 16 construction divisions. These
divisions, used throughout the military and civilian
construction industry, are listed in order as follows:
1. General Requirements include information
that is of a general nature to the project, such as
inspection requirements and environmental protection.
2. Site Work includes work performed on the site,
such as grading, excavation, compaction, drainage, site
utilities, and paving.
3. Concrete includes precast and cast-in-place
concrete, formwork, and concrete reinforcing.
4. Masonry includes concrete masonry units,
brick, stone, and mortar.
5. Metals include such items as structural steel,
open-web steel joists, metal stud and joist systems,
ornamental metal work, grills, and louvers.
(Sheet-metal work is usually included in Division 7.)
6. Wood and Plastics include wood and wood
framing, rough and finish carpentry, foamed plastics,
fiber glass-reinforced plastics, and laminated plastics.
7. Thermal and Moisture Protection includes
such items as waterproofing, dampproofing, insulation,
roofing materials, sheet metal and flashing, caulking,
8. Doors and Windows include doors, windows,
finish hardware, glass and glazing, storefront systems,
and similar items.
9. Finishes include such items as floor and wall
coverings, painting, lathe, plaster, and tile.
10. Specialties include prefabricated products and
devices, such as chalkboards, moveable partitions,
fire-fighting devices, flagpoles, signs, and toilet
11. Equipment includes such items as medical
equipment, laboratory equipment, food service
equipment, kitchen and bath cabinetwork, and
12. Furnishings include prefabricated cabinets,
blinds, drapery, carpeting, furniture, and seating.
13. Special Construction includes such items as
pre-engineered structures, integrated ceiling systems,
solar energy systems, aquatic facilities, and air
14. Conveying Systems include dumbwaiters,
elevators, moving stairs, material-handling systems,
scaffolding, and other similar conveying systems.