technical description of specifications :
"Mike Noll's Site ArchtoolBox is a great parallel resource and he has
an excellent summary on Construction Specifications and the categories
they fall into."
book vs. sheet specifications - As the terms suggest the BOOK spec is exactly that, a separately bound book of specifications containing the various CSI divisions applicable to the project while the SHEET spec is a briefer version of the BOOK spec that is integrated into the drawings.
> Very Detailed
> Typically associated with Larger Projects
> May be a Client Requirement
> May need to follow the Client's Requirements (such as the VA)
> Abbreviated form of the BOOK spec structured more like notes.
> Typically associated with Smaller Projects covering fewer CSI Div's
strategies for identifying project relevant specification sections
One failing in the Contract Document preparation process is identifying
which specification sections need to be written. When the specification
writer is not preparing the contract drawings there is a disconnect that
needs to be addressed to verify that all specification sections are
> BlueBeam Approach
Create a non-terminating Revu Session which allows the project
team to flag relevant spec sections as soon as they are integrated
into the drawings by editing a PDF created from the CSI
- Masterformat 2016 - Titles and Numbers
> Revit Approaches
+ Keynotes can utilize a leading CSI-Spec number and help build a
list of relevant sections identified on each sheet's keynote list.
+ A Shared Parameter assigned a CSI-Spec number can be
associated to the various BIM components and families and be
derived in the identifying schedules to build a list of relevant
> Software Approaches - Specifications derived directly from the
Revit-BIM via software.
+ BDS Speclink
+ NBS Create
+ SPECedit w/ Model Probe
(Must Read ! caveat on BIM-Specification software)
strategies for writing specifications
Product manufacturer's and representatives can be helpful and provide
you with a great starting point but be aware that the specs they provide will more than likely have a bias towards their product. If you are going
to take this path in developing a specification it's probably a good
practice to get spec sections from multiple manufacturer's and derive a
non-proprietary spec that addresses the variations between the
manufacturer's spec sections while still meeting the project
This synthesizing process will help you:
> identify the variations between the products,
> exclude inferior products
> compare and contrast the selected products
> identify attributes requiring further research and
> level the playing field so you can get competitive bids.
ARCAT and Sweets provide a CSI Division based breakdown of
many of the nationally distributed building products with links to the
manufacturer's website with pre-structured specification sections.
ARCAT provides additional links to CAD and BIM resources.
CSI - Masterformat 2016 - Titles and Numbers
CSI - Masterformat 2018 - Purchase
15 Reasons Specifications are Important to the Project
If you are interested in getting experience in specification writing look
into joining the local CSI chapter and then study for and pass the
Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) exam CSI offers. This exam
should also provide assistance with the Architectural Registration
Exams if you are not currently registered.