Cover image for Construction specifications writing : principles and procedures
Construction specifications writing : principles and procedures
Rosen, Harold J.
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
New York : John Wiley, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 336 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TH425 .R59 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Next to technical references and a computer, the specifier's most valuable tool . . .

A familiarity with the physical and chemical properties of materials, advanced construction techniques as well as the legal requirements, contract forms, and warranty provisions of specifications is essential to a specifier's task. Integrating these into a clearly written, accurate project plan that everyone can understand and use makes the specifier the key critical to a construction project's success.

This newest edition of the comprehensive rulebook to the specifier's craft, Construction Specifications Writing has been updated to reflect the latest industry standards (including those from the AIA and CSI) as well as recent changes in computerized specifications, such as expert systems and database management. Yet the practical core of the book, its project-tested guidelines for creating specifications, continues to offer solid advice on every aspect of the process--Principles, Bidding Procedures, Conditions of the Contract, and Procedures (including how to select the right vocabulary and actually write specifications)--as well as how to organize and rank its various phases. A project manual checklist also provides a blueprint of the entire specification process ensuring that all requirements are fulfilled. The book also includes tips on using the CSI Masterformat; master texts from the U.S. military, NASA, federal civilian agencies, and the National Institute of Building Sciences; as well as end-of-chapter test questions.

Still the most practical desktop tool a professional can own, this Fourth Edition of Construction Specifications Writing will help the architect, engineer, or project specifier create a construction project plan that is clearly written, up to standard--and feasible.

Author Notes

Harold J. Rosen, PE, FCSI, is the former chief specifications writer at Skidmore Owings and Merrill in New York and is a fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Looking Aheadp. xiii
Introduction to Principles and Procedures of Specifications Writingp. 1
Principlesp. 1
Proceduresp. 2
Study Questionsp. 2
Part 1 Principles
1. The Role of the Specificationsp. 5
Contract Documentsp. 5
Bidding Documentsp. 5
Specificationsp. 5
Project Manualp. 6
Study Questionsp. 8
2. Relationship between Drawings and Specificationsp. 9
What Goes Wherep. 9
Drawingsp. 9
Specificationsp. 9
Coordinating the Design Processp. 10
Resolving Conflictsp. 10
Deviations from the General Rulesp. 11
Study Questionsp. 12
3. Organization of Specificationsp. 13
Historical Development of Specification Organizationp. 13
Need for Organizing Specificationsp. 13
CSI/CSC MasterFormatp. 14
Using the MasterFormatp. 14
Is MasterFormat a Specification Principle?p. 18
Critique of 1995 MasterFormatp. 18
Study Questionsp. 20
4. Concept of the Technical Sectionp. 21
What is a Technical Section?p. 21
Changing and Evolving Sectionsp. 22
Broad-Scope and Narrow-Scope Sectionsp. 22
Flexibility in Determining Section Scopep. 22
MasterFormatp. 23
Relationship of a Section to the Project Manualp. 23
Study Questionsp. 24
5. Arrangement of the Technical Sectionp. 25
Need for a Section Formatp. 25
Standardized SectionFormatp. 25
Using the SectionFormatp. 27
CSI SectionFormatp. 27
Study Questionsp. 31
6. Types of Specificationsp. 33
Systems of Writing Specificationsp. 33
Performance Specificationsp. 33
Descriptive Specificationsp. 34
Reference Specificationsp. 34
Proprietary Specificationsp. 35
Reference Standards Agenciesp. 35
Study Questionsp. 37
7. Systems Building and Performance Specificationsp. 39
Historical Developmentp. 39
Systems Buildingp. 39
An Approach to Performance Specifyingp. 40
Pitfalls of Performance Specifyingp. 42
Study Questionsp. 43
8. Specifications Writing Techniquesp. 45
Scope of Workp. 45
Work of Other Sectionsp. 46
Grandfather Clausesp. 47
Residuary Legateep. 47
Duplication--Repetitionp. 48
Imperative Moodp. 48
Study Questionsp. 49
Part 2 Bidding Procedures
9. Bidding Requirementsp. 53
Three Basic Bidding Documentsp. 53
Invitation to Bidp. 53
Instructions to Biddersp. 54
Bid Formp. 57
Study Questionsp. 68
10. Bonds, Guarantees, Warrantiesp. 69
Bid Bondp. 69
Surety Bondsp. 69
Contractor Defaultsp. 69
AIA Bond Formsp. 69
Amount of Bondsp. 71
Statutory and Nonstatutory Bondsp. 71
Warranty, Guaranteep. 71
The General Warrantyp. 78
Special Warrantiesp. 78
Correction of Workp. 79
Writing a Special Warrantyp. 79
Study Questionsp. 82
Part 3 Conditions of the Contract
11. General Conditions and Supplementsp. 85
Contractual Relationshipsp. 85
Architect (AIA) General Conditionsp. 85
Engineer (EJCDC) General Conditionsp. 85
Differences between AIA and EJCDC General Conditionsp. 86
Use of Standardized AIA and EJCDC General Conditionsp. 86
Other Private-Sector Sources of General Conditionsp. 86
Federal Government General Conditionsp. 87
Other Nonfederal General Conditionsp. 88
Supplementary Conditionsp. 88
Changes in AIA A201-97p. 88
Modifying the General Conditionsp. 89
Format of Supplementary Conditionsp. 90
Liquidated Damagesp. 91
Insurancep. 91
Conflicts between Documentsp. 94
Preprinted General Conditionsp. 95
Study Questionsp. 96
Part 4 Procedures
12. General Requirementsp. 229
Scope of Division 1p. 229
CSI 1995 Division 1p. 229
Sections Pertaining to General Conditionsp. 229
Note to Specifiersp. 230
Recommended Division 1 Sectionsp. 231
Study Questionsp. 248
13. Specifying Materialsp. 249
Methods of Specifying Materialsp. 249
Or Equal Specificationsp. 249
Open Specificationsp. 250
Base Bid or Closed Specificationsp. 250
Bidder's Choice or Restricted Specificationsp. 250
Bidder's List of Substitutionsp. 251
Product Approval Standardsp. 251
Study Questionsp. 253
14. Specification Languagep. 255
General Rulesp. 255
Maximsp. 255
Study Questionsp. 260
15. Specification Reference Sourcesp. 261
Textbooksp. 261
Materials Standardsp. 261
Guide Specificationsp. 262
Journals and Periodicalsp. 262
Building Codes and Ordinancesp. 263
Materials Investigationsp. 263
Association Standardsp. 263
Manufacturers' Catalog Filesp. 264
General Referencesp. 264
CSI Technical Documentsp. 269
AIA Technical Documentsp. 269
EJCDC Documentsp. 269
Study Questionsp. 271
16. Materials Evaluationp. 273
Factors to Considerp. 273
Using Performance Characteristicsp. 273
New Productsp. 273
Study Questionsp. 276
17. Specifications Writing Proceduresp. 277
Recommended Proceduresp. 277
Preliminary or Outline Specificationsp. 277
Project Manual Checklistp. 277
Writing the Specificationp. 278
Study Questionsp. 283
18. Computerized Specificationsp. 285
Introductionp. 285
The First Two Decades of Automationp. 285
Computer Termsp. 286
Transforming the Specification Processp. 287
Word Processing Softwarep. 287
Computersp. 288
Selecting a Method of Computerized Specifyingp. 288
Master Textsp. 290
Study Questionsp. 291
19. Master Texts and Systemsp. 293
Need for Master Textsp. 293
The Specifier's Own Stock Textp. 293
Guide Specifications and Intact Mastersp. 294
CSRF's SpecTextp. 294
ARCOM Masterspecp. 295
Federal Civilian Agency Textsp. 295
U.S. Military Textsp. 296
Specsintact (NASA)p. 296
National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS)p. 296
State, County, and City Government Mastersp. 297
Abbreviated Specificationsp. 297
Computers--Keys to Data Storage, Retrieval, and Manipulationp. 298
Precautionsp. 300
Conclusionp. 300
Study Questionsp. 301
20. Physical Format and Stylep. 303
21. Addendap. 307
Definitionp. 307
Purposep. 307
Language of Addendap. 307
Precautionsp. 307
Format of Addendap. 308
Appendix A Preliminary Specifications for University Hospitalp. 311
Appendix B Project Manual Checklistp. 317
Appendix C Answers to Study Questionsp. 329
Indexp. 333