The Specifier's Role for Construction Projects

Today CSI's Specifying Practice Group discussed "What Can You Expect of a Specifier?" As an independent specifier, I presented the specifier's point of view and then opened the meeting for other opinions. The group was not bashful, thankfully, otherwise, the meeting would have been only half the planned time. The interaction during the practice group discussions is enlightening. Learning what others think and the questions raised reminds me of a typical CSI chapter meeting, except the electronic media allows much greater and broader participation.


Here is the synopsis. Yes, specifiers write project manuals, perform technical research and advise on product selections. But there is more. Specifiers keep the technical corporate memory, comment on drawing details, coordinate drawings and specifications, and advise designers of dangers in owner front end documents, among other things. The group added their own thoughts about the specifier's role:


           Read the designer's mind

           Comment candidly on the drawings and specs

           Interject reality into the design process

           Offer ideas for project approaches


And my personal favorite: "Educate the design team." Everything we do as architects, engineers, builders, suppliers, owners and others involved in construction must attempt to educate the team in the process. Otherwise we will be compelled to reinvent what has already been shown to work or repeat what has already been shown to fail. Neither condition benefits the industry, nor the individual.


For the official notes of the meeting, visit the CSI Blog at


Mark your calendar for the first Thursday of each month. Join the Discussion. This Group is not just for specifiers. Anyone with an interest is welcome to attend and participate. Register as part of the group at Once registered, you will receive notices of future meetings.


Here is the presentation that highlights the discussion and records the group's own ideas about the specifier's role. Scroll through using the arrow button below and share your comments here.


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