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          1 min read

          Closing the Communication Gap between Architects and Specifiers

          Specifying is mostly about data gathering and organizing - data that architects hold - on the drawings, in the basis of design, but mostly in their heads. They look at their progress drawings and see what they know. We look at the same drawings and ask "What is that?"

          The Communication Gap!
          So how can we as specifiers help close that gap and gather the information needed to complete the specifications?

          We are searching to find a method that compels architects to respond to fill this gap. It seems the architects are consumed by so many aspects of the project that the detail of the specifications is pushed aside - the specifier will handle that.

          Specify the Architect's Intent
          I am trying something new to get their attention. I am specifying the architect's intent. I am expanding the summary article to specify work results. No longer providing just a list of materials, but rather describing What, How, and Where. If the architect does nothing else, I want him to read and react to those couple of paragraphs in each spec section. I will even extract just those paragraphs so the spec is condensed (2 - 5 sections per page).

          If I can understand and correctly state the architect's intent in a sentence or two, I can complete the spec based on the intent. If the intent, as I understand it, is wrong or unclear, I am hoping the architect will tell me so I can be sure to make it right.

          Examples
          For a masonry section the typical commercial master specification includes the following:

          Section Includes:

          1. Face brick.
          2. Concrete masonry units.
          3. Cavity insulation.

          This tells the reader little except the materials that are required. Instead, how about specifying the intent, by stating the work results.

          Section Includes:

          1. Face brick veneer with concrete and CMU backup constructed as multi-wythe composite site retaining walls.
          2. Face brick veneer with CMU backup constructed as exterior insulated cavity walls.
          3. CMU single wythe interior partitions at basement utility spaces.

          With these statements the reader has a mental picture of what is required. And by experience association, can determine what other accessory items will be required to specify and build the result.

          Ideas? Suggestions?
          Do you like our idea? Do you think it will work? What suggestions do you have to close the gap?

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