Specifications Formats & Processes Refresh

Updated and republished: October 5, 2022

Which Contract Document is Most Important?

Originally published: September 3, 2012Updated January 7, 2022

Construction contract documents include the Agreement, the Conditions of Contract, the Drawings, and the Specifications. Because of the legal implications, owners produce the Agreement and..

Changing How We Work During the Pandemic

Over the years there has been a lot of talk and writing, including by me, about fixing the things wrong with the construction industry.  Budget and schedule busts, bad workmanship, and designs that don’t respond to owner requirements are some common..

Simplifying Specifications

Specifiers often struggle to come up with ways to make specifying simpler, to eliminate unwanted language, and to make specifications more correct.  At this year's CONSTRUCT AEC Education and Expo, Beth Stroshane posited that the way we write..

Want to Improve Project Delivery? Communicate!

Recently, Conspectus participated in two conferences: Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) and Lean Construction Institute's Lean in Design Forum. Both groups are searching for a means to improve construction project delivery with some..

Magical Thinking in Specifications - Part 2

In my recent post, When Specifiers Engage in Magical Thinking, I described what happens when aspecifier believes that putting more instructions into a specification willmake for a better outcome.  Never mindwhether or not those instructions were..

When a Specifier Engages in Magical Thinking

One of the hallmarks of magical thinking is the notion that if you think a thing, you can make it happen, simply by thinking it.  This is often reinforced by our tendency to see connections between events and our propensity to interpret those..

Interpreting "Health, Safety, and Welfare"

The primary requirement written into architectural practice acts for most U.S. states is that architects are licensed only for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and welfare (HSW).  In Illinois where I am a licensed architect, these..

Complications of Sustainability Requirements

What could possibly go wrong?

Protecting the Public via Fiduciary Duty

Architects are obligated to protect the public as a primary duty, but not the only duty. We wrote about architects having a fiduciary duty to the owner and the owners' right to have trust and confidence in their specifiers. All these duties exist..

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