Better Specifications Language

Specifications must be written following the "Four C's" of effective communication: Clear, Concise, Correct and Complete.  Getting each "C" done right presents its own challenges.  To be correct, a spec must avoid errors and properly describe the scope..

Specs = Non-Graphic Project Data

In the construction industry, projects are defined by drawings (graphic data) and specifications (non-graphic data). Traditional construction specifications is the set of documents arranged by MasterFormat®, a consensus document that provides a list of..

Writing a Spec Section From Scratch

Almost every specification section most specifiers will ever need is available in one or more commercial master guides, and for those that aren't, there are other options.  Many manufacturers provide guide specs for their products.  Most offices have a..

Metal Framing Thickness or Gage - New and Improved issue

Previous Tech Tip was updated to the current industry standards with the help of metal framing manufacturers. The metal framing industry stopped using imprecise gage thicknesses and started using precise minimum base metal thicknesses. Yet, many A/Es..

Better Ethics for Architects

Architecture is not an easy profession to enter.  To become an architect, candidates must obtain specialized advanced education, work their way through an extended mandatory internship process and sit for lengthy state licensing examinations that all..

How is A/E/C Like the World Cup?

As we enter the final week of this year's thoroughly enjoyable World Cup soccer tournament, with the countries of France, Belgium, Croatia, and England still vying for the trophy, I thought I'd explore some metaphorical similarities between the worlds of..

Evolving Specifications 2018

First published at Young Architects Forum Connection 16.01.

Making Use of New Communications Tools

There are a few significant challenges when it comes to performing specification consulting work.  Obviously, there are the fun and interesting challenges, like gathering, updating, and retaining the significant knowledge required to write good..

The Right and Wrong Time to Review Installers' Qualifications

One of the significant reasons for the existence of specifications is to describe the level of quality to the products and work that go into a building project.  Specifications establish the performance of the products and assemblies and their..

A Traditional but Not-So-Smooth Path Into Specifications

Last week, my colleague Marlon Hollis wrote eloquently about his meandering path from military aviation and law school into construction specifying, and the benefits of bringing a fresh perspective to the work. My own path to specifying might seem more..

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