Construction Specifications: A One-Book Deal

by Joseph Goldbloom, (F.ASCE),

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 4, Pg. 601-604

Document Type: Journal Paper


A contractor bidding on a civil works construction contract usually has to wade through two or three separate books of specifications within the limited time available to him, in order to determine the contract requirements. These documents consist of the owner.s Standard Specifications book, the Supplement updating the Standard Specifications book, and the Special Provisions book prepared by the designer of the project. In the manufacture of a product or the offering of a service, it is sound business to pattern the product or the service to best serve the needs of the user, Similarly, construction specifications should be presented in a form that will easily and clearly convey the requirements to the contractor, as well as to the engineer on the site, who represents the owner. What basically do the contractor and the engineer look for in the project specifications? Stated very simply, the contractor wants to know what he is required to do and how he is going to be paid for it. He wants this information presented clearly, simply, and concisely. Otherwise he wastes precious time trying to find what he is looking for. Similarly, the engineer is just as interested in deterring quickly and easily what is contractually required of the contractor, how his work is to be measured, and how payment is to be made to him.

Subject Headings: Contractors and subcontractors | Construction management | Standards and codes | Construction sites | Bids | Commercial construction | Owners | Waste management

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