Performance Versus Prescriptive Specifications

by Robert W. Myers, (M.ASCE), Project Dir.; Hill International, Inc., Garden Plaza Building, P.O. Box 397, Willingboro, N.J. 08046,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 2, Pg. 239-245

Document Type: Journal Paper


The use of prescriptive specifications and performance specifications are reviewed, and the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of specifications are examined. Case histories of each type of specification reveal that the two types of specifications, when appropriately employed, may achieve the desired end result. However, when the two types of specifications are inappropriately applied or applied simultaneously and conflict, it frequently works to the disadvantage of the drafting party. Finally, general recommendations as to the application of prescriptive and performance specifications are made.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Drafting

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