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Arcenal, Building Tech. 03 Bs Architecture




Types of Specifications 1. General Specifications In general specifications, nature and class of works and names of materials that should be used are described. Only a brief description of each and every item is given. It is useful for estimating the project. The general specifications do not form a part of contract document.

2. Detailed Specifications The detailed specifications form a part of a contract document. They specify the qualities, quantities and proportions of materials and the method of preparation and execution for a particular item of works in a project. The detailed specifications of the different items of the work are prepared separately and they describe what the work should be and how they shall be executed. While writing the detailed specifications, the same order sequence as the work is to be carried out is to be maintained. SECTION 2 / Specifics SPECIFICATIONS 347

SPECIFICATIONS INTRODUCTION Specifications contain written information that is not shown on the plans but is necessary for the completion of the job. Specifications contain information on (1) procedures for starting the job, (2) meetings planned to schedule phases of construction, (3) how payments by the owner are to be made, (4) where equipment is to be stored until needed, (5) insurance that must be carried by the contractors, and (6) other details. On very small jobs where specifications consist of some ten or twelve pages, architects may print them on a plan sheet rather than binding them in a separate book that is included with a set of plans. In most cases, the specifications are written, printed, and bound into a book. Specifications are often referred to as “specs” in the office and on the job.The length of the specifications varies with the size and type of construction. If the job is small and simple,and if the construction is standard procedure, the specifications can be short. If the job is large and has many special features and necessary procedures, the description of procedures may be lengthy. Specifications written for federal government jobs are known for being long and detailed. The government dictates what is to be included in the specifications, and the specifications become elaborate because each item is described in great detail.In this chapter, the major divisions of a set of standard specifications will be listed, along with a brief discussion of each division.There are sixteen major divisions of specifications.

 DIVISION 1—GENERAL REQUIREMENTS This division includes general administrative and technical provisions that may not be listed elsewhere and which may apply to more than one division. General requirements include contractual/ legal requirements, a summary of work to be done, an explanation of work to be performed later, a description of meetings to be held (construction coordination meetings, scheduling meetings, and progress meetings, for instance), quality control, and submittal. “Submittal” refers to catalog descriptions or “shop drawings” of equipment, which are submitted by the contractor for approval by the architect and/or engineer. Division 1 also includes a description of temporary facilities, preparation of the job site for construction, and details how the job is to be closed out when construction is completed. Listed in the General Requirements are such details as how many sets of construction plans are to be furnished to the construction contractor for the project. April 2007


Professional organizations for architects and engineers have drawn up and published a standard section entitled “General Conditions” for use in the General Requirements division. These documents cover major topics similar to those listed above. Special items that pertain to a particular job are included in the Supplemental General Conditions that are written by the architect or engineer. Special laws or building code requirements are listed in the Supplemental General Conditions.

 DIVISION 2—SITE WORK Division 2 describes work to be done on the site, including soil testing, core drilling, standard penetration tests, and seismic exploration. All of these tests must be conducted, and the requirements are expressed in this division. The demolition of existing structures, materials, and debris is included in Division 2. The capping and removal of existing services is usually mentioned in this division even if the work is also included under the trade division. For example, the capping of an existing sewer line is mentioned in Division 2 and then is described in detail in Division 16 (plumbing). In addition, the site work division describes the various steps in the clearing of the site. Clearing of the site includes structure moving, clearing and grubbing of shrubs, tree removal, pruning, and tree relocation. Also described are grading and earthwork, grading and drainage, paving and surfacing, and landscaping. Site improvements such as fences, gates, guardrails, lighting, and irrigation systems (site watering systems) are also included in this division.

 DIVISION 3—CONCRETE All concrete work is described in this division. The major subdivisions included under Division 3 are concrete form work, expansion and contraction joints, cast-in-place concrete, specially placed concrete, and recast concrete.

 DIVISION 4—MASONRY Division 4 of the specifications deals with brick, stone, fire brick, glass brick, clay backing tile, and ceramic veneer. Related topics such as joint reinforcement, mortar, anchors and tie systems, masonry joints, control joints, and masonry accessories are also included.

 DIVISION 5—METALS The metals used in the building are specified under Division 5. If the building has a steel structure, the steel members are specified in this section. Metal roof decking, metal floor decking, and permanent metal forms are described in this section. Metal fabrications such as stairs, handrails, railings, gratings, castings, and lintels are included in this division. In some cases, ornamental metals are used for these fabrications and are described in detail in this section.

 DIVISION 6—WOOD AND PLASTICS Materials such as rough carpentry (framing), heavy timber construction, prefabricated structural wood, finished carpentry, and architectural woodwork (cabinets and built-in woodwork) are described in this division. Plastics are used in many ways in modern construction. This section of the specifications is devoted to such items as joists, studs, columns, beams, hangers, connecting devices, and other miscellaneous plastic items not specifically identified under other headings.


Division 7 contains written descriptions of roofing materials, waterproofing materials, flashing and sheet metal trim, insulation, roof accessories, and sealants.

 DIVISION 8—DOORS AND WINDOWS Metal doors and frames, wood and plastic doors, entrances and storefronts, metal windows, special windows, wood and plastic windows, hardware and specialties, and glazing are the main areas of concern in Division 8.



Lath and plaster, gypsum wallboard, terrazzo, acoustical treatment, ceiling suspension systems, wood flooring finishes, carpeting, special flooring, floor treatment, painting, special coatings, and wall covering are found in this division of the specifications.

 DIVISION 10—SPECIALTIES Division 10 of the specifications is a catch-all section. If items required for the construction do not fall under the other divisions of the specifications, they are usually found in Division 10. Typical items in this division are chalkboards and tackboards, louvers and vents, grilles and screens, pest control, fireplaces, flagpoles, lockers, storage shelving, directional signage, and sun control devices.

 DIVISION 11—EQUIPMENT Division 11 lists equipment which is normally furnished and installed by the general contractor as a part of the construction of the building. Equipment described in this division includes maintenance equipment, bank and vault equipment, food service equipment, vending equipment, athletic equipment, laundry equipment, library equipment, medical equipment, waste handling equipment, and loading dock equipment.

 DIVISION 12—FURNISHINGS Major headings in this division are artwork, window treatment, fabrics, furniture, rugs and mats, and furnishing accessories.

 DIVISION 13—SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION The description and necessary information for constructing special areas are given in this division. Special construction areas include clean rooms, operating rooms in hospitals, incinerators, instrumentation rooms, nuclear reactors, radiation treatment rooms, sound and vibration rooms, vaults, and swimming pool spaces.

 DIVISION 14—CONVEYING SYSTEMS Dumbwaiters, elevators, hoists and cranes, lifts, material handling systems, moving stairs and walks, and pneumatic tube systems are typical items described in Division 14.

 DIVISION 15—MECHANICAL Division 15 covers information on air conditioning, ventilating and heating in a building. The mechanical division of the specifications generally has major sections consisting of general provisions (general description of the work, procedures, etc.) basic materials and methods, equipment, air distribution, piping, insulation, controls, and instrumentation. Note: Plumbing specifications are also included in the standard mechanical specification division; however, many engineers now write plumbing specifications as a separate division. With plumbing as Division 16, electrical becomesDivision 17.

 DIVISION 16—ELECTRICAL The electrical division usually consists of general provisions, basic materials and methods, power generation, power transmission, power service and distribution, lighting, special systems, communications, controls, and instrumentation.

PLUMBING Plumbing is included in the Mechanical division. Major sections consist of general provisions (general description of the work, procedures. and so forth), basic materials and methods, equipment, piping systems and services, and insulation. Plumbing also includes fire protection (sprinklers) and special services such as medical gases, fuel gases, compressed air, and process piping systems.

RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY The responsibility for the design and all calculations for the construction project lies with the registered architect and registered engineer. After satisfactorily fulfilling the registration requirements, architects and engineers are granted professional seals to be placed on all plans they are responsible for. Seals are also required on the title page of the specifications.

With registration, the architect and the engineer assume, by law, responsibility for all work done  by employees working under their guidance. In most cases these professionals carry liability insurance to protect them against possible financial ruin if a design failure should occur.

April 2007


In the specifications, the architect and the engineer create a legal document with specific instructions to workers and construction technicians as to how the construction is to be performed. Specifications must be carefully written and followed to protect against poor workmanship, which could cause problems during and after construction.

SUMMARY • Specifications contain information that is not shown on the plans. • Except on very small jobs, specifications are usually printed and bound into book form. • There are usually 16 divisions of information in a set of specifications (except when plumbing is separated from the mechanical division). • Administrative, legal, and technical provisions are covered in Division 1 of the specifications. • Divisions 2 through 17 include specific information pertaining to each area of construction on the job. • The professional registered engineer and architect are responsible for the design and calculations on a construction.

CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS INSTITUTE’S MASTERFORMAT ™ • Division 01—General Requirements Area for performance requirements added to allow for writing performance requirements for elements that overlap work sections (building envelope, structure, etc.). This allows for a mixture of broad performance specifications and prescriptive specifications in a project manual.

• Division 02—Existing Conditions This division is now limited to “existing conditions,” construction practices that relate to items at the site at the commencement of work—selective demolition, subsurface and other investigation, surveying, site decontamination, and site remediation, among others. All site construction as well as heavy civil and infrastructure subject matter, including utility and pavement work, has been relocated to the Site and Infrastructure Subgroup.

Divisions 03—Concrete, 04—Masonry, and 05—Metals

Essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition.

• Division 06—Wood, Plastics, and Composites Essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition with expansion in the areas of plastics and composites.

• Division 07—Thermal and Moisture Protection Essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition.

• Division 08—Openings Renamed but with essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition with the addition of some other openings such as louvers and grilles.

• Divisions 09—Finishes and 10—Specialties Essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition.

• Division 11—Equipment Equipment related to process engineering has been relocated to the ProcessEquipment Subgroup and equipment related to infrastructure has been relocated to the Site and Infrastructure Subgroup.

• Division 12—Furnishings Essentially the same scope as MasterFormat 1995 Edition.

• Division 13—Special Construction Special construction related to process engineering has been relocated to the Process Equipment Subgroup. Security access, building automation, detection and alarm, and fire suppression subjects have been relocated to the Facility Services Subgroup.

• Division 14—Conveying Equipment Renamed with process related material handling subjects relocated to the Process Equipment Subgroup.

• Division 15—Mechanical Division 15 has been reserved for future expansion and material has been relocated to Division 22—Plumbing and Division 23—Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning in the Facility Services Subgroup.

• Division 16—Electrical Division 16 has been reserved for future expansion and material has been relocated to Divisions 26—Electrical and 27—Communications in the Facility Services Subgroup. A complete copy of CSI’s MasterFormat may be downloaded at

April 2007



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