A SPECIFICATION often refers to a set of documented requirements to be satisfied by a material, design, product, or service. A specification is often a type of technical standard .
There are different types of technical or engineering specifications (specs), and different usages of the term in different technical contexts. They often refer to particular documents, and/or particular information within them. The word specification is broadly defined as "to state explicitly or in detail" or "to be specific".
Using the term "specification," without a clear indication of what kind, is confusing and considered bad practice.
A REQUIREMENT SPECIFICATION is a documented requirement , or set of documented requirements, to be satisfied by a given material, design, product, service, etc. It is a common early part of engineering design and product development processes, in many fields.
A FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION is a kind of requirement specification, and may show functional block diagrams.
A DESIGN OR PRODUCT SPECIFICATION describes the features of the solutions for the Requirement Specification, referring to either a designed solution OR final produced solution. It is often used to guide fabrication/production. Sometimes the term specification is here used in connection with a data sheet (or spec sheet), which may be confusing. A data sheet describes the technical characteristics of an item or product, often published by a manufacturer to help people choose or use the products. A data sheet is not a technical specification in the sense of informing how to produce.
A "IN-SERVICE" or "MAINTAINED AS" SPECIFICATION, specifies the conditions of a system or object after years of operation, including the effects of wear and maintenance (configuration changes).
Specifications may also refer to TECHNICAL STANDARDS, which may be developed by any of various kinds of organizations, both public and private . Example organization types include a corporation , a consortium (a small group of corporations), a trade association (an industry-wide group of corporations), a national government (including its military , regulatory agencies , and national laboratories and institutes), a professional association (society), a purpose-made standards organization such as ISO , or vendor-neutral developed generic requirements. It is common for one organization to refer to (reference, call out, cite) the standards of another. Voluntary standards may become mandatory if adopted by a government or business contract.
* 1 Use
* 2 Guidance and content
* 3 Construction Specifications in North America
* 4 Construction specifications in the UK
* 5 Construction specifications in other countries
* 7 Information technology
* 7.1 Specification need
* 7.3 Architectural specification
* 7.4 Program specification
* 8 See also * 9 Notes and references * 10 Further reading
In engineering , manufacturing , and business , it is vital for suppliers , purchasers, and users of materials, products, or services to understand and agree upon all requirements.
A specification may refer to a standard which is often referenced by a contract or procurement document, or an otherwise agreed upon set of requirements (though still often used in the singular). In any case, it provides the necessary details about the specific requirements.
Specifications (referring to standards) may be written by government
agencies, standards organizations (
A design/product specification does not necessarily prove a product to be correct or useful in every context. An item might be verified to comply with a specification or stamped with a specification number: This does not, by itself, indicate that the item is fit for other, non-validated uses. The people who use the item (engineers, trade unions, etc.) or specify the item (building codes, government, industry, etc.) have the responsibility to consider the choice of available specifications, specify the correct one, enforce compliance, and use the item correctly. Validation of suitability is necessary.
GUIDANCE AND CONTENT
Sometimes a guide or a standard operating procedure is available to help write and format a good specification. A specification might include:
* Descriptive title, number, identifier , etc. of the specification
* Date of last effective revision and revision designation
* A logo or trademark to indicate the document copyright , ownership
* Table of Contents (TOC), if the document is long
* Person, office, or agency responsible for questions on the
specification, updates, and deviations.
* The significance, scope or importance of the specification and its
CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA
Specifications in North America form part of the contract documents that accompany and govern the construction of building and infrastructure projects. Specifications describe the quality and performance of building materials, using code citations and published standards, whereas the drawings or Building Information Model (BIM) illustrates quantity and location of materials. The guiding master document of names and numbers is the latest edition of MasterFormat . This is a consensus document that is jointly sponsored by two professional organizations: Construction Specifications Canada and Construction Specifications Institute based in the United States and updated every two years.
While there is a tendency to believe that "Specifications overrule
Drawings" in the event of discrepancies between the text document and
the drawings, the actual intent must be made explicit in the contract
between the Owner and the Contractor. The standard AIA (American
Institute of Architects) and EJCDC (
The standard listing of construction specifications falls into 50 Divisions , or broad categories of work types and work results involved in construction. The divisions are subdivided into sections, each one addressing a specific material type (concrete) or a work product (steel door) of the construction work. A specific material may be covered in several locations, depending on the work result: stainless steel (for example) can be covered as a sheet material used in Flashing and Sheet Metal in Division 07; it can be part of a finished product, such as a handrail, covered in Division 05; or it can be a component of building hardware, covered in Division 08. The original listing of specification divisions was based on the time sequence of construction, working from exterior to interior, and this logic is still somewhat followed as new materials and systems make their way into the construction process.
Each Section is subdivided into three distinct Parts: "General",
"Products" and "Execution". The
MasterFormat and Section Format
system can be successfully applied to residential, commercial, civil,
and industrial construction. Although many
Specifications can be either "performance-based", whereby the specifier restricts the text to stating the performance that must be achieved by the completed work, "prescriptive" where the specifier states the specific criteria such as fabrication standards applicable to the item, or "proprietary" whereby the specifier indicates specific products, vendors and even contractors that are acceptable for each workscope. In addition, specifications can be "closed" with a specific list of products, or "open" allowing for substitutions made by the Contractor. Most construction specifications are a combination of performance-based and proprietrary types, naming acceptable manufacturers and products while also specifying certain standards and design criteria that must be met.
While North American specifications are usually restricted to broad descriptions of the work, European ones and Civil work can include actual work quantities, including such things as area of drywall to be built in square meters, like a bill of materials. This type of specification is a collaborative effort between a specwriter and a quantity surveyor . This approach is unusual in North America, where each bidder performs a quantity survey on the basis of both drawings and specifications. In many countries on the European continent, content that might be described as "specifications" in the United States are covered under the building code or municipal code. Civil and infrastructure work in the United States often includes a quantity breakdown of the work to be performed as well.
Although specifications are usually issued by the architect 's office, specification writing itself is undertaken by the architect and the various engineers or by specialist specification writers. Specification writing is often a distinct professional trade, with professional certifications such as "Certified Construction Specifier" (CCS) available through the Construction Specifications Institute and the Registered Specification Writer (RSW) through Construction Specifications Canada. Specification writers are either employees of or sub-contractors to architects, engineers, or construction management companies. Specification writers frequently meet with manufacturers of building materials who seek to have their products specified on upcoming construction projects so that contractors can include their products in the estimates leading to their proposals.
In February 2015, ArCHspec went live, from ArCH (
Identification of medicinal products
List of ISO standards
List of Air Ministry specifications
Specification and Description Language
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ Form and Style of Standards,