SPECIFICATIONS – THE ‘HOW TO’ OF CONSTRUCTION

WHY BEING SPECIFIC IS IMPORTANT

Ever imagined what would happen if we were not specific wherever it is necessary. Imagine searching for a way to reach a particular location in an unknown place and some strangers are not specific in giving you the direction. How will you reach there, practically very difficult? Or give some thought on “what if doctor’s prescriptions did not take as per the specific details given”.

Yes, specifications have a huge impact if not followed. The same in every other field out and so is in the construction industry. Specification for a construction project is like soul to a body or music notes to a song. Every major construction in this world takes place based on specifications specified by the respective countries. They have set a rule for how to select a material based on the properties of for a particular work, what matters in the activity of a construction project etc be it civil, mechanical, electrical, and or other types like industries, medical field, etc

The word specifications means “an act of identifying something precisely or of stating a precise requirement”.

EVERY COUNTRY HAVE ITS OWN SPECIFICATIONS

That is why most of the people in the construction-related industries are familiar with the codes governed by many important countries like England (British Standards), US (American standards – ) German standards (DIN) apart from Indian Standards generally known as IS Codes.

The story of Indian standards has been started since independence ie at the very year of 1947 and the latest regulation is a new Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 which was notified on 22nd March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017 that reinforces the activities of BIS in respect to standardization and certification of goods, articles, processes, systems, and services. Formulation of Indian Standards is one of the core activities of BIS.

BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.BIS has been providing traceability and tangibility benefits to the national economy in a number of ways – providing safe reliable quality goods; minimizing health hazards to consumers; promoting exports and imports substitute; control over proliferation of varieties, etc. through standardization, certification, and testing 

Link to BIS page – CLICK HERE

BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS (BIS) HAVE AROUND 20000 STANDARDS

As per the BIS page, 19500 standards are formulated so far through about 1000 technical committees involving more than 15000 experts. To ease the job of reference to many standards in Civil construction Indian Public Works Department (CPWD) has released two volumes of specifications which consist of standards required for all the civil construction works. The main reference of this always remains to IS Codes.

According to Wikipedia, let us consider the meaning of Specification, which may be best suitable for the construction industry.

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.

specifications

There are different types of technical or engineering specifications (specs), and the term is used differently 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”.

It is almost a situation like that without a specification any construction project is considered to be null or void. Each phase of a project or building construction is governed by some standard to be followed,

  • Architects and structural consultants use the specification to design a building during the design development stage.
  • Contracts will be made for tendering work based on the standards and specifications.
  • Contractors prepare the submission of tenders for the project after the extent of specification and/or standards mentioned in the tender documents which will govern the construction activity.
  • The procurement department shall be liable to order different materials based on the specification mentioned in the contract.

And this specification is for each type of trades like electrical, plumbing, civil, arch, HVAC, etc, and the mandatory use of specification is not only limited to civil construction, but it covers almost everything like manufacturing.


WHY SPECIFICATIONS ARE IMPORTANT

Plans, elevations, 3D graphics, architectural models may give some idea about how a building looks like, but to control or guide the construction of the same in reality, it requires some written documents that explain in detail to control the process of the same. These documents are generally known as technical specifications that are to be prepared well in advance so that contractors and sub-contractors will review them and understand the requirement that they needed to follow.

The specifications which also called specs are prepared during the design phase itself which forms part of contract documents. These will normally cover the specifications for all packages like electrical, mechanical, etc.

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS – MORE DETAILS BRINGS MORE CLARITY

It is quite natural to assume that the more details we have the more it becomes better, especially when it is construction. With finer details or clear explanations on how to do some activity, the more chances it has to be executed correctly. Or in other terms in modern technology when the term data is used for the unit of information, specification too can treat as data. Without enough data or access to the correct data, especially the construction industry becomes more complex. The chances are high that projects may face more hardships. The element of risk is also considerably reduced when works are being carried out with specifications.

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