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  • What are specifications?
    As defined by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), specifications are “not just descriptions of products but detailed descriptions of the results of products with effort applied”. A typical specification section is written in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Part 1 is the general description of scope and requirements within the section; Part 2 is the description of the products being specified; and Part 3 is the installation requirements of the products specified.
  • What is the difference between MasterSpec and Master Format?
    MasterSpec are master specification sections developed by ARCOM that accommodate requirements for materials available country-wide and are not intended to be regionally specific. MasterSpec does not have a section for every work result, in which case the specification writer will develop a section from scratch. Master Format is an organizational structure for the specification sections. It is used industry-wide to organize the Project Manual overall as well as the Section format, including the numbering system and section titles. MasterSpec uses Master Format.
  • Why are project specifications necessary?
    Project specifications are necessary to establish levels of quality and performance expected in the final work. They provide direction to the Contractor, related to submittal requirements, products, certifications and warranties.
  • Why should I have a specifier write my specifications?
    As professionals who focus solely on specifications rather than writing them in addition to performing other project work, we have in-depth knowledge of industry standards, resources to draw upon for guidance, a wide diversity of clients, knowledge of market and product trends and our vast range of project types to inform the specifications. All of Heller & Metzger’s specification writers are registered Architects with many years of field experience.
  • What’s the difference between the Contract Documents and the Project Manual?
    The Project Manual is a book which includes the Procurement Requirements, Contracting Requirements, and the Specifications. The Contract Documents include the Contracting Requirements, the Specifications, and the Contract Drawings (often referred to as the “CDs”), and as a whole, are a legally-binding set of documents.
  • Why do I need Division 01 and what is it?
    Division 01 defines the administrative requirements for the Work by the General Contractor, including project-wide requirements such as scheduling, payment procedures, testing and inspection requirements, and procedures related to submittals and material substitutions.
  • Which governs in a conflict – the Drawings or the Specifications?
    In the event of conflicting information between the Drawings and the Specifications, or with any other set of conflicting information, the Contractor is expected to issue a Request for Information (RFI) articulating their question and requesting clarification. Neither the Drawings nor the Specifications are intended to govern over the other. The Contractor is expected to err on the side of bidding or building the more restrictive option.
  • What is the difference between Contract Documents and Construction Documents?
    The proper term is Contract Documents. To refer to the documents as Construction Documents implies that you are telling the Contractor how to build the work. An Architect’s responsibility with the drawings is to convey their design intent. It is the Contractor’s responsibility to determine the best means and methods to build the work to represent the Architect’s design intent. Also, the Contract Documents consist of the Drawings, Specifications, and the Contracting Requirements.
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