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Tuesday, 12 November

Focusing on the Specs

Three bodies have joined together to publish a guide to help those involved with preparing and using specifications.

BSRIA, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) have published the Model Format for Building Services Specifications

The main motivation behind the publication is that with the increasing importance of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and information management, it is easy to forget that a key part of the information used during construction projects is specification – the mechanism for the designers to impart their technical detailed requirements for engineering services and systems.

Specifications which are inaccurate, can lead to confusion, errors in pricing and can exacerbate difficulties in the commercial and contractual process. It is vital that specifications are written in such a way as to be readily understandable by the user. They should clearly describe what systems are to be provided and how they are intended to be operated once installed.

The guide aims to aid efficiency and understanding for all parties involved in preparing and using specifications and complements BSRIA's Design Framework for Building Services (BG06/2014). It provides the general framework covering the arrangement of sections and clauses within which an author can use their content with the least amount of change.

Chapters of the guide cover 'traditional' specification practices, key points on preparing more effective specifications, model specification formats and an example. Classification has also been included, along with the standard numbering to aid comparison with some existing specification preparation tools.

A full list of Common Arrangement of Work Sections (CAWs) work sections has been included in the appendix. This will be helpful when aligning the specification to BIM activities, particularly as the final pieces of the Government’s Level 2 BIM strategy fall into place.

Picture: A Model Format for Building Services Specifications guide has been published by BSRIA in conjunction with CIBSE and B&SE.

Article written by Mike Gannon

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