How To: Specs For Small Projects

When you are documenting for tender of a small project, say under $1M or $2M, we have suggestions for you to consider on how you might cover your specification obligations for this project.

A method we suggest includes the following components:

  • Drawings, of course, notated as usual – though you might also elect to use *Codes or Keynotes to indicate the materials and finishes
  • Schedule of the selections and key information for all the materials, finishes, fittings, fixtures and the like – linked to the Drawings with the Codes if you have used them. Include here also descriptions of any non-material matters of importance – maybe access limitations, DA conditions to be observed, and the like
  • A “References Specification” – such as Natspec Simple Domestic – issued unchanged as the “backup specification” for the works.
  • Optionally, Design Reports may also be included in the issued documentation – such as Section J (or BASIX) might also be included, either for information only, or may as called up in the Schedule as stating the applicable requirements.

The rationale for this suggested method is that generally in small projects, the Builders usually work from and only want to use the drawings and a list of materials etc. that are in the work. In this arrangement, the “Reference Specification” is there as a safety net in the background, if it should arise that there is any dispute over quality of materials or workmanship or applicable Standards.

Everything that you know and which is unique about the project should be included either on the Drawings or the Schedule document. If you think it matters, put it in.

The “Schedule” can be tabular in format or in paragraphs or a combination of the two.

There will also, of course, be a Building Contract, in the schedule of which the documentation components should be listed.

Natspec Simple Domestic is available from Natspec in either hard copy or pdf. Though a bit hard to find, the order form is on their subscribe page at: http://www.natspec.com.au/products/subscribe

Click here to see our Insights article on “Codes and Keynotes for Less Confusion”.

[This article are intended for general education for consideration by architects only, subject to their professional’s judgement. It is not professional advice.]

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