Specifications Question

Its my understanding that an architect typically provides an outline spec at the end of DD and a final spec at the end of CD’s. The latter being performance specifications, typically?

Its also my understanding that there are four types of specs - descriptive, performance, proprietary and reference standard. Are each of these required at the end of CD’s as well? Or when do they come into play?

Can you recommend a good resource that does a good job getting into the details surrounding specifications?


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Hi @mroby our expert architect @coachchrishopstock will be able to provide some additional resources that cover the details you are looking for.

Hey @mroby

It’s important to remember that the level of detail of the specification (i.e. whether it’s an outline spec or not) is separate from what type of specification it is - descriptive, performance, proprietary, or reference standard.

The level of detail should be appropriate for the stage of the project - for example, outline specifications (which are typically about a page, and focus on part 2 - materials) are typically provided at the end of DD. Conversely, at the end of SD, a simple narrative description of the major elements in the project is appropriate. For more on this, see AHPP (15th edition) ‘Level of Detail in Specifications’ beginning on page 683.

The type of specification that is most appropriate to use for a particular component is dependent on a number of factors - budget, level of control the architect/owner wish to have over what products are used, building or energy code requirements, etc. For more on this, see AHPP (15th edition) ‘Means and Methods of Specifying’ beginning on page 682.

Good luck with the rest of your studies!