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Specifications unlock power of critical collaboration


The need to aggressively adopt a way to improve processes, gain organizational efficiencies and control costs has always been important, but now it is critical to complete successful projects. The advent of cloud-based sharing technologies along with remote project management and ownership provides an opportunity for advancement in how project teams can improve their organization and collaboration. We can now use these exciting new platforms to expose and exploit the strengths of these tools for the benefit of the construction management industry to ensure that projects are coming in on time and without budget overruns.

Specifications are key documents, which detail system descriptions, and organize the information to relate to construction cost estimating. Managing specifications is crucial for everything from documenting design decisions, to ensuring budget compliance, and stripping hidden risk as a whole. Stakeholders depend on specifications to deliver their projects efficiently.

When begun early in the process, specifications can manage and document the OPR (Owners Project Requirements) and can incorporate feedback from the end user, owner, contractors and all stakeholders. Maintaining a decision record provides the owner teams with a more substantial presence, collaborating with the pre-construction team and continuously updating estimates and lead times for materials. As design documentation progresses, rework is minimized, costs are controlled, and the owner’s informed consent is enabled throughout the entire process. After construction, the complete data package can be delivered and utilized for ongoing building operation and maintenance.

This documentation process uses Uniformat (UF), which provides an outline to a building’s major systems and assemblies. This powerful tool captures the origin of the documentation process and is used throughout the project lifespan. It is an elemental classification system developed by estimators for cost analysis of building systems and it has evolved to include performance and design criteria and other documentation that would be included in the OPR. Typically, construction documents are written in MasterFormat (MF). UF is best for exploring options and selecting optimal solutions, while MF permits purchasing products, contracting installers, validating construction results.


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