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Specification writing for engineers is critical to the clear communication of technical requirements to contractors.

This communication is specific to the stage in the design cycle, type of requirement and the particular industry sector. 

In reality, all engineering work eventually culminates in the development of a specification that has to clearly communicate the technical requirements of the project.  The specification, together with terms of contract and the project plan make out the three pillars of good engineering task execution.

Experts in this area believe the cornerstone of all successful projects is having clear goals — knowing what problem is trying to be solved.

Failures commonly occur  due to various stakeholders running off in different directions because they didn’t take the time to make sure everyone really agreed about what they were supposed to do.

As in other sectors, specification writing for engineers frequently involves meeting with manufacturers of building materials who seek to have their products specified on upcoming construction projects so that contractors can include their products in the estimates leading to their proposals

Specifications can be either performance-based or proprietary.

With performance-based specifications, the specifier restricts the text to stating the performance that must be achieved by the completed work. Proprietary refers to where the specifier indicates specific products, vendors and even contractors that are acceptable for each work scope.

Additionally, specifications can be “closed” with a specific list of products, or “open” allowing for substitutions made by the contractor.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Specification Writing for Engineers Workshop, a 2-day course that introduces the principles that apply to effective specification writing. It is an interactive program reviewing good specification guideline, road maps, exercises, examples, case studies, group projects and discussions.

Tonex Specifications Writing Training has been developed to transfer the skills and expertise to those involved in producing and writing specifications.  Developing a specification includes identification, organization, presentation and good writing techniques.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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