SPECIFICATIONS CONTENTS (Design Practice)

Post 380 –by Gautam Shah

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A design office deals with, and also generates a variety of Documents that contain some or the other forms of Specifications. Such Specification related documents are of following main categories:

1. Drawings: graphical representations and specifications written with them.

2. Literary explanations: Memos, site notes, interim reports.

3. Linkages: cross references to graphical representations, literary explanations and external specifications, standards, etc.

4. Time schedules:

Categories of Specifications that concern a Design organization are

  1. Documents related,
  2. Design office practices and routines that a vendor must know,
  3. Formats of communication with the design office and its job consultants,
  4. Site and job specific cares and precautions,
  5. Re-use, recycling and ‘safe’ disposal related requirements.
  6. Bill checking, certification procedures.

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These requirements can also be stated as

  • methods for interpretation of documents
  • records keeping of corrections, alterations, revisions, etc.
  • archiving methods for information, data and documents.
  • definitions of laying out a job, location facilities, resources (free, chargeable etc.), hazards, conditions of access and usage.
  • methods and means to achieve the quality standards for inputs and outputs.
  • definitions of risks, hazards, (due to natural causes, ignorance, carelessness, fraud, malicious acts) and ways to predict, manage, eliminate and compensate them. Definition of mandatory obligations and responsibilities.
  • work evaluation modes and methods.
  • responsibilities and extent of liabilities for desired level of functionality, of parts and whole, means to fulfill them.

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In-house specifications that are flourishing within a design organization can be categorized like:

General

  • How to read (drawing sequencing) & co-ordinate other documents
  • Graphical signs and symbols, Abbreviations
  • References -upward, downward, sideways links
  • Dimensions, Units, Quantities, numbers, fitments and tolerances
  • Dates and schedules
  • Assumptions / presumptions of Estimating
  • How to request, revise and record changes in drawings and documents

Materials

  • Quality and Quantity of raw materials,
  • Delivery of goods,
  • Handling (unloading, weights), unpacking, and storage of raw materials
  • Raw material accounting -ordering, approvals, receipts & issue
  • Management of residual raw materials, waste goods, rejected goods, packing materials, debris due to breakage of existing structures, garbage, fumes, smokes, pollutants, etc.

Site and Staff Management

  • Chargeable services and free services on a site
  • Maintenance of site or work areas during multi vendor access.
  • Welfare, safety and security of people and goods on a site
  • Ownership of site, goods, plants, partly completed and fully completed items
  • Making good damages to surrounding environment and buildings

    P120909PS-0022Works Management

  • Process of manufacture – assembly – installation
  • During execution check ups/ precautions
  • Post execution checkups / follow ups
  • Operational parameters for the executed entity
  • Guarantees and warranties and transfer to the owners

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  • Modules of measurement
  • Mode of measurement
  • Incidence of Taxes

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PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS

Post 195 –by Gautam Shah 

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Systems specifiers like a designer deal with a product or system only occasionally and do not get frequent feedback, whereas a system provider (such as the supplier, manufacturer, fabricator or installer) is consistently involved in supply field, and receives feedback from diverse sources. System providers as a result have a better understanding and capacity to improvise the product. A system specifier may specify a technologically adequate system, but a system provider offers a technologically superior and economically most appropriate item.

Trump International Hotel

Trump International Hotel

A designer as a system specifier must work in close collaboration with the markets (represented as the supplier, manufacturer, fabricator or installer, etc.). To specify performance, ideally a system specifier and the parties capable of submitting the proposal or bid, both must have a consensus as to what the requirements are. But this type of neutral interaction is not possible or desirable in Government deals. So it is desired that requirements of performance are specified quantitatively rather than qualitatively. Qualitative data can provide varying interpretations and cause misunderstandings, but quantitative data is easily verifiable.

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Performance specifications, unlike the Design specifications (item specifications) do not prescribe the means or methods for achieving the results, or creating a product. Design specifications exactly define the quality of raw materials, processes to convert the raw materials into a deliverable product. The suppliers or vendors have no freedom to choose any other (even if better and economic) materials and methods. Products created with design specifications create a huge liability as the owner-designer, are responsible for ‘design and related omissions, errors, and deficiencies in the specifications and drawings’.

Lexus Car

Lexus Car

Performance specifications define the functional requirements for the product, the environment in which it must operate, and the interface and interchangeability requirements. Performance Specifications tell a manufacturer, vendor, supplier or provider: What is considered to be an acceptable product? And How will the product’s acceptability be judged?

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Performance specifications state the requirements in terms of the results to be achieved and provide criteria for verifying the compliance.

〉 Performance and Verification: Any condition, characteristic, or capability that must be achieved, and is essential for item to perform in the perceived environment must be plausible and verifiable.

〉 Restrictions in Performance Specifications: Performance specifications must not limit a provider to specific materials, processes (including quality of man power or equipments), parts, etc. One can, however, prohibit certain materials, processes, or parts when authorities have declared quality, reliability, or safety concerns such materials, technics or processes, as for example environmentally harmful technologies. Upper and/or lower performance characteristics can only be stated as requirements, but not as goals or best efforts.

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〉 Structural, Architectural and Interior Design jobs and Performance Specifications: Such jobs consist mainly of industrially produced and standard components, but their composition (fabrication, installation or siting) is a unique phenomenon. Performance specifications at parts or components level are not very difficult to implement. Adopting a performance specification strategy for large complex systems, or whole projects is a very difficult proposition. Design professionals can overcome this problem by consciously moving towards self-sufficient systems like plug-in modules, rather then excessively customized products that remain one-time efforts. Performance specifications at lower levels such as for replaceable components and spares, should include essentials for interchangeability and inter-portability.

090929-F-8127S-182It is very difficult to conceive a fresh set of exclusive performance specifications. But one can gradually and consciously reformat the traditional specifications with inclusion of performance parameters for standard parts and components.

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