Almost everyone knows that no one looks for a spec until there is a problem in the field such as the contractor doing something questionable, the hurried architect opens the spec only to see if there is something that the spec writer has written that backs them up and if there is the architecture can now breathe freely again. These instances are some of the things that have made spec writing the least sought after tasks of the professional practice and most architects are afraid at the thought of having to write a spec but a spec is a nice thing because it is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and it is known that the drawings and the specs go hand in hand with one completing the other.
It is good to note that specifications are the written down descriptions of the products, materials and workmanship which will be used to construct a design and they also include the requirements for administering and performing the work of the project and they frequently work together with the drawings to communicate the design intent from the conceptual design through to the construction of that design. They are legal documents that explain how the contract for construction will be executed and in general they describe quality whereas the drawings define the quantity and they can be anything ranging from notes on a drawing to whole specification sections on the project manual.
They are written by a person that has a lot of information on construction materials, products and processes and the spec writer also needs field construction experience and a sure comprehension of the legal consequences of the construction documents. In architectural firms, the role of a spec writer is mainly handled in a variety of ways which depends on the size and constitution of the company, the kind of project and the time limitations for producing the specifications. If it is a small firm the senior architect or partner may write the specifications whereas in a large company they may have a dedicated specs writer that has been employed or the firm may have an entire spec department that employs a number of spec writers or a team of writers tasked with writing the specs with each person being assigned a certain number of specifications to write and one person to co-ordinate the whole spec writing activity.
Smart Ideas: Writers Revisited
Another alternative for a firm of any size is to retain an independent specification consultant who has been vetted by the vetting body to create the specifications and thus the firm may choose to hold on to such a consultant for all projects that being handled by the firm or for just a particular project.The Beginner’s Guide to Professionals