There are not very many places for novices to learn about specification writing and project manual preparation. The resources that follow are all highly recommended. Also, the Quick Links to the right go to other pages where important resources are described.
"The NEW CSI Practice Guides"; Construction Specifications Institute.
Three practice guides - The CSI Project Delivery Practice Guide, The CSI Construction Specifications Practice Guide, and The CSI Construction Contract Administration Practice Guide - written with further edification of the construction professional in mind, available from the Construction Specifications Institute, www.csinet.orgEach Guide covers key concepts and practices related to various aspects of the construction/specification process. As described by CSI: "The CSI Project Delivery Practice Guide provides fundamental knowledge for the documentation, administration, and successful delivery of construction projects. The CSI Construction Specifications Practice Guide is focused on the roles and responsibilities of the specifications professional in meeting the challenges of the changing world of construction. The CSI Construction Contract Administration Practice Guide presents a thorough overview of standard contract documents and their use in successfully administering construction projects."
"The Project Resource Manual, CSI Manual of Practice"; Construction Specifications Institute; Fifth Edition, 2005.
This now a hardbound book, available from the Construction Specifications Institute, www.csinet.org
This is the "specifier's bible" by the only organization in the U.S. that has comprehensively considered the entire practice of specification writing for construction. This book contains the Construction Specifications Institute's explanation of the entire project delivery process, with specific focus on contracting methods, contract documents preparation, and product selection and specifying, plus CSI's recommended practices for specification preparation, bidding and negotiating, and contract administration. There are definitions of terminology, descriptions of typical procedures, and examples of unusual situations. CSI's standard formats for; specification section organization (SectionFormat™) and page layout (PageFormat™) are covered briefly (more comprehensive coverage is in separate publications). Extensive coverage of specification issues includes contracting methods, bidding requirements, general requirements (Division 1), specification language and formats, and methods of specifying. Practical topics include producing a project manual, using master guide specifications, performance specifying, procurement specifying, specifying for the Federal government, multiple prime contracts, and specifying for design-build.
"Construction Specifications Writing: Principles and Procedures," Harold J. Rosen and John R. Regener, Jr.; Sixth Edition, 2010.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., www.wiley.com.
Aside from CSI's Project Resource Manual (PRM), this is the best book in print on specifications writing, by some of the most experienced experts in the U.S. As an introduction to specifying it is very good and is a good companion to the PRM. It includes samples of all the types of information commonly found in specifications, from AIA standard forms to short form specs, some of which are not included in the PRM.
The Construction Specifier, periodical.
Member benefit of Construction Specifications Institute, www.csinet.org
This is the magazine of CSI, published monthly, which is sent automatically to CSI members. It includes articles on current specification issues and technology, legal columns, and product and industry news.
Dictionary of Architecture and Construction, Cyril M. Harris, Fourth Edition, 2005.
Hardbound, published by McGraw-Hill Professional, ISBN 0-07-145237-0.
This is the best construction dictionary we know of. It includes jargon, but usually explains without the use of jargon. It includes some contract documents-related terms but is mostly about the physical elements of construction.The terms and definitions are drawn from the publications of many specialty associations in the construction industry.
WIC Construction Dictionary, Ninth Edition.
Hardbound, published by the Greater Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), www.nawic.org, or call (602) 263-7680. It may also be available through local chapters of NAWIC.
This dictionary is valuable for its extensive coverage of construction trade jargon, much of which is not covered in the dictionary above.
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