ABCs of Writing Design Specifications

Association of Construction and Development
October 16, 2012 — 1,635 views  

ABCs of Writing Design Specifications

Writing Design Specifications

Project-specific data is collected before writing design specifications. The type of data depends on the type of engineering to be performed. This may be mechanical, chemical, structural or architectural engineering. The data can be collected by aerial or land surveys of the structural site or through use of digital photography in the case of design of large industrial equipment. The basics of writing design specifications begin with facts and figures that comprise details of designs. Some design details are obtained from plan drawings and written as proposed specifications to be approved by design engineering managers and clients requesting design specifications for projects.

Design Specifications

Writing design specifications is a method of creating a written view of the particular design to be installed or implemented. Design specifications include:

  • Dimensions of the structure or equipment to be designed
  • Site location dimensions
  • Instrumentation specifications, if applicable
  • Mechanical specifications as applied to actual designs
  • Safety and regulatory specifications, if applicable

Design specifications may also include peripheral data such as land use impact and actual engineering designations. In some cases, logistical configurations may be a part of design specifications, as well as descriptions of schematics where necessary.

The Most Important Factors For Professional Design Specification Writers
Professionals who write design specifications bear the responsibility for clearly outlining the most important design points in order for engineers to follow the specifications. In some design specifications, rudimentary points of fact such as a parts and equipment plans are included. Basically, the job of the professional design specification writer is to insure that all necessary details of creating designs and models are easily understood by those using design prints. 

Design Specifications to Design Drawings

Once design specifications are written, the next step is to create engineering drawings from those specifications. At this juncture, the clarity of design specifications becomes the instructions from which drawings can be created. All of the information contained in design specifications is used by mechanical design engineers to draw or plot plan designs. When plan designs are drawn, the links from professional design specification writers to the mechanical design engineers and contractors who facilitate the actual building of a structure or equipment is clear. 

Design Specifications Written In Phases

Certain types of design specifications for structural engineering are written in phases. The reason for this is to provide each contractor with substantive information for the phase of work to be performed.


Association of Construction and Development