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RE: Engineers and Specifications

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> I would like to better understand why Structural Engineers are less than
> excited regarding writing construction specifications.
> Is it because:
> --You have never been taught how to write specifications?
> --This is something that Architects do?
> --It does no good?
> --You do not have the time?
> --It is too hard?
> --Why spend the time to learn when the next Architect has different rules?
> --Specifications are written by the in-house specification writer?
> I would appreciate it if you would share your reason either by posting in
> on the web site or by e-mailing me direct at markkgilligan(--nospam--at)

My personal answers to your questions are:
 -- yes (My first employer placed little value on specs, and therefore
didn't teach me much about them.  I've known them to simply insert the
un-edited MasterSpec sections into final project manuals.)
 -- no (the person responsible for a trade should write that spec)
 -- maybe (specs often don't get read, but it always serves as something to
point to when things go wrong)
 -- yes (lots of time spent doing final coordination and dealing with last
minute changes by the architect, and revising the structural frame to
accommodate that roof top unit that doubled in size a week before final
print doesn't leave much time for spec writing)
 -- maybe (see first answer)
 -- no (you should make your own rules for your spec sections)
 -- no (never had one of those, but again, the PE in responsible charge
should write or at least review his specs).

And finally, if your jobs are all similar your specs don't change much.  A
concrete foundation is a concrete foundation.  Throw in a standard spec and
show any specific information on the plans and general notes.  At least this
was the reasoning where I used to work.


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