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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

The updated edition of the comprehensive rulebook to the specifier’s craft

This Fifth Edition of Construction Specifications Writing: Principles and Practices is a major update and expansion of the foremost textbook on construction specifications. It is a comprehensive, practical, and professional guide to understanding the purposes and processes for preparation of construction specifications.

This new edition reflects current practices in writing construction specifications according to the well-established principles and requirements of major professional associations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC), and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).

Examples of real-world construction specifications and industry-standard construction contract documents are generously provided along with guidelines for correct terminology, product selection, organization of specifications according to recognized CSI formats, and practical techniques for document production.

Construction Specifications Writing: Principles and Practices is an insightful textbook for students and professionals in development and continuing education classes, as well as a reliable reference for practicing architects and engineers.


Your single source of guidance to the purpose and process of preparing construction preparations. This new edition offers an up-to-date, practical guide to the craft of specifications writing—from correct terminology through product selection procedures.

  • Reflects the latest AIA and CSI standards, including the current practices of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC).
  • Includes project-tested guidelines for creating specifications which offer advice on every aspect of a project
  • Features a unique project manual checklist that reviews the entire specifications process.
  • Offers guidelines that help with all aspects of specifications writing—from correct terminology through product selection procedures. 
  • Includes appendices loaded with useful tools like sample documents and forms.

About the Author

HAROLD J. ROSEN, PE, Hon. CSI, CCS, is retired after an illustrious career as a construction specifications writer, including serving as the chief of specifications for the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and as an independent specifications writer. He was awarded the highest honor by the Construction Specifications Institute by being named an Honorary Member in recognition for his many decades of pioneering work on formats and practices for construction specifications writing.

JOHN R. REGENER Jr. SAIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP, is an architect and independent specifications writer in Irvine, California, with more than thirty-two years of experience in producing and applying construction contract documents for commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential projects. Active in CSI education programs and leadership, he is a national leader in Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice (SCIP).

Table of Contents


Authors’ Overview and Preview.

Specifiers’ Comments.


1. The Role of the Specifications.

Documents for Construction.

Bidding Documents.

Contract Documents.


2. Relationship between Drawings and Specifications.

What Goes Where.

The Drawings.

The Specifications.

Coordinating the Design Process.


Considerations for Users of Drawings and Specifications.

3. Organization of Specifications.

History of Specification Organization.

Organizing Specifications Divisions and Sections.

CSI/CSC Masterformat.

Using Masterformat.

4. The Project Manual and Specifications Sections.

The Project Manual Concept.

5. Format for Specifications Sections.

Need for Formats for Specifications Sections.



Using Sectionformat.

CSI Sectionformat.

6. Types of Specifications.

Methods for Writing Specifications.

7. Specifications Writing Principles.

Determining Content for the Specifications.


8. Bidding Requirements.

Three Basic Bidding Documents.

9. General Conditions of the Contract.

Contractual Relationships.

10. Supplementary Conditions of the Contract.

Supplementary Conditions.

Conclusion and Examples.

11. Bonds, Guaranties and Warranties.


Guaranties and Warranties.

12. Division 1. General Requirements.

Scope of Division 1.

Relationship of Division 1 Sections to other Documents.

Writing Division 1 Sections.

13. Modifications.

Modifications to Bidding and Contract Documents.


Change Orders.

Other Modifications.

14. Specifications Language.

General Precepts.


15. Specifications Resources.


Construction Specification Resources.

16. Products Selection.

Product Selection Factors.

Mandated Requirements.

Design Criteria.

Using Performance Characteristics.

New Products Considerations.

Substitutions and Product Options.

Using Product Information Resources.

Communicating and Recording of Product Selections.

17. Specifications Writing Procedures.

Getting Started.

Product Selections.

Project Information.

Specifications Format.

Specifying Method.

SsSpecifications Detail.

Order of Sections to be Produced.

Editing and Writing Specification Text.

Specifications Checklists.

18. Master Guide Specifications.

Specification Guides and Intact Masters.

Public Agency Master Guide Specifications.

Commercial Guide Specifications.

Office Master Guide Specifications.

19. Computer-Assisted Specifications.


The First Four Decades of Automation.

Transforming the Specification Process.

Word Processing Software.

Computers and Peripheral Equipment.

Word Processing Enhancements for Specifications.

Knowledge Based, Computer-Assisted Specifications.

20. Preliminary Project Descriptions (PPD).


Preliminary Project Description (PPD).

Computer-Assisted PPD’s.

21. Outline and Shortform Specifications.

Outline vs. Shortform Specifications.

Outline Specifications.

Shortform Specifications.

Appendix A: Project Manual Checklist.

Appendix B: Sample Division 1. General Requirements.

Appendix C: Sample Preliminary Project Description (PPD).

Appendix D: Sample Outline Specifications.

Appendix E: Sample AIA Documents.

Appendix F: Sample EJCDC Documents.


Product Details

Trade Paperback
Publication date:
10.94 in.
8.46 in.
.93 in.
Grade Range:
Number of Units:
Copyright Year:
UPC Code:
Harold J Rosen
Specification writing.


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