Detail here relates to all Australian architectural, building, interiors, landscape projects including housing, multi-residential, industrial, commercial.
Specification writing lends itself to systemization. This may not apply so much if you only write one or two specs per year. However, if you write a lot, it’s best done to a system.
How easy that system works depends on two things; 1) what master you use, and 2) how willing you are to adhere to the discipline of a system.
The master specification you use
Some designers use their own created master specification. These usually are not of a good quality.
It’s usually best to purchase a master specification to be edited for each project. Your main choices are ArchiAssist, Natspec, Specpack. There are others on the market, so do your research. Quality, user-friendliness, and cost are important considerations.
For systemization, user-friendliness of the master is important. A good master doesn’t need much adding to. Editing should mainly be deleting content which is typical good quality, often mundane repetitive construction detail.
Your drawings and schedules is where project-specific project detail goes, not in the specification.
Your willingness to adhere to a specification writing dicipline
The goal of an efficient system is to work with ease and simplicity, to produce the desired outcome in minimal time. This will not work well if people are reluctant to change habits to realize this goal.
So, you get a user-friendly quality master specification, like ArchiAssist. And here is the greatest discipline for efficiency – keep your project-specific detail on your drawings and in your schedules. The spec has in it only that mundane repetitive construction detail.
Additionally, do not allow the specification writer to be disturbed during specification writing. No phone calls, no interruptions. Using ArchiAssist, getting the spec done takes no longer than a day.
Specifications are usually written late in the documentation process when everyone is stressed trying to get it all done. ArchiAssist knows this and is designed to get specifications out very quickly.
Once you get used to the systemized approach that ArchiAssist encourages, you can apply it to other activities in your practice. Less work for the same fees is a great goal to aim for.