Specifications in the UK construction industry detail the qualitative requirements for materials, products, and workmanship for a construction project. These documents complement construction drawings by describing the standards, properties, and performance criteria that materials and work methods must meet.

Key Components:

  • Material Requirements: Detailed descriptions of the types and qualities of materials to be used, including specific brands or models where applicable.
  • Product Specifications: Information on the properties, dimensions, and performance criteria of products to be installed.
  • Workmanship Standards: Guidelines on the methods and techniques for construction activities, ensuring consistent and high-quality work.
  • Performance Criteria: Defined standards for how materials and construction methods must perform under specific conditions.


  • Quality Assurance: Ensures all construction elements meet the desired quality and are suitable for their intended purpose.
  • Consistency: Provides a uniform standard that all contractors and subcontractors must adhere to, reducing variability in the construction process.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Helps ensure that the project complies with all relevant regulatory standards and building codes.
  • Clear Communication: Offers clear and detailed instructions to contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, minimizing misunderstandings and errors.


  1. Preparation: Specifications are prepared by architects, engineers, or other design professionals, based on project requirements and standards.
  2. Integration with Drawings: They are used in conjunction with construction drawings to provide a complete picture of the project requirements.
  3. Distribution: Specifications are distributed to all relevant parties, including contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
  4. Review and Approval: Specifications are reviewed and approved by the client and regulatory bodies to ensure they meet all necessary standards and requirements.
  5. Implementation: During construction, specifications are referenced to ensure compliance with the defined standards and quality criteria.

Types of Specifications:

  • Prescriptive Specifications: Detail the exact materials and methods to be used.
  • Performance Specifications: Focus on the desired performance outcomes and allow for flexibility in how they are achieved.
  • Proprietary Specifications: Specify particular products or systems by brand name.