Plan and Specificaton
Plan and specification is a method of commercial construction project delivery where design drawings (plans) are created along with written specifications to define the requirements for project execution regarding scope, installation, materials, products, procedures, and quality aspects.
Before a construction project begins, the client must decide on the project delivery method. Each project delivery method has its own set of benefits and challenges. The main difference in methodologies is the alignment of team roles and the timing of construction.
On a Plan and Specification project, the client will consult with multiple teams of professionals (the design team) and the construction team. The design team usually includes architects, civil and structural engineers, MEP engineers, and other consultants. The construction team is made up of a general contractor and multiple subcontractors, such as electrical, mechanical, site. The teams are hired and managed independently from one another, and both have a point of contact that communicates with the client.
Plan and specification as a delivery method, offers both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is construction costs are more defined up front. After the design is complete, the documents are distributed to the selected general contractors to bid. The general contractors will price the project as designed and specified. Another advantage, if the project involves numerous architectural challenges, plan and specification may be the best project delivery.
One disadvantage to plan and specification delivery method is the length of time involved in construction from concept to completion of the project. Another disadvantage is the clients sometimes choose to hire the construction team with the lowest bid, potentially sacrificing quality, experience or opportunities for value engineering. Always keep the mindset to review all contractors’ bids for the best possible outcome for the client.
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