Project Manual Vs Specifications

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Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby FailedArtist » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:10 pm

Could someone explain to me the difference between the specifications and the project manual as a whole? According to Ballast the project manual is divided into four parts the last being the technical specifications, but the project manual I have looked at, which may not be normal, used the Masterformat division layout and started with Division 00 and finished with Division ##. There was no information outside the division format, so I am not sure what four parts ballast is talking about. All of the information that was not "specifications" was in Division 00 and Division 01. I thought that the Masterformat was the format of the specifications and was just for the specifications, which is a PART of the project manual, but the Masterformat contains all of the information in the project manual. Is there some redundancy here?
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby Coach » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:23 pm

See AHPP.
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby seaccs » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:06 pm

See the way CSI organizes MasterFormat and pay attention to the group naming. Div 00 is included in the project manual, but it is not considered part of the specifications.

There are is also good information in the Project Delivery Practice Guide that CSI publishes ... way more than you'll ever need to pass the division.

Pro tip: Make your specifier happy and never call the project manual a 'spec book' ... it's just bad form.
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby Raja » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:49 am

AHPP says that specifications are "the primary component of the project manual" so presumably Division 00 and 01 which include all bidding, contracts and administrative/management stuff like how payments are processed, how submittals are handled, etc-- cover the parts of the project manual that some of us don't think of as "specs", then the rest of the divisions are the technical parts (what some of us think of as "specs").

It seems that: CSI 00+01+other applicable divisions =Project Manual

However if the Contract Documents include "Specifications" does that then include 00 and 01, which includes things like bid forms and instructions to bidders? Maybe this is a reference to the technical specifications only and just the relevant contracts are included in the Contract Documents, replacing Divisions 00 and 01?
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby Coach » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:45 pm

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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby Raja » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:07 pm

Thanks Coach. I think I found my answer in AIA201 1.1.1

"The Contract Documents are enumerated in the Agreement between the Owner and Contractor (hereinafter the Agreement) and consist of the Agreement, Conditions of the Contract (General, Supplementary and other conditions), Drawings, Specifications, Addenda issued prior to execution of the Contract, other documents listed in the Agreement and Modifications issued after execution of the Contract. A Modification is (1) a written amendment to the Contract signed by both parties, (2) a Change Order, (3) a Construction Change Directive or (4) a written order for a minor change in the Work issued by the Architect."

Also...

"Unless specifically enumerated in the Agreement, the Contract Documents do not include the advertisement or invitation to bid, Instructions to Bidders, sample forms, other information furnished by the Owner in anticipation of receiving bids or proposals, the Contractor’s bid or proposal, or portions of Addenda relating to bidding requirements.”
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby vrcat25 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:16 am

Think of the specifications as a book with all the information and instructions for your project so that a contractor can understand what the project consists of and give you an accurate bid. We typically include drawings in our project manual. For most projects we print approximately 10 project manuals and send 3 of them to planning rooms and hand them out to all the interested contractors at a the pre-bid conference. We usually charge contractors $100 since we have to print and bind the book. Some people call a project manual a "spec book", but it's actually much more than just specs. The specs are kind of like a "chapter" of the project manual. It REALLY helps if you have some experience with working at a firm or if you could just take a trip to a local planning room and browse thru one of them.

A typical Project Manual usually include the following:

COVER PAGE
INDEX
INVITATION FOR BIDS (This is usually sent to the newspaper so that all interested parties can become familiar with the project. It's required to advertise if it's a public project)
INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS
LIST OF PRINCIPALS AND REFERENCES
BID FORMS AND ATTACHMENTS
BID SECURITY FORMS
OWNER AND CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT (A101)
PERFORMANCE BOND AND PAYMENT BOND (A312)
CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE FORM
GENERAL CONDITIONS A201
SUPPLEMENTARY CONDITIONS
SPECS (MASTER FORMAT CSI)
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby hnQ_9999 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:20 pm

vrcat25 wrote:Think of the specifications as a book with all the information and instructions for your project so that a contractor can understand what the project consists of and give you an accurate bid. We typically include drawings in our project manual. For most projects we print approximately 10 project manuals and send 3 of them to planning rooms and hand them out to all the interested contractors at a the pre-bid conference. We usually charge contractors $100 since we have to print and bind the book. Some people call a project manual a "spec book", but it's actually much more than just specs. The specs are kind of like a "chapter" of the project manual....

Interesting...I wonder how did you include drawings in PM. They are kinda large in size...
Also, does the planning room work for free ? Or is it planning dept ?
A spec book is about 1500-2000 pages. Fedex kinko charges 16c a print, that is $160.00 plus tax and binding etc. at least. You lost some money providing such prints to contractors every job ?
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby vrcat25 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:24 am

Like I mentiomed, we only include them "typically". Most of our projects are under 2 million and we have been printing 11×17 when we can and they fit nicely folded in half for smaller projects. Some of our projects are larger and 24x36 and obviously won't fit so they are separated from the PM. As for the size of the PM being 1500-2000, that is for a larger scale project. Most of our projects are under 500 pages and no where near 1500-2000.... We try to keep then refined and concise and use a similar set of specs. Most contractors/owners don't like it when you just reprint every non-applicable division of the specs.... Our engineers incorporate their specs onto their drawings. We print and bind our own specs and don't use kinkos... It's really not that difficult and we even color code the sections. We call them "planning rooms" and at least 3 different associations have them in our town. I think most people would refer to a "planning department" for the governmental city planning departments and that's entirely different.... When I drop a project manual off, I stop in and browse the room for projects from other local firms. I'd suggest you do the same some time. It's really nice getting out of the office and seeing what other firms are doing.... Not sure if contractors are charged money for being able to go to planning rooms, but since you work at a firm, they aren't going to charge you. Maybe try a contractors associations in your city and see if they have any planning rooms... We are a micro firm and even though we will have an occasional project over 5 million, our bread and butter are projects between 1-2 million. We definitely don't make a fortune from selling project manuals though, but made less when we gave them away to pesky online plan holders who would call us wanting them for free....Since i started working for the firm, we started charging online plan holders...I'm sure they are making money selling a subscription to contractors...

I hope this answers most of your questions....Feel free to ask if you have any more.
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby hnQ_9999 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:15 am

vrcat25 wrote:.... When I drop a project manual off, I stop in and browse the room for projects from other local firms. I'd suggest you do the same some time. It's really nice getting out of the office and seeing what other firms are doing....


So these are actual rooms and contractors can come in and study the plans, I am curious ?
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Re: Project Manual Vs Specifications

Postby vrcat25 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:59 am

hnQ_9999 wrote:
So these are actual rooms and contractors can come in and study the plans, I am curious ?


Yes, that's exactly what they are. I can't imagine any major city who doesn't have these available. I'd do a search for "contractors association" or "builders associations" for your city. I figure the contractors pay a fee to be able to get into the rooms and access them, but as an architect, they want you to have access and i doubt they will care if you snoop around. It's a win-win since the association makes money from subscribers and the architect/owner gets more bids for their projects. I actually have an electronic key code for a couple of rooms where i live.
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