English: In most developed countries production specifications are based on national
standardised specification systems, such as the National Building Specification
or NBS (Great Britain), the National Specification System or NATSPEC (Australia),
Master Specification Systems or MasterSpec (United States of America and
Canada), General Materials and Workmanship Specifications or AMA (Sweden),
and the National Standard Building Specification or STABU (the Netherlands).
Standard specifications are primarily designed to shorten descriptions in the
texts of new projects, whether in respect of descriptions on architectural or
engineering drawings and technical specifications or descriptions in bills of
quantities, schedules of rates, etcetera. In some countries the development
of computerised specification systems has reached the point that these systems
are supplanting the traditional word processing method. These systems are also
providing links or interfaces to other information systems of the construction
sector, such as design, products and cost information systems, etcetera.
The South African construction industry, however, lags behind these countries that
have been involved in the development of construction information systems
or processes over the years. A call is therefore made to improve the efficiency
of providing production specifications, as inadequate project information has
been identified as one of the major causes of inefficiency in the building process.