Meaning of Building Specification

During the construction phase, specifications and plans are everything. However, if the latter is not available or is not communicated specifically enough, this can lead to cost overruns or delays in the construction project. This is not only bad for the client, it also has a negative effect on the construction company. The solution: a building description.

  • Similar to a blueprint, the construction description is a written document that defines all services and the entire scope of services for a construction project.
  • Essential components of the building description are, for example, the scope of work, deadlines and dates, safety on the construction site, special features of the construction project as well as construction, site and construction plans.
  • According to Section 249 (2) EGBGB, the building description has been mandatory since January 1, 2018 and must be available in text form as part of the building contract.
  • Although they are time-consuming and labor-intensive, building descriptions are an absolutely necessary step for a successful building project, from which building owners and construction companies can only benefit.

Definition: What is a building specification?

The construction specification, also known as a description of services or a construction work description, is a written document that defines all services and the entire scope of services for a construction project. Although blueprints can perfectly illustrate what a building should look like, a detailed and written explanation in the form of a building description is required to describe the building process in as much detail as possible for the owner and the contractor.

A building description should contain the following information:

  • Scope of work
  • Function and use of the building object
  • The building materials to be used
  • Deadlines and dates
  • Safety measures on the construction site
  • Course of construction work
  • Special features of the construction project
  • Static calculations of the building object
  • Description of the interior
  • Disclaimers of Liability
  • Change conditions
  • Building, site and construction plans

Building description: part of the building contract

According to Section 249 (2) EGBGB, the building description has been mandatory since January 1, 2018 and must be available in text form and as part of the contract before the building contract is signed – unless something else has been expressly agreed between the client and the construction company . Conclusion of a contract by handshake or telephone is no longer legally binding. If a construction company violates the building specifications, it is liable to prosecution according to §§ 311 Abs. 2, 280 Abs. 1 BGB.

At what point in the construction phase is a building specification drawn up?

Building descriptions are usually created before the start of the construction phase and as part of the planning phase. As required documents during the planning phase, building specifications are part of a formal process. By including the building description at an early stage in the planning phase, performance requirements and expectations are defined from the outset and the overall project risk is reduced.

Advantages of a building description

Building descriptions require a high level of detail: the clearer a building description is formulated, the more likely it will be correctly implemented in the construction phase. If the building description contains insufficient or no information, the construction work will be inadequate or ultimately not performed at all.

Good building descriptions protect against unpleasant and usually costly surprises. A high-quality building description, which is available when the building contract is signed, gives the builder more security about the end product from the start, while a building description gives the building company more scope for innovation, cost-effective working methods and possibly better value for money.

In addition, a building description has other advantages for the client:

  • It grants the client detailed monitoring of the construction project from start to finish.
  • A building specification enables the client to check whether all of the services listed in the building specification have been met.
  • It enables the client to enforce any complaints after completion of the construction project.

Conclusion: The building specification is an indispensable document

For many construction companies and builders, building descriptions are initially considered to be time-consuming and labor-intensive. In fact, building specifications are part of a lengthy process and should be as detailed as possible – it takes time and effort. However, since the brewing industry is exposed to increasing competition and improved technologies for building planning allow a simplified analysis of the measures required before construction begins, building descriptions are becoming increasingly important. Those who shy away from the effort should always keep the end product in mind: after all, building descriptions are a necessary step for a successful building project from which the building owner and construction company can only benefit.