Overview of Specifications

The Pre-Contract and Specifications Office manages multiple different types of specifications. The descriptions below identify how these different types of specifications interact with each other and how they are generally used and updated

Standard Specifications for Construction – The Standard Specifications for Construction are incorporated into all contracts by reference and contain specifications that have been approved for general application and repetitive use. The Standard Specifications are published approximately every 5 years.

General Special Provisions – The General Special Provisions contain periodic revisions, corrections, and additions to the Standard Specifications that are applicable to and incorporated into all contracts. They are generally issued on a quarterly basis and take precedence over the Standard Specifications.

Supplemental Specifications (Pre-2018 Specifications Only) – Supplemental Specifications contain requirements for particular work items not contained in the Standard Specifications. They are standardized and do not contain project-specific information, but are used too infrequently to warrant inclusion in the Standard Specifications. The Supplemental Specifications take precedence over both the General Special Provisions and the Standard Specifications.

Supplemental Specifications are no longer used under the 2018 Standard Specifications, but were used with 2011 and earlier Standard Specifications.

Project Special Provisions – The Project Special Provisions document is included in every contract and identifies project-specific information. The Project Special Provisions take precedence over the General Special Provisions, Supplemental Specifications, and the Standard Specifications. The document contains the following two parts:

  1. Part I – Project Notice to Bidders – Project Notice to Bidders (NTB) contain important project-specific information and requirements that the Agency wishes to bring special attention to, such as the contract completion date, work hour restrictions, and environmental restrictions. All contracts include at least some Notice to Bidders.
  2. Part II – Section 900 Special Provision Items – Section 900 Special Provision Items are specifications for work items applicable to an individual project or limited group of projects only. Not all contracts have Special Provision Items.

Unofficial Specifications Book – The Unofficial Specifications Book is a single, continuous electronic document that incorporates all modifications made to the Standard Specifications by General Special Provision. When identified, errata, such as incorrect spellings or missing punctuation, have also been corrected. Additionally, both internal and external cross references have been linked in the document for ease of use. The Unofficial Specifications Book is not a contract document and is neither legally nor contractually binding. It is provided for informational purposes only.