In the good old days, it was common to include at the beginning of every specification section a statement similar to this: "Drawings and General Provisions of the Contract, including General and Supplementary Conditions and Division - 1 Specification Sections, apply to this Section."
CSI's Manual of Practice, Product Resource Manual, and Construction Specifications Practice Guide explain how to eliminate this statement:
Although the Division 01 role in governing the work has been accepted in practice for many years, this authority is not explicitly stated in either the AIA or EJCDC general conditions. Until that change is made, the authority should be established by a provision in the supplementary conditions as follows: Sections of Division 01-General Requirements govern the work of all sections of the specifications.Even though the A201 and other general conditions make it quite clear that the contractor is responsible for means and methods, I expand this statement to read, Sections of Division 01-General Requirements govern the work of all sections of the specifications. The Contractor shall ensure that all Subcontractors, Sub-subcontractors, and suppliers are aware of and comply with the provisions of Division 01.
Having established the role of Division 01, there is no need to restate it in every specification section. The A201 agrees with that position, stating "The Contract Documents are complementary, and what is required by one shall be as binding as if required by all." Other general conditions typically have similar statements.
Interestingly, while some specifications have followed CSI's advice and deleted the "Drawings and General Provisions…" paragraph, many specifications now have added several more needless references to Division 01 such as these:
- Conduct pre-installation meeting in accordance with Division 01 Section 01 31 19.
- Submit in accordance with Division 01, Section 01 33 00
- Comply with requirements of Section 01 65 00 and Section 01 66 00.
- Comply with provisions of Section 01 78 00.
- Substitutions: Under provisions of Section 01 25 00
- Examine conditions and proceed with work in accordance with Division 01, Section 01 71 00.
- General: Comply with requirements of Division 01, Section 01 45 13.
Division 01 can save a lot more text than that found in the above references. Properly written, they can minimize or eliminate many statements commonly found in specifications. One of the most important requirements, with the widest applicability, is "Follow manufacturer's instructions and recommendations."
The drawback with relying on manufacturers' instructions is that they might miss something, or you might choose to specify more restrictive requirements. In those cases, Division 01 sections can reduce the need for many statements in the specification sections.
For example, consider the article for delivery, storage, and handling. Most materials should be protected from the elements until they are installed. A comprehensive Section 01-6000 - Product Requirements can include storage requirements such as temperature range, humidity, and protection from moisture, that are suitable for all but a few products. Add the basic requirement for complying with manufacturers' instructions, and there isn't much left to say. Do the same for packaging, labeling, and handling, then go on to other subjects of Division 01 sections, and you may find you can delete some of the standard articles in the specifications.
Another place to look for redundancies is the "Common Work Results" sections found in mechanical and electrical specifications. These sections often state requirements already found in the general conditions, in bidding requirements, and in Division 01 sections. The only time those subjects should be addressed is when mechanical and electrical specifications have additional or unique requirements, and even then I would try to take care of the differences in Division 00 and in Division 01.
I have looked at many of these sections at the beginning of mechanical and electrical Divisions, and rarely have I found anything not already specified in the front end of the project manual. At best they are merely redundant; most of the time they are contradictory.
We spend a lot of time talking about Division 01, but it's also worth taking a look at what's in the general conditions. I have seen many specifications that discuss payment for testing, for re-inspection, for concealing work before it was inspected, for unauthorized work, and for similar activities. These typically are covered in the general conditions; in the A201, they are found in Articles 12 and 13.
Why are we so concerned about redundancies? Perhaps the biggest problem is that when different people state the same thing they may do it differently. Another problem, which isn't so obvious, is that the longer the specifications are, the longer it takes to read them, and the more likely that things will be missed. Why add a lot of unnecessary text, making it harder for the contractor to understand?
Shorter specs are more likely to be read, will be easier to read, and will be easier to interpret.