When writing specifications for civil projects, the primary objective for the engineer of record should be to ensure that the completed project performs in accordance with the design requirements. It is therefore critical to understand how the parameters specified for products and materials relate to their performance in the constructed project. For many materials, there are standard tests available to evaluate key properties that relate directly to accepted design methods. However, in some cases, this approach is inadequate, because there is not a direct link between specific material properties and performance. This session will discuss concepts for performance specifications that can address these issues and ensure design integrity.
- Review various types of specifications for civil projects and their applicability to different types of products and materials, with examples to illustrate.
- Review the criteria for determining when a specification based on material property testing is appropriate.
- Examine alternative means of performance validation that can provide the engineer of record assurance that the project will perform as expected.
- Discuss the advantages and limitations of performance-based specifications compared to conventional materials and methods specifications.
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