Nick Schumann

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    The American way


    US industry is often seen as a role model for the UK – but is it a fair comparison?

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    Help with reading


    How to write a specification that people will actually want to look at

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    How long has it got?


    Nick Schumann - clears up the confusion surrounding building life design. It's simple really …

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    The right stone


    Nick Schumann - How to prevent a disaster when specifying natural materials

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    Feel the difference


    The fact that no two projects are the same needs to be reflected in the contractual documents, including the specification. It doesn’t always happen that way, though.

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    The essential tool


    A specification-writer’s job is never done. The document he or she produces should be kept close at hand throughout the construction process. Proceed without it at your peril.

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    Let’s get it together


    Uncoordinated specifications can result in chaos and even claims. The architect (and its spec writer) could do something about it – if only they could get involved from the start.

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    Look and learn


    There are important lessons to be learned from how the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and the Millennium Dome challenged traditional construction methods.

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    Welcome to total design


    The outline of a new world of integrated specification, design and construction is becoming visible. Each stage in the process will be integrated with every other – and it will speak your language.

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    A game of two halves


    Specification writers have a dual role on design-and-build projects: to help the bidders understand what the client wants and to ensure that its needs are met within cost and time constraints.

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    Fighting terms


    Performance specifications allow the industry to work together to produce optimal solutions - as long as the contract fosters teamwork. Unfortunately, JCT98 does not.

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    The use of knowledge


    Keeping bits of knowledge to yourself may give you some kind of power, but teamwork can only work if all the facts are shared for the common good.

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    Surviving specification


    The spec writer's lot is not a happy one. Ignored most of the time, they often get it in the neck when things go wrong. But there are ways to maximise the positive and minimise the brickbats.

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    When overseas …


    Specifying outside the UK can be fraught with difficulties for British consultants. Local codes and standards apply and only the translated document will stand up in court.

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    External affairs


    Specifiers working on major projects have a wide choice of external envelopes available to them. What factors should they consider before making their decision?

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    The breakdown of trust


    The relationship between the designer and the contractor is in danger of getting out of control, forcing designers to concentrate on their own legal protection as much as satisfying the client.