Mine as well, Neil ... with the proviso
of a decent set of specs.
To my mind, writing (good) specs is an art ... so that they allow a maximum number of vendors to comply, whilst ensuring that only up-to-date equipment is procured, yet sufficiently generic (creative?) so as not to obviously favour any particular manufacturer or supplier. They should also (like all good writing) be tight, and devoid of any superfluous verbage!
The trouble is (was) that hardly any "clients" were seemingly willing to pay for the time it takes to produce a decent set of specs (that is, not just a cut-and-paste job of someone else's ancient attempts). The only time I got a decent per diem
, the gang involved wanted to place Quantity ahead of Quality; they demanded so many specs per day, regardless of equipment type or complexity, and (or) how much research may have been involved. And - they kept adding to the list of details required (first it was typical dimensions, then it was electrical Class and Type), which meant having to go back over old ground, time and time again. I did not stick around very long at that one!
On the topic of "research", back in earlier times, "consultancies" stood or fell on the quality of their Technical Libraries (collection of suppliers' catalogues, architectural text books, standards documents and what-have-you). Some I came across were quite lavish. But now all that is required is a laptop and access to the internet; a level playing field at last, perhaps.Back in the day, the old Saudi MOH specs became notoriously out-of-date - to an extent that rather wide "interpretations" became the norm. On one project, I actually needed to re-write many of them ... but that was a company hospital using MOH specs (as a way, or so they thought, of cutting costs and speeding up the project - both of which they failed to achieve)! And all that was done whilst trying to limit the amount of Change Order claims made by the contractor. Happy Days!
On another project - for a private hospital - I provided a room-by-room listing free of charge, hoping that we would be awarded the contract for on-site supervision of the construction. We weren't; but that didn't stop the client demanding that I write a set of specs to support the listings I had provided. I declined at that point, as may be well imagined.