The use of construction specifications in Singapore

Tsun Ip Lam, Mohan M. Kumaraswamy, S. Thomas Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Singapore announced its Construction 21 Blueprint in 1999, which included quality improvement as one of the many initiatives aimed at making the construction industry more competitive and efficient. This has culminated in the development of the National Productivity and Quality Specification (NPQS), which was meant to provide a benchmark of desirable quality standards for construction works in Singapore. A survey was carried out in late 2002 before the launch of the NPQS to investigate the use of specifications in the then Singapore construction industry. A representative cross section of samples was taken to include clients, consultants and contractors in both the public and private sectors. Whilst interestingly different perceptions of the respondents were captured, the survey results show that there is indeed scope for improvement from both the drafting and usage viewpoints. On the drafting side, lack of co-ordination, ambiguities, irrelevant clauses and inappropriate standards were the frequently cited problems. On the usage side, specifications were not used as rigorous as they should be for controlling quality of works on site. Clients, in particular, were concerned with the late approvals of alternative material proposals. These findings point to the need for extra care and attention on the preparation and use of specifications as important project control documents, which always form part of the contracts executed in Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1079
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


  • Contracts
  • Design documentation
  • Singapore
  • Specifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of construction specifications in Singapore'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this