Generally, specifications are part of the contract between the contractor and the owner and are the major communication tool to convey the requirements and expectations of a construction or demolition project. They specify the requirements for the products, workmanship, and materials. For small projects the specifications are often written into the drawings. For large projects, the specifications are separate from the drawings, but still a part of the contract documents. In this case, the drawings and the specification are cross-referenced; dimensions and spatial relationships are shown in the drawing, while the description of the products and processes are written in the specification.

In the United States, specifications are typically organized according to the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) Master-Format. Previous editions of the CSI Master-Format were divided into about 16 divisions, the 2004 editions uses 40, and the information is organized within each section.

Specifications can also be used to specify the conditions and requirements for diverting C&D materials. If the conditions are not met, the contractor may be held legally accountable.

C&D Waste Management Specifications

CalRecycle has developed a sample C&D Waste Management Specification with a default diversion goal of 75 percent. In most areas this should be achievable with adequate planning. However, these specs should not be used “as is.” Each project is unique and the specs should be modified to meet the needs for each specific project.

Specifications for the Use of Recycled Aggregate Base and Subbase

Recycled aggregate, usually referred to as crushed miscellaneous base (CMB) can be used in place of mined virgin aggregate, crushed aggregate base (CAB).

  • Caltrans Specifications-The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) provides specifications for the use of CMB on road projects.
  • The Greenbook (Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction) is used by many jurisdictions in Southern California. Section 200-2.4 addresses the requirements for crushed miscellaneous base (Greenbook 2006).

For more information contact: C&D Program Staff, cdrecycling@calrecycle.ca.gov