Design Specification

Published: September 30, 2017 | Last updated: October 31, 2023

What Does Design Specification Mean?

A design specification as the term suggests is a document that specifies the design requirements of a particular project. The document is prepared by the client after exhaustive research and contains highly detailed, specific requirements regarding the design that has to be closely adhered to till completion.

Since trenchless construction is carried out underground, design specifications are a very important part of the construction documents. A contractor must adhere to the design specifications as well as standard best practices in order to deliver a finished product that meets the client’s requirements.

The document also safeguards the contractor from any liabilities if there are any design-related issues during the construction process.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Design Specification

A design specification is an engineering document containing all the fundamental information required to do the work. It also includes the desired method to be used, the geological conditions that are likely to be encountered, and the environmental and safety requirements.

The design specifications, detailed drawings and bill of quantities contain all the technical requirements of the project and become the main mode of communication between the client and the contractor.

Clients’ Responsibility

A project owner is responsible for providing the contractor with the project drawings and specifications. The owner or client will also provide a geotechnical investigation report along with various boring and soil analysis logs, and a complete soil investigation report to determine the presence of rocks, cobbles, and boulders.

In order to facilitate the design of a trenchless project, and to identify sub-surface risks, adequate information of the subsurface should be made available to the designers. The client completes the design specifications of the proposed trenchless project with a licensed, professional geotechnical engineer.


Design and construction recommendations are provided in a logical sequence and complete details are given along with expected variations in actual conditions, safety factors, quality control, testing, and monitoring. Design recommendations are also provided for site grading and earthwork, slope stability, temporary shoring and retaining walls, rockeries and reinforced soil structures.

Engineering documents that create the framework for a trenchless project are very important for the control of work quality and the requirements that a contractor must adhere to. They also provide a sense of security to the contractor that the scope of the work has been properly assessed.


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