Descriptive vs Prescriptive Specifications


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    Marie Samek

    Hi Lauren,

    According to the CSI Practice Handbook, Descriptive and Proprietary specifications are both types of Prescriptive specifications. Prescriptive specs provide the means to achieve the desired results (either by way of a describing them or by naming proprietary products that have the desired characteristics), whereas performance specs specify the results and not the means to achieve them. CSI PH gives an example to differentiate between the two: Specifying a "non-sag" ceiling hanger is using performance specifying, while saying "straightened No. 11 wire, tightly wrapped two times" is using descriptive specifying. 

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