Performance Specifications

A performance specification is a set of instructions that outlines the functional requirements for a completed facility, depending on the application.  A properly constructed performance specification centers on user needs instead of focusing on technical engineering parameters. Projects that may utilize a performance specification are often used to establish design criteria before the design has begun. This will allow for early decision-making and while obtaining consensus or agreement on the overall program and performance of the facility.

A performance specification is often produced to establish the selection of general requirements for building spaces, program capabilities, equipment preferences and building materials and finishes. Performance specifications are sometimes included with request for proposals on design-build projects allowing the design/build team to better understand the owner’s expectations for the completed facility.  Often design criteria will be spelled out within a performance specification.  Information that may be included with a performance specification for the swimming pool and its related systems may include the following:

  • Pool dimensional requirements both in plan and section
  • Specific programs and uses of the pool and the desired amenities that are required to meet these programmatic needs
  • Pool finish and material selections
  • Pool mechanical, filtration, and chemical treatment system preferences

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