NZGS Guidelines

NZGS Specifications

A clear and effective specification is an essential tool to help ensure that projects achieve the objectives desired by the client, geotechnical designer and contractor. While project-specific specifications can be useful in accurately describing the exact requirements for each project, they result in a steep learning curve for contractors on each project where a new specification is encountered, risking errors, rework, and increasing costs.

Before using these specifications it is strongly recommended that you read the user guide NZGS_000Standard Specifications Users Guide

These specifications have been developed to cover geotechnical aspects of common civil engineering projects to:

  • Improve efficiency by reducing the need to create new specifications for every project.
  • Reduce risk from mistakes by introducing consistent expectations across projects.
  • Set standards for geotechnical works at a level that reduces project risk to acceptable levels by specifying good practice.

These specifications may be used as stand-alone documents for purely geotechnical projects, or integrated into a larger specification for projects with other elements.

These specifications have been developed to work as both:

  1. Complete specifications for projects that are purely within the scope of the individual specifications, by using the preliminary and general section alongside the relevant technical section(s).
  2. As part of a specification for projects that include work outside the scope of the individual specification, by using the technical section(s) as part of a larger suite of specification documents.

These specifications have been written to be compatible with NZS3910 contracts, but can be used with other similar contract forms.

The specifications are read-only, to encourage consistency between projects and to reduce the risk that can be introduced when customisations are made to the document which aren’t readily apparent to the contractor. Instead, project specific requirements which over-ride the main specification are provided in a short “Project-specific Specifications” document which describes the changes from the NZGS Specification.

The taxonomy for NZGS Standard Specifications is based on the UK Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement Revision 3 (CESMM3). This allows these documents to work alongside other specifications in the same series, or to work alongside other non-aligned specifications (including those commercially available in New Zealand) with only minor alterations.

CESMM3 divides common civil engineering works into the following main headings:

CESMM3 Section No.TopicCovered by NZGS SpecificationsSpecification linkProject specific specification link
100Preliminary and generalYesLinkLink
200Geotechnical investigationYesLinkLink
300Geotechnical and other specialist processesNo
400Demolition and site clearanceNo
600Concrete constructionNo
1100Tunnelling, boring and drillingNo
1200Brickwork, blockwork and masonryNo
1300Miscellaneous worksNo

It is expected that the geotechnical designer will select the appropriate sections of the specification.

Standard Specification numbers will be prefaced with “NZGS” (New Zealand Geotechnical Society Specification), for example, the Standard Specification for Preliminary and General Items will be NZGS_100. Project-specific Specifications will have the same number as the standard specification it complements with a “P” added at the end.  For example, the Project-specific Specification for Preliminary and General Items will be NZGS_100P.

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