LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

January 2015 Release of BSD SpecLink-E and BSD LinkMan-E

The latest software releases from Building Systems Design include groundbreaking new capabilities that should be greatly beneficial to our customers. One of the most exciting changes in SpecLink-E is a more sophisticated and innovative updating capability for existing projects, which differentiates between edited and unedited text to provide automatic updates for the latter and colored "flags" for the former. The modified updating scheme thus avoids making any changes to the current text in a project while simultaneously alerting the user to possible changes and providing the most up-to-date information for additional decision-making. This new updating approach is described in more detail in a separate article elsewhere in this newsletter.

Another significant change in the SLE software is the ability for BSD to change section titles and numbers without “orphaning” the sections in existing projects, such as office masters. Previously, BSD could change a section title but had to be careful to make corresponding changes in other locations that referenced the section. However, it was not possible to change a section number without converting that section in an existing project into a user section, divorced from future updating.

Why is this new capability even needed? Why would it ever be necessary to change a section title or section number? For one thing, MasterFormat, CSI’s master list of sections and titles, periodically undergoes updates and adjustments. Previously, when MasterFormat changes were made in an existing group of sections, it was extremely difficult or impossible for BSD to quickly follow suit, so some BSD sections were not in full conformance with the latest version of MasterFormat. Another reason for changing a section’s title and/or its MasterFormat number is a significant change in its content. BSD is constantly updating section data, and sometimes this involves substantial additions and other changes to the content of a section. In these circumstances, sometimes a change in section identity is warranted.

This new section ID changing ability not only allows BSD to modify section titles and numbers without converting existing project sections into user-added sections, it also takes care of all cross references automatically. Of course, any new project always includes the latest data installed on the user’s server, including any new section numbers. But now, in existing projects such as an office master, if a user accepts an update to a section number, the new software will automatically convert all other references in the project to the new number. This is a significant achievement, because the database currently includes over 20,000 section cross references. Moving forward, BSD will shortly begin the process of making the necessary adjustments to bring all 700 sections into full conformance with MasterFormat.

Corporate subscribers will now have additional security for their specifications, because the latest versions of SpecLink-E and LinkMan-E include a new login screen that requires a user ID and password. This is another significant improvement, because previously the login identity was established based on the name of the machine from which SLE was accessed. While this was sometimes convenient, the previous scheme prevented someone from leaving a checked out section at the office and later continuing to work on it from home. Under the new security scheme, a user will always have the same identity, regardless of which machine he or she is using. User settings and preferences such as dialog sizes and locations will also follow individual users when they log in on different machines. Another new corporate feature is the ability to “lock” a project, preventing any changes at all, including all marking and updating, until the lock is removed by a person with System Manager status.

The new release includes many other improvements, which are described more fully in the release notes that accompany the software. For example, users can now merge and split cells in a table and can also use numbers as well as letters in user-defined tags. There is also a new tag for proprietary products – PP – and paragraphs so tagged are visible in LinkMan-E.

As always, we expect that the many improvements we have made in the software will benefit our customers in many ways, making their work smoother and more efficient as well as more up-to-date. We welcome feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

Communicating Continuous Updates To Our Users

(See also the 2014 Fall Newsletter Article of the same title for more information)

As of March 2014, SLE specifications are updated constantly and continuously. Prior to this, quarterly updates coincided with the quarterly newsletter. In each newsletter we would generally write a summary of each section that was updated.

Now, you can go directly to the SpecLink-E Catalog Listings and Updates page. We supply you links to where you can get a list of the updates for each section, either in PDF or spreadsheet format.

SLE has five types of updates, which we have listed below with descriptions of each type. Note that a "new" section will remain "new" until it receives its first update.

Update Type      Description
New Section:     A new section was added to SpecLink-E.
Ref. Standard:   Updated reference standard and section content reviewed; updated accordingly.
Mfr. / Product:    Updates to manufacturer product information and any subsequent content information.
Quick-N-Easy:     Minor updates that affect the content and error management.
Internal:             Content update. Any content update beyond minor changes requiring research and collaboration.

Below is a snippet of the update report for Sections 040511 and 04200. Users can see at a glance what has happened to each section since we started the continuous updating process in March of 2014.


















For an interim period, we will have available for download quarterly PDF update reports and a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet report of all updates for all sections for all quarters since March 2014. It is our plan to eventually have this data available, filterable, sortable, printable and downloadable on the website.

Catalog Listings

Catalog listings will be updated monthly and can be found on our website here. We have a comprehensive listing of sections, listings by specific categories, and listings by division. As in the continuous updating reports, a section is "new" until it gets updated. Prior to continuous updating a section was "new" for a quarter.

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

Our Featured Manufacturers:

BSD gives building product manufacturers the opportunity to explain to SpecLink users the advantages of their products. The winter 2014-15 update adds or expands the listings of nine featured manufacturers.

The following is a complete list of new and featured manufacturers in the winter 2014-15 update:

Andersen Windows, Inc. is a part of Andersen Corporation; the largest window and door manufacturer in North America. The flagship Andersen® brand is the most recognized and most used brand in the window and patio door industry. In addition to the Andersen brand, Andersen Corporation includes Renewal by Andersen window replacement, Silver Line, American Craftsman brand windows and doors, Eagle Window & Door Manufacturing, and Andersen® Storm Doors. Andersen products have been included in Sections 08 1423-BSD – Clad Windows, 08 3200-BSD – Sliding Glass Doors, 08 5200-BSD – Wood Windows, and 08 5400-BSD – Composite Windows.

Behr Process Corporation, subsidiary of Masco Corporation, is one of the largest suppliers of the highest quality architectural paint and exterior wood care products to the United States and Canada, manufacturing paints, decorative finishes, primers, stains, and surface preparation products. The company is dedicated to serving architects, specifiers, and the professional design community through its BEHRPro® products and architectural services programs. Many of Behr’s products carry MPI™ approvals and GREENGUARD® certifications, which contribute to the creation of healthier interior environments. Look for Behr Paints in Section 09 9000-BSD – Painting and Coating.

Continental Building Products (formerly Lafarge North America Inc.'s gypsum division) is a leading North American manufacturer of gypsum wallboard, joint compound, and complementary finishing products. The Company is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia with operations serving the residential, commercial, and the repair and remodel construction markets primarily in the eastern United States and eastern Canada. These new products are located in Section 09 2116-BSD - Gypsum Board Assemblies.

Karona Inc. is the leading manufacturer of stile and rail wood doors. Offering endless designs and wood species, Fire Rated doors up to 90 minutes and fire rated frames, and products to meet LEED credits and STC ratings,  Karona has the style and quality to match any project. Karona has full capabilities for factory machining of hardware as well as factory finishing. Products by this manufacturer can be found in Section 08 1433-BSD - Stile and Rail Wood Doors.

New products and features are now available from Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.:

  • Lighting controls for standalone applications; available in new Section 26 0936:LUT – Modular Dimming Controls – Lutron.
  • Wiring devices including dimmers, switches, fan speed controllers, receptacles, wallplates, and various wireless accessories; available in new Section 26 2726:LUT – Wiring Devices – Lutron.
  • Maestro 0-10 V dimmer occupancy sensors; available in Section 26 0923:LUT – Lighting Control Devices – Lutron.
  • Occupancy sensors for high bay applications; available in Section 26 0943:LUT – Network Lighting Controls – Lutron.

Metal Roof Innovations, Ltd. S-5®! Attachment Solutions is a manufacturer of attachment systems for metal roofs. S-5!® Attachment Systems have become the standard for attaching snow retention devices, photovoltaic systems, utility attachments, and nearly every conceivable accessory to metal roofs. The non-penetrating aluminum clamp products cause no damage to the roof material or finish and are independently load tested on nearly every metal roof profile manufactured around the world. S-5!® products may be specified in Sections 07 7200-BSD - Roof Accessories and 26 3100-BSD - Photovoltaic Collectors.

National Gypsum Company is one of the largest gypsum board producers in the world. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, the company is a full-line supplier, recognized in the industry for customer service and product quality. Products by this company include Gold Bond® Brand gypsum board, ProForm® Brand drywall finishing products, PermaBase® Brand Cement Board, an XP® family of abuse, impact, mold, and moisture resistant products, eXP® Extended Exposure fiberglass mat interior and exterior products, and SoundBreak XP®, an acoustically-enhanced gypsum board, and the products can be specified in Sections 07 5400-BSD - Thermoplastic Membrane Roofing and  09 2116-BSD – Gypsum Board Assemblies.

Owens Corning is a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. A market-leading innovator of glass-fiber technology, Owens Corning’s featured insulation products include FOAMULAR® Extruded Polystyrene (XPS),  EcoTouch® PINK® FIBERGLAS™, and 700 Series FIBERGLAS™,  as well as pipe and duct insulations such as VaporWick® Pipe Insulation and QuietR® Rotary Duct Liner. These products may be specified in Sections 07 2100-BSD - Thermal Insulation, 07 5400-BSD - Thermoplastic Membrane Roofing, 22 0719-BSD - Plumbing Piping Insulation, 23 0713-BSD - Duct Insulation, and 23 0719-BSD - HVAC Piping Insulation.

PROFLEX Products, Inc. manufactures state-of-the-art products that can assist with water vapor reduction, sound control, and crack suppression, when installed as part of complete finish flooring system. The membranes are specially designed to be used under thinset and mudset mortars and adhesives. PROFLEX membranes are ideal for interior and exterior applications of finished flooring, including ceramic tile, stone brick, and for interior applications of wood and other flooring. Look for these products in Division 9 Sections 09 0561-BSD - Common Work Results for Flooring Preparation, 09 3000-BSD – Tiling, 09 6500-BSD - Resilient Flooring, and 09 6800-BSD – Carpeting.


LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

Updating in SLE Now More Automated

Last year we replaced quarterly updating of data and software with continuous, on-line data updates and periodic software replacements. This year we are further improving the way data updates are incorporated into existing projects. Our goal has always been to provide the most up-to-date and accurate data possible without altering or otherwise interfering with our users’ existing projects – while requiring the least possible effort. This latest release of BSD SpecLink-E incorporates several significant new capabilities that continue BSD’s progress in that direction.


As always, any new project is based on the very latest data. Existing projects are now updated in a slightly different way, automatically incorporating new information while preventing any changes to the selected or active text. Any section in BSD’s master data not included in a project or not containing any user edits is automatically updated. Active sections and inactive sections containing user edits (such as edited office master sections not needed for a particular project) are treated differently from sections that have not been edited. New master paragraphs are added to these sections but are never selected automatically. Paragraphs not currently active that have been modified in screenshot2smallthe BSD master are also updated automatically in the project -- edited paragraphs are replaced and deleted paragraphs are removed, unless they have user-added subparagraphs. In both active and inactive sections, active paragraphs (or paragraphs selected but currently inactive) that would be affected by the update are never altered but are automatically flagged, allowing the user to see each potential update and accept or reject it. The flags are orange and red, indicating altered text and deleted text, respectively.

BSD master paragraphs that have been modified by BSD are marked in a project by turning the status columns orange (an orange flag). Project paragraphs that have been deleted from the BSD master data are flagged by red status columns and are converted to user text. Right-clicking on a flagged paragraph opens a dialog box that shows the current text and the potential update and allows its acceptance or rejection. There is also a new dialog box when the updated project is first opened that allows global acceptance of orange-flagged edits and red-flagged deletions. The net effect of these changes is greater assurance that our users have the very latest information available to them, even in ongoing projects such as office master projects. On the other hand, the changes to updating will never alter the text of an existing project without the user’s concurrence.


LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

About Your SpecLink-E Updates


Sections in Each Catalog

  • Design Criteria Catalog -- 125
  • A = Architectural -- 447
  • S = Structural -- 169
  • C = Civil -- 198
  • L = Landscape -- 167
  • M = Mechanical / Electrical -- 324
  • Comprehensive -- 657

Design Criteria Statistics

  • 32 sections total 
  • 21 updated DC sections
  • 13,837 paragraphs
  • 9,614 internal links (targets and consequences)
  • 2,387 notes to specifier
  • 620 notes with live hyperlinks
  • 215 external documents referenced
  • 50 ASTMs referenced
  • 270 standards organizations referenced

Construction Specification Statistics

  • 657 total sections
  • 632 non-proprietary sections
  • 25 proprietary sections
  • 512 non-proprietary sections updated
  • 22 proprietary sections updated
  • 81% of total sections updated
  • 81% of all non-proprietary sections updated
  • 88% of all proprietary sections updated
  • 163,063 paragraphs
  • 171,608 links
  • 46,454 notes to specifier
  • 43,709 notes with live hyperlinks
  • 2,122 external documents referenced
  • 996 ASTM documents referenced
  • 1,126 other documents and standards referenced
  • 87 newly-referenced standards
  • 239 standards organizations referenced
  • 530 sections with manufacturers listed
  • 1,172 unique manufacturers listed

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

BSD Customer Case Study: Miller Sellers Heroux Architects Saves Significant Time Using SpecLink-E

Miller Sellers Heroux Architects is a 13 person architectural firm located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Their three architects have over 98 years of experience among them.

casestudy msha biggerThis gives their firm a broad base of experience and expertise with many different types of projects.

Clients work directly with the owners of the firm. They are the clients’ personal design advocates from concept to completion. They believe their primary role is to listen to their clients – and they advocate an open, interactive design process. Every client and every project is unique! Their goal is to bring fresh thoughts to each project, giving them their own distinct look and personality.

And the entire staff at Miller Sellers Heroux strives to exceed client expectations at every point of contact, from the first time they sit down to discuss the project to the day the client moves into their new building.

The team at Miller Sellers Heroux guides clients through all stages of the design and build process. This includes planning and evaluation, providing schematic design and construction documents, bidding process and contract administration, and training in facility system operations and maintenance. Cost estimates are provided early and at each step of design to help clients make informed ‘best value’ decisions each step of the way.

The Need

Over the years Miller Sellers Heroux Architects has used several methods for specification writing. At one time, they were outsourcing this part of their business. Then they decided to bring the spec writing back in-house and acquired a word processing-based software program. While this was preferable to outsourcing, they were still not completely satisfied.  

According to Dave Sellers, vice president, “Our previous program would ask a lot of questions, then delete paragraphs based on your answers to the questions. We still had to do a lot of ‘cutting and pasting’ and deleting.  This minimized the effectiveness of answering the questions.”  

On their website, Miller Sellers Heroux has a list of standards that they recommend clients use in selecting an architectural firm. The criteria they list includes experience, philosophy, references and level of service. They used many of the same criteria when selecting specification-writing software for their firm.

In 2002 they took a look at SpecLink. Sellers says, “SpecLink had the features we were looking for.”

The Solution

SpecLink’s editing process was one of the features Sellers liked best. “SpecLink does automatic selections – which saves us a tremendous amount of time over our previous method,” he notes. “Even better, is the SpecLink intelligent linking function that automatically turns off potentially conflicting paragraphs – based on other choices I have made earlier. These same intelligent links alert me to relevant options that I should consider selecting, based on previous choices. Edit by selection is MUCH easier than edit by deleting.”

Sellers estimates that since they began using SpecLink their time savings have been around 40%. And while the editing features have played a large part in those time savings – they have also saved time by using the model projects. Sellers says, “What I like best about SpecLink are the model projects that BSD supplies for free – right out of the box. We have saved SIGNIFICANT time using these model projects to jump start our own internal office master. Model Projects are ‘pre-edited’ projects that are based on different building types. They are great for more rapidly developing office masters.”

The Outcome

Miller Sellers Heroux Architects works on a wide variety of projects, including commercial, industrial, institutional, educational and governmental. Some of their favorite projects where they used SpecLink were for schools. They used an Office Master they had created for school specifications. Sellers says, “It worked wonderfully!”

Sellers also liked the fact that they were able to be up and running quickly with SpecLink. He says, “SpecLink is extremely easy to learn! The updated, Word-compatible version makes it even better.” And if Sellers ever has questions? “Tech support has been great – it is second to none!"

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

About The New and Revised Sections

As of winter 2014-15, SpecLink-E contains several heavily revised sections. Read on to learn about the revisions.

Section 08 1423 - Clad Wood Doors

This new section provides criteria to specify wood veneer, hardboard, and aluminum clad wood doors. The quality level may be based is either the AWS or the WDMA I.S1-A standards. The door cladding options are described in detail with various interior wood facings, door glazing’s, and exterior aluminum cladding finishes. Use of this section applies to exterior entry doors for multi-family, high-end residential, and commercial applications.

Section 08 5400 - Composite Windows

This new section specifies residential and commercial quality windows consisting of a hollow extruded composite material. This composite is 40 percent wood fiber and 60 percent thermoplastic polymer by weight and has twice the strength of vinyl. These windows may be specified using the NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard) for window product types, and performance class and grades. The section applies to various standard window types, such as; casement, awning, hung, and sliding.

Section 26 0936 - Modular Dimming Controls - Lutron

Lutron standalone lighting control system.

This section includes lighting controls featuring basis of design products from Lutron Electronics Company, Inc. This section is similar to existing Section 26 0943 – Network Lighting Controls – Lutron except 26 0936 is limited to simple standalone system components where 26 0943 includes components for complex whole building systems with centralized PC control and monitoring. The section also includes an optional checklist, which can be used to pre-edit the spec based on the system scope choices selected. Key system scope choices include:

  • System may control both lights and shades or lights only.
  • System control may utilize both dimming and switching or switching only.
  • System may utilize wired or wireless sensors, or both.

Except for Lutron's Sivoia® QS motorized roller shades, which are located in existing BSD Section 12 2400 - Window Shades, the section includes most of the key components necessary to specify a complete Lutron lighting and shading control system:

  • Fluorescent Electronic Dimming Ballasts and LED Drivers:  3-wire and digital control.
  • Lutron Grafik Eye® QS main units.
  • Lutron Energi Savr Node™ lighting control modules.
  • Lutron EcoSystem® digital dimming ballast and switching modules.
  • Control Stations:  Wall controls, wireless (RF) and infrared (IR) remotes.
  • Sensors:  Occupancy/vacancy and daylight sensors; wired and wireless.
  • Power and low-voltage control interfaces.

The section also includes various available Lutron services and the "Warranty" article includes Lutron's options for warranty coverage.

Section 26 2726 - Wiring Devices - Lutron

Lutron dimmers, switches, receptacles, wallplates, and accessories.

This section includes wiring devices and associated accessories featuring basis of design products from Lutron Electronics Company, Inc. The section also includes an Optional Checklist, which can be used to pre-edit the spec based on the system scope choices selected. For most efficient use of built-in links, follow the Specifying Strategy in the Optional Checklist.

Devices include:

  • Mechanical wall switches; paddle and slider types.
  • Wall dimmers and electronic switches; preset, single touch, and slider types; includes wired wall dimmers and switches with wireless communication inputs
  • Fan speed controllers; preset and slider types
  • Receptacles; includes full and half dimmable models
  • Accessory low voltage devices; includes jacks for telephone, coaxial cable, and fiber)
  • Wallplates; screwless type with concealed mounting hardware
  • Wireless control stations for use with wireless devices
  • Load control modules for wireless control stations
  • Power interfaces

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

Product Q & A


Q. I just upgraded to the latest version of SpecLink-E. How can I open my old SpecLink+ projects in SpecLink-E?

A. The Copy from SpecLink+ function has been removed from SpecLink-E. If you have SpecLink+ project files that need to be converted to SpecLink-E, contact BSD Support to send the files to us. With no project open in SpecLink-E, click File and then Copy from SpecLink+. You will be presented with a link to a web page prompting you to fill out a survey for uploading projects to be imported from SpecLink+.

Q. It seems I can only use letters when I create a User Defined Tag, even though I see some master Requirements tags with numbers. Why is that?

A. Previous versions of SpecLink-E only allowed the use of letters in User Defined tags. Beginning in the January 2015 version of SpecLink-E (, you can now use a 2-character combination of letters and numbers.

Q. What resources are available for specifying for sustainable design in SpecLink-E?

A. Previous versions of SpecLink-E contained sections to assist in specifying for LEED, and recently sections were added to assist in specifying for LEED v4 BD+C. You can find more information in our Specifier’s Library, particularly on our web page for Specifying Courses ( You may want to bookmark this page, and check back often as additional guidance may be added to SpecLink-E in between software updates.


Q. Is there some kind of tutorial for getting started using LinkMan-E?

A. We offer live webinars that get users started on the basics of LinkMan-E. They are free and last about 1 hour, and are held on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. EST. You can find sign up information on our website at

Q. Does LinkMan support Revit 2015?

A. The current versions of LinkMan-E ( and do support Revit 2015, as well as earlier versions of Revit (2009 through 2014).


Q. Why am I getting an error that CostLink cannot find the database, when I open older estimates?

A. If you are getting the error “cannot find the 2012 Means AE Assemblies database” (where the year could be different in your case), likely you have moved the CostLink installation to a new system and have installed from the newest release or download file. If this is the case, contact Technical Support (1-800-266-7732). We can assist with getting the prior years’ databases installed to your system so that you can open the older cost models.

Software Support

Q. I need to move the installation of BSD software to another machine. Will it require a new license?

A. BSD customers get free Tech Support with their subscriptions, and that includes guidance on moving the installation to a new PC or server. When the software is moved, it will require that the license be transferred to the new location (a new license code).

LinkLine: Winter 2014-15

New In SpecLink-E: Weather Shield Premium Series Collection

weathershield logo

Since 1955 Weather Shield has earned a strong reputation for producing stunning windows and doors that perform to the highest standards. Our expertise reaches beyond residential products to provide innovative and flexible solutions weathershield2for the commercial markets, including a comprehensive line of products and services for all your new construction and renovation projects.

The Weather Shield Premium Series is our most comprehensive collection of Aluminum Clad Wood Windows, Patio and Sliding Doors. With a vast array of options, accessories and upgrades, you can explore the limits of your creativity.

  • Offering 12 standard and 45 designer exterior colors, and 8 anodized finishes, as well as custom finishes.
  • Rich wood interiors in 7 species and 7 finish options. Available with FSC certified wood.  
  • Elegant shapes and monumental sizes to create dramatic window combinations.
  • Grille options: between-the-glass, simulated divided light and removable wood grilles.
  • Multiple interior and exterior trims available.
  • Extensive offering of energy efficient glass.