LinkLine: Fall 2014

LinkLine: Fall 2014

BSD SpecLink-E Is Now In the Cloud

Whether you are a specifications consultant in independent practice with an individual license currently running on a laptop or a large corporation with SQL servers and several hundred users, SLE-Cloud will save you time and money while improving productivity.

BSD started beta testing a cloud version of BSD SpecLink-E (aka SLE-Cloud) in the fourth quarter of 2013. A few long-time customers agreed to go along for the ride. On June 23rd, 2014, SLE-Cloud became available to all new and existing customers.

ACCESSIBILITY & CONVENIENCE:  Users worldwide can access SLE-Cloud from any location, from any device, at any time — provided they have an Internet connection. There are no known VPN or firewall issues. SLE-Cloud can be accessed from all major computer platforms anywhere an Internet connection is available (Windows, Macs, Linux, IOS (iPad/iPhone), and/or Android). Typically, SLE-Cloud is available and ready to use within 1 business day.

FUNCTIONALITY:  SLE-Cloud offers all of the features, advantages, and benefits of the SQL server based version of SLE.

UPDATES:  Software updates are handled by BSD at no additional cost to the customer. This ensures that both the user interface and the SpecLink data remain up-to-date, with no updates for the user to install — ever. The data in SLE Cloud is being updated continuously — just as the server based systems are — thus providing users with immediate access to the most current specification content available anywhere.

REDUCE SPENDING AND CAPITAL COSTS: Maintain easy access to your information with minimal upfront spending. Spend less on hardware and licensing fees. All hardware, software, and data maintenance and updating are the responsibility of BSD and not your IT department. All IT expenses are included in the annual subscription price -- which also provides unlimited telephone support.

LinkLine: Fall 2014

Communicating Continuous Updates To Our Users

As of March 2014, SLE specifications are updated constantly and continuously. We had no sooner started this revolutionary process than the question was asked "How do we communicate what has been updated to our users?"

Quarterly updates coincided with the quarterly newsletter. In each newsletter we would generally write a summary of each section that was updated. However, continuous updating has provided improved productivity. It is not inconceivable that every specification in SLE may be updated within a given quarter between newsletter releases. How we inform our users about these updates has posed a real challenge. We could inform our users about major updates through emails or by posting descriptions on our website, but where do you draw the line between a major and minor update?

Then we realized we had the data our users needed in our production management software. All we had to do is print it out. So that is what we have done.

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 the next few months, 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.

Links to the reports and the MS Excel download are below and they can be found on our website by clicking here.

Communicating 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.

Our intention is that within the next six months, the information in the continuous update reports and the catalog listings will be available in spreadsheet format on our website and users will be able to filter the data they wish to see in the way they wish to see it. Until that time, we have the reports described above.

LinkLine: Fall 2014

Our Featured Manufacturers:

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

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


Advanced Lightning Technology, ALT, was established in 1987 as a manufacturing and distribution company specializing in grounding and lightning protection components. Today, ALT is a second-generation, family owned, full fabrication facility focused on customer support and delivering competitively priced, quality products in a timely manner. ALT’s grounding products are featured in Section 26 0526 – Grounding and Bonding for Electrical Systems, and their lightning protection system products are featured in Section 26 4113 – Lightning Protection for Structures.


With a 60 year market history, Atrium Windows and Doors has built a reputation as a diverse manufacturer and distributor of residential vinyl and aluminum windows and patio doors for single-, multi-family and light commercial applications. Atrium serves the new construction and replacement/remodel markets, with a product portfolio under the flagship Atrium Windows and Doors brand, as well as a host of proprietary brands in select markets such as SilentGuard, North Star, Superior, and Thermal Industries. Products by Atrium Windows and Doors have been included in Section 085313 – Vinyl Windows.


California Expanded Metal Products Co., more commonly known as CEMCO, is the premier manufacturer of steel-framing and metal lath products and accessories in the United States. Since 1974, CEMCO has taken a leadership role in the steel framing and metal lath industries by pursuing innovative framing systems that give architects, engineers, and contractors cost effective solutions that save time and money. All of CEMCO’s products are manufactured from mill-certified, hot-dipped galvanized PRIME steel, giving the industry confidence that CEMCO’s products will perform as intended long after the project is finished. CEMCO products may be specified in Section 054000- Cold formed Metal Framing and Section 092216 – Non-Structural Metal Framing.


Draper Inc., international manufacturers of projection screens, window shades, and gymnasium equipment, has expanded its presence in BSD SpecLink-E  to include solar control solutions, with both interior and exterior shading system applications.  Available in manual and motorized versions, these louver systems can be tilted to provide effective solar control in just about any glazing situation: horizontal, inclined, vertical, or with any shape of window opening.  Some designs are completely retractable if there is no sun on the facade.  Custom automated motorized systems can deploy, tilt and retract as part of the building energy management controls.  To accommodate these products, new Section 107113 – Exterior Sun Control Devices has been added, as well as accompanying categories in Sections 122113 – Horizontal Louver Blinds and 122400 – Window Shades.


Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC, part of the Building Products division of Georgia Pacific, has added to their already significant Speclink presence: mold-, fire-, abuse-,  and impact-resistant gypsum wallboard and sheathing, as well as soffit board, tile backer and shaftliner products.  These new products are located in division 6 - Sections 061000, 061500, 061733, division 7 - Sections 075100, 075200 and 075400 and division 9 - Section 092116.

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

  • Quantum Vue web-based application for control and monitoring of Quantum network lighting control and/or Hyperion motorized window shade control systems; available in Sections 12 2509:LUT - Window Shade Control System – Lutron and 26 0943:LUT - Network Lighting Controls – Lutron.
  • Grafik T Series single touch LED dimmers with wireless communication inputs; available in Section 26 0924:LUT - Lighting Controls - Lutron Energi TriPak.
  • California Title 24 Acceptance Testing Service for network lighting control system; available in Section 26 0943:LUT - Network Lighting Controls – Lutron.



An independent, privately owned American manufacturer, Master Wall Inc. produces quality stucco, coatings and Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) for residential and commercial projects. Master Wall has applied more than 100 million square feet of surfacing products on all types of construction since its inception in 1987. Choose either a hard-coat stucco system with an optional air/water barrier, continuous insulation, rainscreen, and other modifiers – or – a barrier-type EIFS, either adhered or mechanically attached, with and without drainage options — and — complete with a textured coating product line that is available in a variety of colors and textures. Look for Master Wall's products in Section 072400 - Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems, Section 072500 - Weather Barriers, and Section 092400 - Portland Cement Plastering.


As a global supplier of complementary building products and services, Nystrom Inc. is the single-source solution for stair treads and nosings, expansion joint systems, louvers, entrance flooring systems, wall protection, smoke vents, fire safety, floor doors, access doors, roof hatches, and safety railing systems. Numerous examples of these companies’ products can be seen in Sections 055100, 077200, 079513, 083100, 102601, 104400 and 124813.


Pecora Corporation is an American manufacturer of architectural weatherproofing products offering a full line of silicone, urethane and latex sealants as well as concrete repair products. Pecora products are specifically formulated to provide superior quality and a wide range of sealant properties for the commercial construction and OEM (original equipment manufacturing) markets. Products are featured in Section 07 1800 - Traffic Coatings, 07 2500 - Weather Barriers, and  07 9005 - Joint Sealers.


A master weaver with more than 60 years of experience, Phifer Incorporated is a leader in the insect screen, solar control fabrics, drawn wire, engineered products, and designed fabrics industries. The popular SheerWeave interior sun control fabrics provide a sleek, functional and eco-friendly alternative to ordinary window coverings, effortlessly and elegantly managing the sun's harsh heat and blinding glare and helping control solar heat gain for a more comfortable environment, and they are specified in Section 122400 – Window Shades.


Manufacturing high-quality thermoplastic roofing systems for over fifty years, Sika Corporation produces a versatile series of Sarnifil® watertight, high performance membrane systems tailored to meet the specific needs and budgets for almost every type of application. Numerous examples of Sika's roofing products can be seen in Section 075400 - Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofing.


SWFcontract™, the commercial arm of Springs Window Fashions, is the leading full-line manufacturer of commercial window treatments. Their products have been installed in well over one million commercial buildings throughout North America, providing solutions for daylighting and glare control while addressing energy savings. In addition to offering commercial-grade manual and motorized solar shades, they also represent Bali aluminum horizontal blinds and Graber wood and alternative wood blinds and shutters, cellular and pleated shades, vertical blinds, and drapery hardware. Look for examples of their product line and optional accessories in Section 122113 – Horizontal Louver Blinds and Section 122400 – Window Shades.

Veris Industries is a leading supplier of environmental sensors and energy management solutions for HVAC, energy management, renewable energy, and industrial control applications, and is known for providing exceptional customer service and labor-saving designs. Veris Industries offers a complete line of innovative power monitoring solutions for both high density and single circuit applications. Basis of design single-circuit and multi-circuit metering products from Veris are featured in the new BSD Section 26 2713 – Electricity Metering.

Williams Brothers Corporation of America provides a full product line of access ladders and railings, floor and roof hatches, and architectural access doors for fire-rated, general purpose, recessed and specialty applications.  Products by this manufacturer can be found in Section 077200 – Roof Accessories and 083100 – Access Doors and Panels.

LinkLine: Fall 2014

Switchboard Or Switchgear: Selection Criteria

By Joe I. Moreland, PE, CSI (GA PE#26321)

Low voltage electrical service (1,000 volts or less) delivered to a building or facility is first fed into a switchboard or switchgear which in turn distributes power to successively smaller equipment until finally being connected to lights, receptacles, and other utilization equipment through individual circuits.

Whether a switchboard or switchgear is used depends on several factors including the type and size of the facility.

The term “switchgear” is often used incorrectly by architects, contractors, and engineers when generically referring to all low-voltage distribution equipment, including switchboards. However, switchboards and switchgear are designed and tested to different sets of standards. They have significant differences in capabilities, overcurrent protective devices, space requirements, and cost. The purpose of this article is to explain these differences.

Standards and Testing

Switchboards are designed and tested to NEMA PB 2 – Deadfront Distribution Switchboards and UL 891 – Switchboards.

Switchgear are designed and tested to IEEE C37.20.1 – Metal-Enclosed Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breaker Switchgear and UL 1558 – Switchgear.

The key difference in these standards is that UL 1558 switchgear requires additional testing to establish a short-time 30-cycle (0.5 second) withstand rating. The standard short circuit current rating test for UL 891 switchboards is only for 3 cycles (0.05 seconds).

The 30-cycle withstand rating for switchgear permits the use of circuit breakers without an instantaneous function, or with the ability to turn it off. This allows the circuit breaker to “wait” longer for downstream breakers closer to a fault to trip first, minimizing the extent of power outages. This design approach, referred to as “selective coordination”, is mandated by the NEC for emergency systems, legally required standby systems, and Critical Operation Power Systems, and can be desirable for facilities where power reliability is critical.

Overcurrent Protective Devices

Switchboards may utilize fusible switches, fused power-circuit devices (bolted-pressure contact switches or high-pressure butt contact switches), molded case circuit breakers (MCCBs), or insulated case circuit breakers (ICCBs).

Switchgear utilizes only low-voltage power circuit breakers (LVPCBs), which offer several advantages over MCCBs (and to a lesser extent ICCBs) utilized in switchboards:

  • Components of LVPCBs are accessible for inspection and maintenance, while MCCBs are sealed units with no component access (ICCBs may provide limited component access).
  • LVPCBs are drawout mount as standard, while MCCBs are generally fixed (ICCBs are available as fixed or drawout mount). Drawout construction permits the breaker to be removed for service while the switchgear is energized, minimizing down time.
  • LVPCBs are 100 percent rated as standard, while MCCBs and ICCBs are 80 percent rated as standard (100 percent rated breakers are available).
  • LVPCBs may be electrically operated for remote control schemes (ICCBs may also be electrically operated).
  • LVPCBs are designed to be more robust and endure more repetitive operations.

Space Requirements

Switchgear is larger and requires both front and rear access. Additional clearance must also be included to accommodate drawout circuit breaker racking. Rear-connected switchboards also require both front and rear access and may contain drawout circuit breakers. However, the space requirements for a traditional front-connected switchboard with fixed mount devices that can be mounted against a wall can be considerably less when compared to switchgear.

Arc Flash Considerations

The switchgear 30-cycle withstand rating mentioned earlier provides additional flexibility in regards to selective coordination. Unfortunately that flexibility means increased arc flash energy which is a safety concern for those working on the switchgear. Manufacturers continue to develop arc flash mitigation techniques for switchgear. Arc resistant switchgear, previously available only for medium-voltage applications, is becoming widely available for low-voltage applications. The arc resistant features are designed to redirect and channel arc flash energy up and away for increased worker safety.


Switchgear can be considerably more expensive than a traditional front-connected switchboard (up to three times as much). Rear-connected switchboards, though significantly more expensive than front-connected switchboards, are still less expensive than switchgear.

So Do You Use a Switchboard or a Switchgear?

The choice between switchboard and switchgear depends upon the application and, as always, cost weighs heavily in the decision. Switchgear is generally reserved for projects where the need for improved capabilities, reliability, and serviceability justify the additional cost (e.g. large scale manufacturing facilities, data centers, airports, convention centers, etc.).

Whichever one your project requires, BSD’s new Section 26 2300 – Low-Voltage Switchgear, together with BSD’s Section 26 2413 – Switchboards, which has recently been completely revised and updated, are sure to meet your specification needs.

One Last Comment; Arc Energy Reduction

The 2014 edition of the NEC (240.87) now requires arc energy reduction for all circuit breakers rated 1200 amps or higher, which are common in both switchboards and switchgear. The most cost effective solution for meeting this new requirement is an arc flash energy-reducing maintenance switch. This switch permits selection of a circuit breaker “maintenance mode” with alternate settings for reduced fault clearing time. Both BSD’s switchboard and low-voltage switchgear master guide specifications both contain this option.

About the Author:
Joe I. Moreland, PE, CSI (GA PE#26321)
Joe is a full time Specifications Writer for BSD. His responsibilities include Master Guide Specifications in Divisions 26, 27 and 28. He has been with BSD since 2010. Prior to BSD Joe worked as a Professional Electrical Engineering Consultant for 15 very successful years.

LinkLine: Fall 2014

About Your SpecLink-E and Linkman-E Updates

LinkLine: Fall 2014

BSD Customer Case Study: Krech, O’Brien, Muller and Wass Sees Immediate Benefits from Using BSD SpecLink-E

Krech, O’Brien, Muller and Wass (KOMW) is a unique collaboration of architects, structural engineers, interior designers and construction managers.



Established in 1985, KOMW has built a strong organization recognized for thoughtful design, comprehensive professional service, good value and unquestionable ethics.

The staff at KOMW knows that when individuals with a passion work as a team, great things can happen. They strive for responsible use of all ecological, human and financial resources as they collectively respond to programmatic issues, environmental forces, and social conditions. The results are aesthetically pleasing, functional, more productive and more healthful places for people to live and work.

The professionals at KOMW specialize in community and educational facilities, churches and faith-based buildings, multi- and high-end single family homes, clinics, offices and interiors, veterinary hospitals, production and industrial facilities, agricultural buildings, and greenhouses. They have diverse experience with construction delivery from competitive bid to design-build, construction management, and hybrid approaches. Through collaboration with professional consultants, they can provide for every requirement for new projects, adaptive reuse, alterations, and additions. Their projects have construction budgets ranging from $1,000 to $25 million.


The Need
Time is another valuable resource that the staff at KOMW wanted to use responsibly. They knew that their time was ultimately their client's time. By utilizing an automated system, they were able to produce specifications faster than with a manual system.

But the process they were using had some drawbacks. Any updates had to be copied from project to project. Not only did this take additional time, they also had to hope they didn't forget to do this. Formatting — which should be a simple process — could take hours. In 1996 they evaluated SpecLink. One look and they knew it would help them achieve the time savings they needed.


The Solution — the word processing files used to take 12-16 hours per project. With SpecLink it now takes 1-2 hours to format our specifications. I can set the formatting once and use it for almost all of our projects." He remembers that with the word processing system he always had to be concerned with headers and footers, as well as the outline numbering. The page formatting and numbering are always right with SpecLink.

DiGiorno was impressed with how easy SpecLink was to learn. "A normal project would take me about 40 hours. When I did my first project with SpecLink, I thought it would take additional time. However – even with a learning curve — I was able to complete it in the same amount of time. Our savings were immediate." Now that he has become more proficient with SpecLink, he says, "We are regularly saving 25%-30% on all of our projects. The formatting we have set up for the various project types is always there."


The Outcome
Formatting was not the only area where KOMW saw time savings. They also saw it in initial project set-up. DiGiorno credits this to the way the linking works. "Any documents referenced in our office master always have a link to the related standards section and referenced documents," he says. KOMW has set up 3-4 “masters” for their various projects and construction types. DiGiorno says, “When we add a new requirement to a master – it’s always there for the next project.”

LinkLine: Fall 2014

About The New and Revised Sections

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

Section 26 2300 - Low-Voltage Switchgear

Drawout; 600 V and less; low-voltage power circuit breakers.

This section includes metal-enclosed low-voltage drawout switchgear complying with IEEE C37.20.1 and listed to UL 1558, along with associated low-voltage power circuit breakers and accessories. Switchgear and switchboards, which are covered in Section 26 2413 (16442) – Switchboards, are designed and tested to different sets of standards, with significant differences in capabilities, overcurrent protective devices, space requirements, and cost.

Section 26 2713 - Electricity Metering

For owner metering; single and multi-circuit types.

This section includes microprocessor based digital equipment for owner electricity metering:

  • Single circuit electricity meters.
  • Multi-circuit electricity meters.

Electricity meters in this section may be configured for use for a variety of applications, including submetering for multi-tenant buildings, load monitoring and cost allocation for industrial facilities, and energy monitoring and data logging for facilities seeking sustainable design certification such as LEED. They may be configured for connection to other systems such as building automation or electrical power monitoring systems for remote monitoring.


Section 26 2413 - Switchboards

This section has been almost entirely revised to include updated and expanded information. Part 1 includes new articles “ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS” and "FIELD CONDITIONS." The existing Part 2 articles "SURGE PROTECTIVE DEVICES," "AMMETERS AND VOLTMETERS," "METER TRANSFER SWITCHES," "POWER METERS," "METERING TRANSFORMERS," and "ACCESSORIES" have been deleted and associated content has been relocated to existing article "SWITCHBOARDS." Requirements for circuit breakers and fusible switches have been relocated to new article "OVERCURRENT PROTECTIVE DEVICES." Part 3 includes new articles "EXAMINATION," "CLOSEOUT ACTIVITIES," and "PROTECTION." The previous article "PREPARATION" has been deleted. The section also includes extensive new master note content, which specifiers should find very helpful when editing.

LinkLine: Fall 2014

Product Q & A

BSD SpecLink-E

Q. Is SpecLink-E available in the cloud? What advantages would I see in the cloud-based version?

A. In addition to standalone and server installations of SpecLink-E, yes -- you can now get BSD SpecLink-E on the cloud. You still get the same features you see in the current version of SpecLink-E. Additional features include the ability to access SpecLink-E from any device that provides Internet access, including Apple laptops, desktops, iPads and iPhones, Android tablets and phones, as well as Windows-based devices. There are no known firewall issues, and multiple users can easily collaborate on any project, regardless of where they happen to be located on the globe. Another major advantage of SLE Cloud is all hardware, software, and data maintenance and updating are the responsibility of BSD, so all IT expense is included in the annual subscription price -- which also provides unlimited telephone support. Additional information can be found in a separate article here.

Q. Where is the quarterly update to SpecLink-E?

A. Updates to SpecLink-E are no longer on a quarterly update schedule. In the past, software updates and database updates were bundled together into quarterly releases that had to be downloaded and installed by users. Now, database updates are published regularly by BSD, on almost a daily basis, and can be received by users at a frequency set by each customer (but not less than once per quarter). Software updates will now be released on a separate schedule that allows more flexibility in the timing of improvements and enhancements. Customers will be notified when a new software update is released.



Q. I created a LinkMan group and connected my Revit project to it, but I only see two tabs instead of 6. Where did the other tabs go?

A. In the current version of LinkMan-E (, LinkMan defaults to a basic view which shows only the Products Dashboard and the Revit Project tab. To view the other tabs, click the Advanced button on the View tab. You can toggle between the Basic and Advanced view at any time.

Q. Does LinkMan support Revit 2015?

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


BSD CostLink/AE

Q. I noticed that the quarterly update schedule of SpecLink-E has changed. Will the update schedule for new versions of CostLink/AE also change?

A. Updates to CostLink/AE will remain the same, which is a single update in the spring. CostLink/AE customers will be notified when a new version of the program becomes available.


Software Support

Q. What do I need to do to take advantage of the free tech support that comes with my software subscription?

A. We provide several ways for you to benefit from the free tech support that comes with your subscription. If you are in BSD SpecLink-E or BSD LinkMan-E, go to the My Start Page and click the “Email Technical Support” link to bring up a web form. If you are on BSD's website, click For Customers, Technical Support, and click the “Click Here” link to get the web form. Where does this web form go? It goes to our entire Tech Support department, where the next person available will reply with a solution. Of course, you can always call the toll-free number (1-800-266-7732) for assistance.