LinkLine: Summer 2014

Building Systems Design, Inc. Releases Cloud-Based Specification SaaS 

Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) recently announced the availability of a cloud-based version of its flagship specifications product, BSD SpecLink-E. Dubbed “SLE Cloud,” this software service has all the advantages of the SQL Server database product that thousands of users have already installed on their local- and wide-area networks, with additional benefits attributable to Internet access. Released in conjunction with the national convention of the American Institute of Architects in Chicago, the new SLE Cloud is being demonstrated to AIA members at McCormick Center June 26-28 and concurrently to existing and prospective new customers via the worldwide web.

Continuous Updating of Specifications vs. Quarterly Updates: Why We Changed 

BSD adopted continuous updating of SpecLink-E (SLE) construction specifications to manage change more effectively and facilitate continuous improvement of our specifications. The need for this has never been more evident than in the world of construction as we begin this economic recovery. The one constant in our business is change.

The traditional method of maintaining master guide specifications for many years has been to issue quarterly updates. Other master guide specification suppliers still adhere to this outdated approach. The challenge with writing or updating a master guide specification is deciding when you are ‘finished.’ The fact is you are never truly finished. Technology, products, processes and building construction are constantly changing. Many veteran specification writers have been caught in the paralysis of analysis when writing a master guide specification. Issue dates slip for months and even years as sections are rewritten and reviewed repeatedly. In some cases guide specifications are out of date by the time the update is actually issued. Continuous updating allows us to make updates to our specifications while still performing more significant overhauls for new products, product types and construction processes. It gives SLE users the benefits of these changes as we make them rather than requiring them to wait for a quarterly release that quite often would run behind schedule. It also allows us to react quickly when necessary to global changes such as sustainability and code legislation. For instance, updating a reference standard can be done to all relevant sections without being added to or interfering with other work.

Continuous updating gives us the ability to update the SLE specification library whenever we need to. Whether an error is caught or a major update is required, we can, if necessary, circumvent our standard operational procedures and within minutes, have the correction in the ‘street’ version available for customers. Our users do not need to wait until the next quarterly release. I don’t know of any other master guide specification supplier that can make that claim. We do not often circumvent our own procedures but the ability is there when needed. SLE users have the option to accept updates whenever and how often they wish. If our users wish to plow through updates on a quarterly basis they can, or they can do so on a daily basis if they want to keep their master data and office masters as current as possible. Users can set their own time interval to receive updates.

Our Featured Manufacturers:

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

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

BSD Updates Master Specifications, Supporting Multiple Green Initiatives

Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) published, in June of this year, revisions to 116 specification sections related to sustainable design for architects and engineers. BSD SpecLink-E, BSD’s automated specification production system, has supported the various LEED rating systems published by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for many years. BSD’s latest sustainability updates support LEED v4 BD+C, USGBC’s most recent green rating system, but they also support other green initiatives, such as the Green Globes project developed by the nonprofit Green Building Initiative. BSD accomplishes this support of multiple green systems by organizing all relevant design issues into five categories:

About Your SpecLink-E and LinkMan-E Updates

Many sections in SpecLink-E have been updated this quarter and many new Revit assemblies, objects, and materials have been added to LinkMan-E. To see complete statistics about this update, just click the read more link below.

BSD Customer Case Study: 
BSD SpecLink Guides Fitts Architects Through Technical Decisions With Ease

Fitts Architects is a 10 person full-service architectural firm located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Founded by James H. Fitts III in 1957, Fitts Architects is the oldest architectural practice in West Alabama.

FittsHis son Evans Fitts joined the firm in 1992. Together they head an energetic team of design professionals committed to creating designs of distinction and forming lasting relationships with their clients.

The goal of the firm is to provide innovative architectural and interior design services that meet their clients’ requirements. Fitts strives to satisfy by truly understanding the client’s needs, working closely with them to find exemplary solutions, and providing thorough design documentation and follow up on each project.

About the New and Revised Sections

The Summer update of SpecLink-E contains several heavily revised sections. Read on to learn about the revisions...

Product Q&A

SpecLink-E

Q. I have a long section name in my footer on the right that keeps wrapping to the next line and throwing off my format. How can I keep the name on the right?
A. Depending on how you have your header or footer set up, some of the keywords can contain long strings of text, such as long section names. This could disrupt the format of the header or footer in a variety of ways, such as pushing centered data (page number) off-center, or long section names wrapping to the next line and forcing subsequent lines of data down another line. The solution? Use a table in the header or footer. In the toolbar of the Customize Header/Footer dialog you will now find a Table button. By inserting a table, you can keep all data in a specific location, say left, centered, or right – and if any of the data wraps to another line, it will wrap within that cell and thereby preserve the layout of the header or footer. In fact, by default, new projects in SpecLink-E include tables in the First Page Footer and Body Footer tabs. You can use these tables as they are, or use the tools in the Table button to change the layout of the table. Don’t want to use a table? Just remove it, and edit the footer the way you normally would. What if you have an older project that does not have the table in the footer? You can add one using the Table button. Text and keywords can be entered into tables in the footer the same way as without using a table. To switch a Header/Footer from or to using a table, it might be easier to use the Remove Header/Footer button and start the Header/Footer from scratch.