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Press Releases

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

June 23, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today 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.

Because all the software is installed remotely, subscribers to the cloud-based version can access BSD 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 the fact that 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.

BSD SpecLink-E includes a massive database of over 640 master guide specifications for building projects that can be collapsed or expanded to produce outline, short form, or full construction specifications. BSD recently replaced quarterly updating of the SpecLink data with on-demand updates and automatic updating that can be set at any frequency desired, including daily downloads. The data in SLE Cloud will be updated constantly and thus will be providing users with immediate access to the most current specification content available anywhere. Because the underlying software employs a relational database that adds new or revised information as separate records instead of deleting obsolete data, the updates are automatically included in any new project but can be ignored, globally accepted, or considered individually in any project that is already underway.

Robert Paul Dean, FAIA, FCSI, is president of BSD and an enthusiastic proponent of this latest labor-saving iteration of the company’s premier product. According to Dean, “SLE Cloud offers significant but different advantages to both the smallest and the largest architectural and engineering firms. Small companies will appreciate the fact that specifications can now be prepared in the office or at home on the weekends without the need to carry a laptop back and forth. Large companies with multiple offices will be able to standardize their specifications from one location to the next and collaborate with consultants wherever they happen to be.”

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over twenty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. BSD was acquired by The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) in 2010. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

Building Systems Design, Inc. Updates Master Specifications, Supporting Multiple Green Initiatives

June 9, 2014

Atlanta, Georgia -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced publication of 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:

  • Location: Requirements intrinsic to location, such as access to transit or use of a brownfield site
  • Design Phase: Topics related to activities during project design, such as site master planning
  • Post-Construction: Occupancy issues, such as green power offsets and “no smoking” policies
  • Design Embodiment: Performance issues such as daylighting, views, and energy usage
  • Contract Documents: Requirements explicitly included on drawings and/or in specifications, such as site boundaries for vegetation protection and contractor’s quality procedures

In general, BSD places the sustainable design requirements in each applicable specification section, rather than gathered together in a single section, so they can address the issues independently of which rating system is being used on a particular project. For example, in the specification section dealing with indoor air quality controls, BSD includes provisions relevant to prerequisites and credits under LEED rating systems without mentioning LEED at all.

BSD SpecLink-E is built on a relational database, rather than word processing files, so BSD has built into the database over 170,000 “intelligent links” that help to edit project specifications based on decisions made by the user. This linking feature is especially helpful when a design professional wishes to pursue certification under a particular green rating system. By activating Section 01 3329 – Sustainable Design Reporting, a user can simply select the desired rating system, make further choices from the options presented, and the built-in links will automatically activate related provisions in other spec sections. When all necessary specification sections have been fully edited, the system can print a submittals report that lists all sections in the project requiring submittal of sustainable design documentation.

Subscribers to BSD SpecLink-E can automatically download and install the hundreds of paragraphs involved in this sustainability update through a new software feature. Instead of quarterly updates that replace the entire master database, BSD’s new system lets users choose to have updates downloaded as frequently as daily -- but not less often than quarterly – or to download and apply all available updates to the master database within a few minutes.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over twenty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. BSD was acquired by The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) in 2010. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

BSD Improves Tool Linking Specifications to Autodesk's Revit

May 5, 2014

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the release of an updated BSD LinkMan-E software product that coordinates specifications with a Building Information Model (BIM) created in Autodesk’s Revit software. The new LinkMan-E release has two totally reconfigured dashboards that clearly show correlations and discrepancies between information in Revit and the corresponding specification text in BSD SpecLink-E, BSD’s automated specification writing product.

BSD LinkMan-E is an interoperability tool that presents data from Revit and SpecLink to allow review and coordination by a project manager. The two new dashboard views that compare the data from the two applications can be collapsed to show discrepancies, and any missing information in the specifications can be automatically activated in SpecLink from within the LinkMan program. The new release of LinkMan-E also includes color-coded tabs that display more complete data from Revit and the actual specification text from SpecLink. In addition, there is a keynote tab that displays current keynotes from Revit, suggested keynotes that are coordinated with SpecLink, and functions that permit editing and exporting of the keynotes for subsequent use in the Revit project.

BSD has pre-linked many Revit elements to SpecLink-E, but users typically create their own Revit libraries of objects (such as wall and door types), which require the creation of links within LinkMan-E to connect them to the specifications. Creating these links is a relatively simple process of dragging and dropping a Revit element name onto the appropriate LinkMan assembly or product name. Now, however, Revit users can simply apply any of BSD’s 1,700 pre-linked materials to their customized building elements within the Revit software, without any need to open the LinkMan program at all. When the current version of LinkMan-E is installed, any Revit objects that have had these materials applied will appear in LinkMan-E already connected to SpecLink-E.

The LinkMan-E product has been on the market since early 2010 and has been expanded and improved on a quarterly basis ever since its introduction. Robert Paul Dean, president of BSD, says “LinkMan-E’s new assemblies and products dashboards will make it crystal clear where there are inconsistencies between the information contained in the Revit model and the text of the specifications in BSD SpecLink-E.” According to Dean, any products missing from the specifications can be automatically activated by clicking a single “Synchronize” icon in LinkMan-E. In addition, BSD offers a catalog of several hundred Revit objects that have been pre-linked to BSD SpecLink-E. Each of these have the pre-linked materials already applied, so Revit users are not required to do anything except use the objects in their Building Information Models (BIM) to coordinate them with their specifications.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

BSD Revolutionizes A/E Specifications Updating

January 10, 2014

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced a completely new approach to updating the data in its master guide specifications product, BSD SpecLink®-E. Instead of replacing the architectural and engineering database each quarter with updated content, BSD now delivers updates automatically via the Internet at a frequency determined by each subscriber. Users can choose to have updates downloaded as frequently as daily -- but not less often than quarterly. There is even a new button labeled “Update Master Now” that allows users to get all available updates downloaded and applied to the master database within a matter of minutes.

Because BSD SpecLink-E is based on a relational database instead of word processing, each individual paragraph is part of a separate record and can be edited, deleted, or added to the master database without affecting other content. Project specifications are stored separately and can be visualized as an “overlay” on the master data, so updating the master data does not directly affect projects that are already underway, unless the subscriber wants to incorporate the latest information.

An existing project that would be affected by an update will be automatically compared to the new master data and marked through a color-coding system to indicate the availability of newer data when the file is opened. Users then have the option to ignore the updates, make all updates automatically, or review each potential change and decide whether to accept or reject it. It is also possible to update automatically only certain categories of data – reference standards cited in the specifications and the names of building product manufacturers that have been included. Another innovation allows users to open a project in read-only mode, which eliminates the comparing and marking process. This option, which allows the specifications to be printed but not edited, is appropriate for completed or archived projects for which updating would be unnecessary or misleading.

According to Robert Paul Dean, AIA, FCSI, CCS, president of BSD, “This on-line approach to keeping construction specifications up to date is revolutionary and will help assure our customers that they are producing the very best specifications possible.” Dean went on to say, “Competing products using word processing have traditionally sent out replacement files on a quarterly or triannual basis, but since they replace only a handful of files each time, it typically requires six to seven years to completely update the content. BSD SpecLink-E, on the other hand, can update individual paragraphs at any time and typically issues changes to anywhere from 25 to 65 percent of its sections each quarter.”

The new on-line data updating scheme is now in place and immediately replaces the prior quarterly release system. Changes to the software have been decoupled from the data updates and will require occasional downloading of automatic software installations on an as-needed basis, which will be announced on the product’s web-based Start Page and on the BSD website.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. BSD was acquired by CSI in 2010. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

BSD Creates Intelligent Revit Objects

September 24, 2013

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced at the annual convention of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) the release of its latest innovation – intelligent Revit objects that are pre-linked to the appropriate specifications in SpecLink-E, BSD’s automated specifications software. Simply by using these objects in a Revit project, users will be automatically connecting BIM and specifications through BSD LinkMan-E, an add-on to SpecLink-E that manages the linking process.

In its 2013 and 2014 releases of Revit, Autodesk introduced new capabilities that BSD has employed to achieve this automated linking. Revit materials are now capable of assuming significant new properties, which Autodesk calls “assets.” Thermal properties, for example, can subsequently be used in computing heat gain and heat loss. Another new feature is the ability to create an independent list of materials that can be imported into a project and subsequently used in the same way the Revit materials are used.

BSD took advantage of both these new Revit features to create a list of 1,600 BSD materials that can be imported into any Revit project and applied to objects in the same way Revit materials are used. The difference is that the BSD materials have all been pre-linked to the appropriate specifications in BSD SpecLink-E through LinkMan-E. Any office that has created a library of objects for frequent use can apply these BSD materials to those objects within Revit, thereby connecting the objects to the corresponding specifications in SpecLink-E – all without even opening LinkMan-E or SpecLink-E. The library of 1,600 materials can be downloaded at no charge from BSD’s website.

The next step in this approach has now been implemented, with BSD’s release of a catalog of non-proprietary Revit objects that already have the appropriate BSD materials applied. In addition to being pre-linked to SpecLink-E, these objects are organized into discrete Revit projects, so they can be sorted using Revit’s scheduling capability. For example, the 200+ wall types can be sorted by hourly fire rating, STC rating, structural type, wall thickness, or finish materials to find the wall type that is appropriate for a particular situation. Then the wall can be simply copied to the clipboard and pasted into any other Revit project. Copying an object to modify it – and thereby automatically changing the name – will not disconnect the copied object from the specifications, as long as the applied materials remain intact.

The initial release of BSD’s Revit objects includes over 400 wall, window, door, and floor-ceiling objects, and subsequent releases will add other objects such as plumbing fixtures and toilet accessories. According to Robert Dean, president of BSD, “These objects will be useful to any Revit user – not just those who already have SpecLink-E and LinkMan-E. We at BSD are very proud of this latest advance in interoperability and hope our customers enjoy the improved productivity that is possible with intelligent Revit objects.”

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. BSD was acquired by CSI in 2010. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

BSD Releases Material Library for Autodesk's Revit 2013

June 13, 2013

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the release of a Revit 2013 Material Library that is pre-linked to BSD SpecLink®-E, BSD’s automated construction specifications software, through the latest version of its BSD LinkMan®-E add-on. The 1,600 materials in the library, when applied to Revit elements such as walls or floor assemblies, will automatically connect the Revit elements to the corresponding specifications in BSD SpecLink-E.

BSD LinkMan-E is an interoperability tool that presents data from Revit and SpecLink to allow review and coordination by a project manager. Dashboard views that compare the data from the two applications can be collapsed to show discrepancies, and any missing information in the specifications can be automatically activated from within the LinkMan program. The current release of LinkMan-E looks different from earlier versions, with color-coded tabs for data related to the various linked applications. It also includes several new icons on the Tools menu that automatically set up the screen to perform specific functions, such as linking Revit elements to the LinkMan database, adding products to an assembly, or adding keynotes to Revit elements.

BSD has pre-linked many Revit elements to SpecLink-E, but users typically create their own Revit libraries of objects (such as wall and door types), which require the creation of links within LinkMan-E to connect them to the specifications. Creating these links is a relatively simple process of dragging and dropping a Revit element name onto the appropriate LinkMan assembly or product name. Now, however, BSD’s release of the new Materials Library means that Revit users can simply apply the pre-linked materials to their customized building elements within the Revit software, without any need to open the LinkMan program at all. When the current version of LinkMan-E is installed, any Revit objects that have had these materials applied will appear in LinkMan-E already connected to SpecLink-E.

The LinkMan-E product has been on the market since early 2010 and has been expanded and improved on a quarterly basis ever since its introduction. Robert Paul Dean, president of BSD, says “LinkMan-E’s new materials capability will be extended even further with the next release, when a large catalog of pre-linked Revit objects will be offered.” According to Dean, hundreds of wall types will be included in the catalog, in addition to floor, roof, door, and window objects. Each of these will have the pre-linked materials already applied, so Revit users will not be required to do anything except use the objects in their Building Information Models (BIM) to coordinate them with the specifications in BSD SpecLink-E.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually. 

www.bsdsoftlink.com.

Enhancements for Expandable Specifications

August 20, 2012

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced major enhancements of its award-winning construction specifications software product. The fall release of BSD SpecLink-E® includes many new features, but one of the most unusual is an enhancement to its innovative expandable database function.

The guide specifications included in SpecLink-E cover over 600 sections, or product categories, from earthwork to roofing specialties. Comprising many thousands of text pages, the database is used by architects and engineers in all 50 states to produce construction specifications for over 30,000 commercial, industrial, and institutional projects annually. SpecLink-E’s huge database of guide text is also unique in its ability to be collapsed or expanded to produce specifications with the appropriate level of detail, as required for a particular phase of development.

Traditionally, design professionals produce outline specifications for the earliest schematic design phase of a project. As the design work progresses, they produce “short form” specifications that include more detail. During the final construction documents phase, designers produce highly detailed specifications that accompany the drawings the contractor will employ to actually construct the facility. Using traditional word processing, architects and engineers typically have to start over at each phase, producing documents that are tailored to include only the detail needed at any point in time. With SpecLink-E, however, the database can be collapsed to hide data that isn’t needed or expanded to include all requirements, so users can build up the text as design decisions are made, without beginning anew at each phase.

The master guide text provided with the software is “tagged” to indicate at which of three levels each paragraph is visible. OL, or outline text, is always visible. SF, or short form text, becomes visible when more detail is required for the design development phase. The most detailed text needed for construction appears only in the final project phases and can be easily added to the OL and SF text already selected. In the latest release of SpecLink-E, users now have the ability to add their own OL and SF tags to master paragraphs in addition to paragraphs they have added. This allows them to further refine the outline and short form modes to determine which text will be included or hidden at any particular phase of project development.

Another enhancement added since the summer release of SpecLink-E is a new printing option that automatically converts the output into an earlier version of MasterFormat, the master list of specification numbers and titles promulgated by the Construction Specifications Institute. This new option was added to accommodate some clients who insist on using the older 16-division format in preference to the current 50-division organization.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually.

www.bsdsoftlink.com.

Major 5.0 Software Release for BSD SpecLink-E

July 23, 2012

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced a major software release of its flagship BSD SpecLink-E product for automated production of construction specifications. The new version of the product includes major software modifications but no data updates. The biggest change is quite significant – all data edits in a project are saved immediately to the projects database on the server instead of being saved initially to a temporary file in the client software for batch uploading at a later time. This approach results in much faster operation of many functions (such as section check in and closing), greater stability in the software, and significantly enhanced data management and control.

Another important and eagerly anticipated change is a new printing option to produce specifications numbered and titled according to the Construction Specifications Institute’s MasterFormat 95, which CSI replaced in 2004. Many users have delayed switching to BSD SpecLink-E from an earlier generation product because of a need to generate specifications for some clients in the obsolete format. This new printing option in SpecLink-E automatically converts the SpecLink master specifications to the correct titles and 5-digit numbers for the old 16-division format and allows users to convert any user-added sections. Unedited master text paragraphs that reference section numbers and titles are also converted automatically. However, document display and editing continue to be available only in the updated MasterFormat 2004 format, which employs 6-digit section numbers in 50 divisions.

It has always been possible to attach a project note to any paragraph in BSD SpecLink-E. These context-sensitive notes appear adjacent to the text in a separate panel that can be detached and moved to any convenient on-screen location. That capability has been enhanced in the new release with the addition of an editing window that allows insertion of images and hyperlinks in the project notes, plus modification of fonts – capabilities that had previously been restricted to the document text.

In addition to these major software improvements, many other refinements have been added. For example, closing a section with the "X" in the upper right corner now automatically checks in the section. Users who want to keep sections checked out when closing can still use a Close and Lock command on the Documents tab. Further information on the changes made in this new version of the software can be found in the release notes that can be downloaded from the BSD website, at http://www.bsdsoftlink.com/downloadcenter/userspage.htm.

The new SpecLink-E release is also totally compatible with BSD LinkMan®-E, an add-on product that allows automated coordination of the specifications with Autodesk’s Revit® software, for improved Building Information Modeling (BIM).

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for over thirty thousand commercial, institutional, and industrial projects annually.

www.bsdsoftlink.com.

BSD Keynote Management Tool Improves Revit Functionality

December 6, 2011

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced availability of the latest version of its groundbreaking BIM interoperability tool, BSD LinkMan-E®. Designed to work with all recent releases of Autodesk’s Revit® software, LinkMan connects a Revit project with its corresponding specifications in BSD SpecLink, displaying any discrepancies and allowing the user to activate missing specification text based on data from Revit. The newest LinkMan incorporates a keynote tab that allows users to manage and assign keynotes for a Revit project in a much more efficient and effective manner than is possible through the use of Revit alone.

Keynotes are short notations intended for use on construction drawings — especially drawing details — that take the place of verbose, sometimes conflicting or contradictory ad hoc notes. They typically consist of a specification section number in combination with a short suffix, so the contractor is referred both to a numerically organized legend on the drawings and to the appropriate specification sections for more detail. Most architecture and engineering firms have traditionally not made use of keynotes, despite their advantages, because of the absence of any standards, problems with training staff and maintaining the necessary discipline, and the lack of software that is robust and flexible enough to manage them effectively. The new BSD LinkMan-E is changing that equation.

In LinkMan-E, a new keynote tab provides multiple functions that complement the functionality available within Revit:  1) the tab displays any keynotes already in use within the Revit project;  2) master keynotes already assigned to Revit elements in the LinkMan database and connected to corresponding text in SpecLink are offered as suggestions adjacent to those imported from Revit;  3) the Revit keynotes can be easily edited or replaced by the master keynotes, either one at a time or globally; and 4) an import feature allows any “office master” keynotes to be merged with those already present on the tab.  When the user has completed any desired keynote changes within LinkMan, a command in the Revit Add-In for LinkMan imports and automatically assigns the keynotes to the appropriate Revit elements. Keynotes already placed in the Revit project are automatically replaced by any edited keynotes through the import process.

The import and replace capability for keynotes provided by LinkMan is far more efficient than the one-by-one assignment capability provided within Revit. In addition, properly edited keynotes are automatically coordinated with the corresponding specification sections in BSD SpecLink. This LinkMan functionality complements the keynote placement and legend generation functionality provided by the Revit software. Together, LinkMan and Revit make efficient and effective use of keynoting possible for the first time.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for tens of thousands of projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink.com.

Contact:
Robert Epstein
Building Systems Design, Inc.
888-273-7638

BSD Announces Keynote Management Tool

September 2, 2011

Atlanta, GA – Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the release of a new version of its groundbreaking BIM interoperability tool, BSD LinkMan-E. Designed to work with all recent releases of Autodesk’s Revit software, the new LinkMan now incorporates a tab that allows users to import, edit, and connect keynotes to Revit objects while simultaneously linking the objects to specifications in BSD SpecLink-E. A unique master keynote has been assigned to each of the thousands of products and assemblies in the LinkMan database, all of which have been linked to appropriate sections and paragraphs in BSD SpecLink-E. Objects in Revit have also been linked to the same LinkMan database, which permits LinkMan to display any discrepancies between a Revit project model and the corresponding project specifications in SpecLink – or to update the specifications automatically, based on the Revit data.

The new keynote tab in LinkMan allows users to import a file from Revit that displays all keynotes currently present in the Revit model. These keynotes are displayed adjacent to the corresponding master keynotes in LinkMan. The Revit keynotes can be edited or deleted in LinkMan, and LinkMan’s master keynotes can be copied individually to the Revit file or copied in total to any blank fields in the Revit file with a single click. The Revit user can then import this edited keynote file from LinkMan and assign it to the project. Any edited keynotes will automatically replace any that are currently in use in the Revit model, and all the additional LinkMan master keynotes will be available for use in the project.

The keynote concept was developed by pioneering architects Jim Freehof and Duke Guzey in the 1980’s, as part of a document management system they called CONDOC. Keynotes are short, standardized alphanumeric descriptors that are frequently used to annotate details on construction drawings. They typically comprise a five- or six-digit number corresponding to a related specification section, with an alphanumeric suffix of two or three characters. A legend on the drawings is then created that lists these keynotes numerically, together with an explanation of each. Keynotes offer the advantage of minimizing text on the drawings, standardizing the notes, and directing the contractor to the appropriate specification sections for further detail on the objects noted.

Not all architectural and engineering firms currently use keynotes, in part because their proper use requires a certain amount of discipline. The new BSD LinkMan-E, however, now offers designers a software tool that makes the proper use of keywords much easier, while simultaneously assuring that the specifications are properly coordinated with the drawings.

About BSD: 
Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for tens of thousands of projects annually. BSD was acquired by The Construction Specifications Institute in 2010. www.bsdsoftlink,com.
 

BSD SpecLink Adds BuildSite Product Search

BuildSite and BSD Announce Integration to Improve AEC Industry Workflows

August 2, 2011

Atlanta, GA and Oakland, CA BuildSite and Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced plans to integrate their applications to improve workflows for architects, specifiers, engineers, and contractors. BSD SpecLink® automated specification software will include hundreds of hyperlinks to BuildSite’s online construction product database.
 
“Design professionals will be able to quickly find detailed product information as they are making final design decisions and assembling their construction documents,” said Ned Trainor, President of BuildSite. “During the construction phase of a project, contractors and subcontractors will be able to use SpecLink’s built-in reporting to quickly locate information required for submittals to the design professional.”
 
BSD specifications will incorporate links to manufacturers, products, categories, and reference standards on BuildSite, a database of over 60,000 product, material safety, installation, LEED® and other documents. Tied to each product page is a Distributor Directory for locating nearby suppliers, as well as software the contractor can use for assembling construction submittals.
 
BSD SpecLink is an automated specifications editing and production system used to produce construction specifications for over 26,000 projects annually. “This partnership agreement will enable BSD’s design professional customers to gain direct access to a wealth of complementary BuildSite information with a minimum of effort,” said Robert Dean, BSD President. “Integrated Project Delivery is a collaborative alliance of people and systems involved in a construction project to maximize efficiency and optimize project results, and this agreement is a major step toward realization of that goal.”
 
About BSD
Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for tens of thousands of projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink.com.
 
About BuildSite
BuildSite provides a single source of product information to the construction industry worldwide. The BuildSite database features over 20,000 products from more than 350 manufacturers, along with a Distributor Directory of over 800 locations. BuildSite was honored in Constructech Magazine’s 2011 Top Products for its software tools for construction submittals, allowing data from the supply chain to flow into project management and Building Information Modeling (BIM) design models. BuildSite Green Data, a database of environmental and LEED® data for construction products, includes online submittal templates tied to the requirements of the US Green Building Council. BuildSite Mobile brings the BuildSite database to the jobsite. Visit BuildSite at www.buildsite.com.




GreenWizard and Building Systems Design Form Collaborative Partnership

New Partnership of Building Systems Design and GreenWizard® Will Address Issues of Product Discovery, Evaluation, and Specification of Green and LEED-Oriented Materials

May 11, 2011

Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA GreenWizard® Inc., and Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD),  today announced they have entered into a collaborative partnership to investigate the opportunities for developing cross-platform tools for the identification, analysis, and specification of green and LEED-oriented construction materials.

Today, GreenWizard is the only data-driven workflow solution that puts product search, evaluation, selection, LEED credit modeling / assessment and LEED documentation at the fingertips of the design and construction community. BSD SpecLink-E® is a powerful, database-driven specifications platform that offers more efficient specifications production for design professionals. GreenWizard and BSD SpecLink-E users may expect to benefit even more from the granular-level green and performance product data within GreenWizard and the significant specification writing capabilities of SpecLink-E as data and software from the two applications become more closely connected.

Founded in 1983, BSD's current line of BSD SoftLink® products is gaining wide acceptance as state-of-the-art software because of the innovative ways that data is linked and displayed. “With CSI’s recent acquisition of BSD, a real titan in the industry has been created.  BSD is at the front of the pack for automated specification writing, with over 600 intelligent specification sections included in their SpecLink product. These sections can be expanded or collapsed to provide outline, short form, and full construction specs, without the need to start each project phase over,” said Adam Bernholz, GreenWizard’s CEO. 

GreenWizard has become the leading provider of green building product data and the necessary workflows required to specify green building products in LEED-oriented projects. GreenWizard’s software allows a user to research, model, and optimize green building product decisions. “At the conclusion of any project, the GreenWizard platform allows for full documentation, LEED credit template population, and submission to LEED Online. Through our new alliance with BSD, design professionals will have easier access to two cutting-edge tools that will permit the identification, analysis, and specification of the best green building products on the market,” said Bernholz.

About Building Systems Design, Inc.

Building Systems Design develops and sells innovative software tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America. The company creates, maintains, and supports advanced specification writing, cost estimating and BIM interoperability products used by thousands of architects, engineers, and design professionals nationwide. BSD and the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) have long maintained a strategic alliance to promote innovative construction industry software, and BSD was acquired by CSI in late 2010. More information is available at www.BSDSoftlink.com

About GreenWizard

GreenWizard, Inc. is a technology company that has created a cloud software solution to help the design and construction communities simplify the process of green product selection and management.  Architects, engineers, project owners, consultants, contractors, and others use GreenWizard’s WORKflow platform to compare and evaluate products from a centralized search engine and directly communicate with manufacturers.  For those seeking LEED certification, it also offers an end-to-end solution by utilizing its proprietary credit assessment tools as a factor in the product selection process to optimize credits, manage product-related documentation, and ultimately automate the online submission component to LEED Online.  Manufacturers and suppliers provide product data and documents through GreenWizard’s MARKET Pro platform, which populate its search engine. GreenWizard also has a LEED AP Consulting Division to staff projects and assist WORKflow Enterprise project teams in finding, specifying, and buying products on an as-requested basis.  The Charleston, SC-based company was founded in 2008. 

More info: www.GreenWizard.com.

Contact:
John D. Wagner
Wagner Public Relations
Jdwagner@WagnerPR.com
919-796-9984

LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CSI Acquires BSD

Contact:
Christine Tanner
The Construction Specifications Institute
703-706-4784
www.csinet.org

Robert Paul Dean
Building Systems Design, Inc.
888-273-7638
www.bsdsoftlink.com

November 1, 2010

Alexandria, Virginia -- The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) today announced that it has acquired Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD). The acquisition provides for BSD's current management and employees to remain in place, and BSD will continue as a separate, for-profit enterprise.

CSI was founded more than 60 years ago by volunteers dedicated to the mission of improving communication between all members of the construction project team. CSI has been the driving force in the creation of industry standards and formats used in the production of building construction specifications and other construction documentation including: MasterFormat®, SectionFormat, UniFormat, and OmniClass.

In recent years, to better address the needs of its members and the construction community, CSI has increased its focus on creating practice tools that improve communication and the development of construction documentation in day-to-day construction work. The acquisition of BSD is the next logical step in providing useful products that advance CSI's mission and improve how construction is done by individual practitioners and in firms around the world.

BSD was founded in 1983 to produce cost estimating software for use on personal computers, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as its first client. In 1996, BSD launched the initial version of BSD SpecLink®, an automated specification writing system that is now in its third generation as BSD SpecLink-E. The company recently introduced BSD LinkMan-E, a product that links SpecLink with the industry's leading building information modeling (BIM) software, Autodesk's Revit. Plans include extending LinkMan's interoperability to BSD CostLink®-E, a new generation cost estimating product that is now in development.

"Master specifications software has proven to be a valuable tool for firms and individual practitioners in improving their productivity and the quality of their construction documents," CSI Executive Director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE, said. "As the industry increasingly moves to adopt software tools and electronic project communications, CSI needs to be involved in the creation of standards that enable greater efficiency in information transfer, data interoperability and improved construction documentation. CSI also must provide better access for our members to software that utilizes those standards."

BSD CEO John R. Witherspoon said, "We are highly gratified that an organization as prestigious as CSI has recognized the value of BSD's practice tools through its investment in our company. The relationship will also enable us to offer an exceptional array of benefits to CSI's membership, including special discounts on BSD products and improved access to educational opportunities."

CSI will continue to develop and maintain industry standards in an open and inclusive manner, using consensus-based processes. All interested industry organizations will continue to have access to CSI's intellectual property, serve on CSI committees and task teams, and license CSI's formats for use in their products.

CSI members will directly benefit through increased access to BSD's master specifications software and additional building information management tools through special discounts on the purchase of BSD products and services. Special BIM and interoperability-related education sessions will also be available to CSI members as a result of the acquisition.

About CSI -- CSI is a national association of 13,000 individual members, dedicated to improving facility performance through the advancement of building information management and education of project teams. The organization is unique in the industry in that its members are a cross-section of specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, building materials suppliers, and related professionals. CSI is renowned in the industry for its rigorous certification programs for professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of accurate and concise construction documents and the roles of various project team members. CSI provides continuing education, professional conferences and product shows. Members also have the opportunity to communicate openly with their colleagues and exchange information for successful projects through 148 local Chapters. For more information, visit www.csinet.org, or call 800.689.2900.

About BSD -- Building Systems Design develops and sells innovative software tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America. Founded in 1983, the company creates, maintains, and supports advanced specification writing, cost estimating and BIM interoperability products used by thousands of architects, engineers and design professionals nationwide. For more information, visit www.bsdsoftlink.com or call 888.273.7638.


Construction Technology Partnership

August 9, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia — Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) and Submittal Exchange, LLC today announced a strategic partnership for joint marketing of BSD SpecLink® and Submittal Exchange™, the primary products of the two companies.

BSD SpecLink is an automated specifications writing software product sold primarily to architects and consulting engineers. Submittal Exchange is a collaborative online system for exchanging, reviewing, and archiving construction submittals, RFIs, and other construction communications. The products of the two companies are complementary, according to Matt Ostanik, AIA, LEED® AP, president of Submittal Exchange, and Robert Dean, AIA, president of Building Systems Design. Dean and Ostanik say that because the buyers of both products tend to be technologically savvy, and because the products work well together, it benefits users of both systems to be educated on additional efficiencies for their construction administration.

Specifications are produced by BSD SpecLink in a database that allows automatic generation of many reports, including submittals reports. These reports, in turn, can be utilized by Submittal Exchange in setting up projects for submittals management in their online system. According to Ostanik, “managing submittals by conventional means is a major problem during the construction process. Submittal Exchange’s Integrated Product Collaboration (IPC) software that automates the submittals process, decreases paperwork, speeds up the transactions, and maintains a log of all the submittals activities.”  Dean points out that specifications produced by BSD SpecLink can be delivered electronically to Submittal Exchange and set up for submittals management in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods.

“This partnership demonstrates that electronic means for managing construction communications is becoming more prevalent, particularly with the increasing popularity of Integrated Project Delivery,” says Ostanik. “BSD SpecLink is the clear leader for electronic construction specifications and Submittal Exchange is on the leading edge of emerging IPC software. Positioning our two products side-by-side benefits the entire industry.”

Under the cooperative marketing agreement signed by BSD and Submittal Exchange, each company will include information about the other company on its website and will promote each other in periodic newsletters, email communications to customers, and various other media. In addition, BSD SpecLink will include information about Submittal Exchange in its specifications content and will enable its users to specify the services of Submittal Exchange with a single mouse click.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for tens of thousands of projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink,com.

About Submittal Exchange:  Submittal Exchange is a collaborative, secure online system for exchanging, reviewing, and archiving construction submittals, RFIs, and other construction communications electronically. Thousands of design firms, contractors, and owners utilize the Submittal Exchange system on projects across the U.S. and Canada. www.submittalexchange.com

Corporate Edition of Spec Writing Tool Now Available

March 17, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia — Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) has announced the release of a new Corporate Edition of its groundbreaking specifications software for the architecture and architectural engineering community. BSD SpecLink-E (SLE), an updated and improved version of BSD’s award-winning SpecLink+ product, was initially released in December 2009 in a Professional Edition and is suitable for firms that have a need for one to four concurrent users.

The latest release, which has been dubbed the Corporate Edition, has been designed for larger organizations that need access for five or more users at a time. It incorporates a standard version of Microsoft’s SQL Server database product, rather than the Express version of SQL Server that is used in the Professional Edition. The Corporate Edition of SLE has no limits on database size, and it can use multiple gigabytes of memory and servers with multiple processors to boost its processing speed and throughput. The Corporate Edition is capable of handling many users at the same time in the same project or in multiple projects.

This new edition of SLE also allows the customer to assign roles to all users. The available roles are System Manager, Expert User, Standard User, and Reviewer. The Reviewer can print documents but has read-only access to the system and cannot edit documents. The Standard User can check documents out and in and has access to basic editing functions. The Expert User has all the permissions of the Standard User and in addition has advanced editing access to allow accepting master updates into a project, creating choice fields, and creating links. The System Manager is all-powerful and establishes a specific role for each user. The Roles functionality is optional and is included in the Corporate Edition for those who want to implement it. When the Roles functionality is not implemented, every user is essentially a System Manager, with full privileges to edit and to implement updates and create choice fields and links.

The two editions of BSD SpecLink are identical, except for the functions described above. Both versions now include the ability to open multiple instances of SLE, so a user can have more than one project open at a time, allowing the copying of paragraphs and branches from one project to another. Both versions have the ability to expand or collapse the database, allowing the creation of outline, short form, and full construction specs from the same data without starting over at each phase of a project. And both versions now are capable of interoperability with Autodesk’s Revit, by means of the recently released BSD LinkMan-E add-on.

About BSD:  Building Systems Design has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. The company creates and supports advanced cost estimating, specification writing, and interoperability products that are used for tens of thousands of projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink,com.


CSI GreenFormat™ Links Added to BSD SpecLink®

February 22, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia ― The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced that the latest update of the BSD SpecLink automated specification writing software includes hundreds of hyperlinks connecting individual specification sections with relevant ”green” product information in CSI’s GreenFormat web-based database.

GreenFormat is a web-based CSI format that:
  • Allows manufacturers of products used in building construction to describe the properties of their products that are relevant to the issues of sustainability and environmental impact.
  • Provides designers, constructors and building operators with basic information about products that can help meet “green” building requirements.
Manufacturers report the attributes of their products through a comprehensive, online questionnaire. Their entries are then freely available in one place and in a consistent structure to designers, constructors, and building operators searching www.greenformat.com. The GreenFormat database currently includes information on more than 1,600 green products, and grows every day.

BSD SpecLink is a specification writing system sold by subscription to architects, engineers, and other design professionals. It is used to produce construction specifications for more than 26,000 projects annually across the United States. SpecLink includes many features that help design professionals write specifications that are more environmentally sound, including a number of automation tools that are geared to the LEED rating system promulgated by the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a certification program and guide for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.) The latest release of BSD SpecLink, with links to the GreenFormat website, will be available at www.bsdsoftlink.com in early March.

According to Walter Marlowe, Executive Director and CEO of CSI:  “We at CSI are pleased to cooperate with BSD in providing architects and engineers with this new method of accessing useful product information that can help them design and specify buildings that are more environmentally sound and sustainable.”

John Witherspoon, BSD’s CEO, was equally positive about the joint effort with CSI. “The hundreds of links between our BSD SpecLink product and CSI’s GreenFormat website are just the latest example of a successful strategic partnership that has resulted in benefits to a broad spectrum of the construction industry.”

About BSD:  Building Systems Design offers innovative software tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America. Founded in 1983, the company creates, maintains, and supports advanced cost estimating and specification writing products used for tens of thousands of projects annually. www.bsdsoftlink,com.

About CSI: The Construction Specifications Institute is a national association dedicated to creating standards and formats to improve construction documents and project delivery. The organization’s membership includes specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, and building materials suppliers. www.csinet.org.

Contact:
    CSI:  Christine Tanner
    703-706-4784
    www.csinet.org
    BSD:  Robert Dean
    888-273-7638
    www.bsdsoftlink.com

BSD Announces BIM Linking Solution

December 1, 2009

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the simultaneous release of its latest specifications software and the beta release of software designed to achieve linkage to Autodesk’s Revit. BSD SpecLink®-E (SLE) is the successor to BSD’s award-winning BSD SpecLink+ software currently being used by thousands of design professionals nationwide to produce specifications for over 25,000 commercial, industrial, and institutional projects annually. BSD LinkMan-E (LME) is a brand new linking product that has been designed from the ground up to work with SLE. SpecLink-E participates in the building information modeling (BIM) process through integration with CAD environments such as Revit Architecture 2009 and 2010 via LinkMan-E, which acts as a communications conduit and an integration manager. With LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E in place on the same computer or the same network, relevant project data can be transferred in both directions between the CAD environment and the specifications environment. LinkMan-E is designed for use by a project manager to review and coordinate data on the same project from all connected applications. Dashboard views show the status of objects in each of the linked applications, and LME can also be set to “turn on” any missing products in the SpecLink-E application, based on data from Revit.

In addition to its BIM linking ability, SpecLink-E has been equipped with many new features that build on the success of its predecessor, BSD SpecLink+. For example, its database can be collapsed or expanded to produce outline, short form, and full construction specs without the need to maintain separate documents for various phases of a project. It has also been designed to allow real-time updating of its master database over the Internet at any convenient time. Updates to the individual user’s client software take advantage of Microsoft technology called ClickOnce installation. This allows the client software on each user’s computer to update itself automatically from a central location on the network once the site manager decides to make the update available to users at that site. As with the previous generation SpecLink+ software, data updates to SLE will not overwrite user modifications in any existing projects, including so-called “office master” projects, because of SLE’s unique database structure. Project-specific information entered by a user is stored in separate project overlay tables that are automatically merged with the master database content when a project is viewed or printed.

SLE is now available to new customers and can be installed by current BSD SpecLink+ subscribers at no additional cost. The LME software is available to current customers who wish to participate in the beta test. Initial general release of BSD LinkMan-E is scheduled for March 2010.

For more information, see About SpecLink-E, New Features Compared to SpecLink+, and articles in our latest newsletter and newsletter archives.

Contact: R. Dale Corley, Jr.; 888-BSD-SOFT

Building Systems Design, Inc.

dcorley@bsdsoftlink.com

BSD SpecLink®-E Software Demonstration

June 26, 2009

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced live demonstrations of the final beta release of its new BSD SpecLink-E (SLE) software at Construct2009, a national trade show for the commercial construction industry being held this week in Indianapolis. SpecLink-E is the successor to BSD’s award-winning BSD SpecLink+ specification-writing software currently being used by thousands of design professionals nationwide. SLE is client-server software that uses Microsoft’s SQL Server database management system to support multi-user collaboration over a local area network or a wide area network between multiple offices. The SLE software is also easily installed on a single computer for standalone operation by a single user.

SpecLink-E will participate in the building information modeling (BIM) process through integration with CAD environments such as Revit Architecture 2009 via an integration manager called BSD LinkMan-E™ (LME), also in development at BSD with a patent pending. With LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E in place on the same computer or the same network, relevant project data can be transferred in both directions between the CAD environment and the specifications environment. Users will also be able to set SLE so that data from the drawings will inform the specifier about product choices, or the software can be set to automatically select appropriate sections and “pre-edit” the specifications, based on decisions made in the CAD environment. In addition to showing its current products, BSD will demonstrate linking between BSD SpecLink-E and Autodesk’s Revit at Construct2009 in Indianapolis, June17-19, 2009.

SpecLink-E has been designed to allow real-time updating of its master database over the Internet at any convenient time. The master database updating can be scheduled in off hours with little or no disruption to the specification preparation process. Updates to the individual user’s client software take advantage of Microsoft technology called ClickOnce installation. This allows the client software on each user’s computer to update itself automatically from a central location on the network once the site manager decides to make the update available to users at that site. As with the previous generation SpecLink+ software, data updates to SLE will not overwrite user modifications in any existing projects, including so-called “office master” projects, because of the product’s unique database structure. Project-specific information entered by a user is stored in separate project overlay tables that are automatically merged with the master database content when a project is viewed or printed.

The production-ready beta version of SLE being demonstrated this week in Indianapolis is now being distributed to current BSD SpecLink subscribers, together with updates to BSD SpecLink+ and BSD CostLink/AE.

For more information, contact: R. Dale Corley, Jr.; 888-BSD-SOFT

Building Systems Design, Inc.

dcorley@bsdsoftlink.com

About BSD: Building Systems Design, Inc. develops, maintains, and provides training and technical support for innovative cost estimating and specification writing software tools for the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Atlanta. Learn more at www.bsdsoftlink.com.


BSD SpecLink®-E Software Announced

April 29, 2009

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the final beta release of its new BSD SpecLink-E (SLE) software and master database for preparing construction specifications. SpecLink-E is the successor to BSD’s award-winning BSD SpecLink+ software currently being used by thousands of design professionals nationwide. SLE is client-server software that uses Microsoft’s SQL Server database management system to support multi-user collaboration over a local area network or a wide area network between multiple offices. The SLE software is also easily installed on a single computer for standalone operation by a single user.

SpecLink-E will participate in the building information modeling (BIM) process through integration with CAD environments such as Revit Architecture 2009 via an integration manager called BSD LinkMan-E™ (LME), also in development at BSD with a patent pending. With LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E in place on the same computer or the same network, relevant project data can be transferred in both directions between the CAD environment and the specifications environment. Users will also be able to set SLE so that data from the drawings will inform the specifier about product choices, or the software can be set to automatically select appropriate sections and “pre-edit” the specifications, based on decisions made in the CAD environment. In addition to showing its current products, BSD will demonstrate linking between BSD SpecLink-E  and Autodesk’s Revit at the AIA National Convention and Expo in San Francisco, April 30-May 2, 2009.

SpecLink-E has been designed to allow real-time updating of its master database over the Internet at any convenient time. The master database updating can be scheduled in off hours with little or no disruption to the specification preparation process. Updates to the individual user’s client software take advantage of Microsoft technology called ClickOnce installation. This allows the client software on each user’s computer to update itself automatically from a central location on the network once the site manager decides to make the update available to users at that site. As with the previous generation SpecLink+ software, data updates to SLE will not overwrite user modifications in any existing projects, including so-called “office master” projects, because of the product’s unique database structure. Project-specific information entered by a user is stored in separate project overlay tables that are automatically merged with the master database content when a project is viewed or printed.

The version of SLE that will be demonstrated at the AIA convention in San Francisco will be distributed to current BSD SpecLink subscribers this summer, together with updates to BSD SpecLink+ and BSD CostLink/AE.



BIM and Specifications Linked by BSD LinkMan-E

April 29, 2009

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced that the first public demonstration of its new BSD LinkMan-E (LME) software will be conducted at the AIA National Convention and Expo in San Francisco, April 30-May 2, 2009. LME has been designed to permit automatic two-way communication between disparate construction software applications. Initially, LinkMan will be configured to connect the new BSD SpecLink®-E (SLE) specifications product with Autodesk’s Revit Architecture 2009, the preeminent building information modeling (BIM) software in use today.

Both LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E are client-server software products that use Microsoft’s SQL Server database management system to support multi-user collaboration over a local area network or a wide area network between multiple offices. The LME and SLE software can also be easily installed on a single computer with Revit Architecture for standalone operation by a single user. Ultimately, BSD plans to add an updated version of its BSD CostLink/AE cost estimating product to its suite of linked software tools, and other linked software products may be offered in future.

LinkMan is designed for use by a project manager to review and coordinate data on the same project from all connected applications. Each software product provides a view of its linked assemblies and building products, and the view can show all possible objects or can be collapsed to show only those that are currently active. LinkMan also offers two “dashboard” views – one for individual products and one for assemblies of multiple products.  These dashboard views show the status of objects in each of the linked applications, and the views can be collapsed to show only those that are active in one or more applications or further collapsed to show only those objects that are not consistent across all the linked applications. A project manager can then determine whether corrective action is needed.

LinkMan can also be set to “turn on” any missing products in the BSD SpecLink-E application, based on data from Revit. This LME capability can be employed to automatically “pre-edit” the specifications to conform to the assemblies and products used in the Revit building information model. Conversely, if the user employs an “office master” specification in SLE, the data from SLE can be used to choose appropriate objects to populate the BIM in Revit. Most of the objects offered within Revit will be pre-linked to LME, as will virtually all the products within SpecLink-E. However, users will be able to add their own objects and will be able to create their own links to LME and SLE.

GreenBuild Dell Laptop Winner

December 8, 2008

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design is happy to announce Mr. Franklin Kaye, AIA, Principal at Kaye & Associates, LLC, an architecture, planning and interior design firm, specializing in sustainable design, of Annapolis, Maryland as the winner of our GreenBuild 2008 laptop giveaway.

Mr. Kaye will receive a new Dell laptop including one-year licenses for our award winning software solutions: SpecLink® and CostLink®/AE. A total value exceeding $6,200.

Building Systems Design exhibited at the GreenBuild show in Boston and visitors who stopped by our booth completed an entry card for a chance to win a laptop and software solutions. At the conclusion of the show, we randomly drew Mr. Kaye's entry card as the winner.

When we called Mr. Kaye to inform him of his good luck he said, "Wow, that's great" and "GreenBuild is a great forum for the design community and I am very pleased to have won the laptop, so that our firm can use SpecLink® and CostLink®/AE on all of our current and new projects. Thank-you BSD."

Building Systems Design would like to thank everyone who stopped by our booth and we look forward to more giveaways at future tradeshows in the new year.


Construct2008 Dell Laptop Winner

June 30, 2008

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design sponsored a drawing for a Dell Laptop Giveaway at the recent CSI Construct2008 tradeshow in Las Vegas. We had the opportunity to visit with existing customers and to demonstrate our products to a steady stream of prospective customers.

Before they left the booth, everyone filled out a brief registration card for the drawing. At the end of the tradeshow, we randomly drew a name and selected the registration card of Mr. Edwin Avink CSI, CCS, a Senior Project Leader for Progressive AE in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The staff at BSD was excited to place the phone call. We felt like members of Publishers Clearinghouse giving away our Grand Prize.

When Mr. Avink picked up the phone in his office, we told him the good news and he said, “What a coincidence, I currently have SpecLink open on my PC and am working on a project with your software.”

We then told him the Laptop will include one-year licenses for our two top software solutions: SpecLink and CostLink/AE. The total value of his prize exceeded $6200.

“Wow!!! Thank you very much” said Mr. Avink.

BSD would like to thank all those attendees who stopped by our booth to say hello at Construct2008. We value our business relationship with you tremendously and will continue to listen to your needs as we enhance our software solutions.


Beta Version of New BSD SpecLink®-E Software Announced

May 13, 2008

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the first beta release of its new BSD SpecLink-E (SLE) software and master database for preparing construction specifications. SpecLink-E is the successor to BSD’s award-winning BSD SpecLink+ software currently being used by thousands of design professionals nationwide. SLE is client-server software that uses Microsoft’s SQL Server database management system to support multi-user collaboration over a local area network or a wide area network between multiple offices. The SLE software is also easily installed on a single computer for standalone operation by a single user.

SpecLink-E will participate in the building information modeling (BIM) process through integration with CAD environments such as Revit Architecture 2009 via an integration manager called LinkMan-E™, also in development at BSD with a patent pending. LinkMan-E will enter the beta phase of its development following the first full release of SpecLink-E, currently scheduled for BSD’s 2008-2009 winter quarter. With LinkMan-E and SpecLink-E in place on the same computer or the same network, relevant project data will be automatically transferred in both directions between the CAD environment and the specifications environment. Users will also be able to set SLE so that data from the drawings will inform the specifier about product choices, or the software can be set to automatically select appropriate sections and “pre-edit” the specifications, based on decisions made in CAD.

SpecLink-E has been designed to allow real-time updating of its master database over the Internet, eliminating the need for the current quarterly updating process. The master database updating can be scheduled in off hours with little or no disruption to the specification preparation process. Updates to the individual user’s client software take advantage of new Microsoft technology called ClickOnce installation. This allows the client software to update itself automatically once a site manager decides to make the update available to the users at that site. It makes quarterly software updates that required individual attention at each user’s workstation a thing of the past, because each user’s computer updates itself from a central location on the network. As with the current SpecLink+ software, data updates to SLE will not overwrite user modifications in any existing projects, including so-called “office master” projects, because of the product’s unique database structure. Project-specific information entered by a user is stored in a separate project overlay table that is automatically merged with the master database content when a project is viewed or printed.

The beta version of SLE will be publicly demonstrated for the first time at the AIA National Convention and Expo in Boston, Massachusetts, May 15-17, 2008.


Greenbuild 2007

November 15, 2007

Building Systems Design has just returned from an exhilarating visit at the Greenbuild 2007 conference and expo that was held in Chicago on November 7-9th. BSD sent four people to occupy our booth during the exhibit; a total of 21 hours over two and a half days! There were over 21,000 people in attendance, a 62 percent increase from the 13,000 who attended last year's show in Denver.

Traffic at the BSD booth was great. We spoke to hundreds of attendees and ran out of BSD SpecLink tote bags after we had already given away 250 of them. The attendees ran the gamut from flower children to dedicated "green" architects to governmental agency representatives; we found plenty of people who wanted to hear about the green features that have been built into BSD SpecLink. We also spoke with many of our customers, some of whom were unaware of our many LEED features- like the checklist sections and the automatic LEED submittals report.

We have already signed up for Greenbuild 2008 in Boston,November 19-21, which promises to be even bigger and better. We'll see you there!


BSD to Receive Construction Technology Award from CSI

May 21, 2007

Atlanta, GA, and Alexandria, Va. - Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD), developers of the automated construction specification system BSD SpecLink®, will receive the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Construction Technology Award on Wednesday, June 20, 2007, during the Opening General Session of The CSI Show in Baltimore. The Construction Technology Award is presented to an individual, team, firm, or organization, for: Development or use of new materials, methods, technology or project delivery systems; or development or use of existing materials, methods or technology in a new or innovative manner. BSD is being recognized for creation of its product BSD SpecLink, a guide specification system that offers up-to-date content and the ability to switch the specifications for any project between the 1995 and 2004 editions of CSI/CSC MasterFormat with a single mouse-click.

BSD is also one of nine industry education partners presenting education sessions at The CSI Show this year. BSD will present "Specifications and Corporate Memory" on Wednesday, June 20, at 11am, and "Letting CAD and BIM Write the Specifications" on Friday, June 22, at 9am. Visit BSD in booth #221 in The CSI Show exhibit hall!

About BSD: Building Systems Design, Inc. develops and sells innovative software tools for the architecture/engineering/construction markets of North America. The company was founded in 1983 and creates, maintains, and provides technical support for advanced cost estimating and specification writing products in use by thousands of design professionals and contractors nationwide. Learn more at www.bsdsoftlink.com.

About The CSI Show: The 51st Annual CSI Show & Convention and pre-convention events will take place June 19-23 at the Baltimore Convention Center. In addition to the more than 110 education sessions offered, CSI will present tours, exhibits, and other events so participants can network, and explore new products. The Annual CSI Show & Convention is the only event covering the entire facility life cycle, and it attracts all members of the project team, including: designers, engineers, specifiers, contractors, suppliers, facility managers, and owners. For more information or to register, visit < href="http://www.thecsishow.com">www.thecsishow.com or call 800-689-2900.

About CSI: CSI is a national association dedicated to creating standards and formats to improve construction documents and project delivery. The organization is unique in the industry in that its members are a cross section of specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors and building materials suppliers. The organization has 146 chapters and more than 15,000 members. Monthly Chapter meetings allow members the opportunity to communicate openly with their counterparts and exchange information for successful project management. CSI is renowned in the industry for its rigorous certification programs for professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of accurate and concise construction documents. CSI provides continuing education, professional conferences, and product shows. For more information, visit www.csinet.org, or call 800-689-2900.


We've moved!

May 14, 2007

Atlanta, GA -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) has moved to new, larger offices. Our new space is located about a block away and across the street from our original location in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. Visitors to our new office will find it as conveniently situated as our old location, with many hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues within walking distance. It is four blocks from the Buckhead MARTA station, so visitors will still be able to take the train from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport and avoid car rentals and expensive taxi rides. The local business association also sponsors the free bus--the Buckhead Uptown Connection (BUC)-–which stops right in front of the entrance to our building, at just a 10 minute ride from the station.

Our new space has been custom-designed for us and we are enjoying a less cramped, more efficient layout and an invigorating environment. The new dedicated training room accommodates 12 students without crowding and features a ceiling mounted projection system for better viewing. We also have a more centrally located library, three conference rooms, and a cafe and shaded courtyard right in the complex. Our telephone numbers will remain the same, and our address as of May 14 is:

Building Systems Design, Inc.
Two Piedmont Center, Suite 300
3565 Piedmont Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

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BSD completes PerSpective® purchase

September 1, 2006   Printer-friendly version

Atlanta, GA, and Alexandria, VA -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) of Atlanta and The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) of Alexandria announced today the completion of BSD’s acquisition of PerSpective®, a software tool for creating building performance specifications. BSD developed PerSpective® for a joint venture formed by CSI and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and has been managing the product for the last five years. Under the new agreement, BSD now owns the PerSpective® intellectual property and maintains a strategic marketing relationship with CSI.

Originally a separate product, PerSpective® has been integrated into the database of BSD SpecLink®, a software tool used by thousands of architects, engineers and other design professionals nationwide to produce and maintain detailed construction specifications. The PerSpective® portion of the SpecLink® database is used for producing performance specifications at the earliest stages of a building project, in addition to short form specifications for intermediate stages of project development. Detailed guide specifications for use in preparing final construction documents make up the remainder of the SpecLink® database. Based on an underlying relational database structure, BSD SpecLink® is unique in its breadth of content and its applicability to different methods of project delivery, including design-build. Updated quarterly, the product is sold to design professionals by annual subscription or on the basis of a metered account, which deducts the price of each document as it is printed.

Under the new agreement, CSI will continue to be involved with PerSpective® and BSD SpecLink® as a strategic alliance partner of BSD, working cooperatively to advance the technology and quality of building construction and to better serve the needs of CSI members and BSD customers. CSI will also provide resources for ongoing product review and maintenance, participating in a technical review committee of industry peers.

About BSD: Building Systems Design was founded in 1983 and currently produces the BSD SoftLink® suite of software applications for the architecture/engineering/construction market. In addition to BSD SpecLink®, which now includes PerSpective® for preliminary and performance specifications, BSD’s line of products includes BSD CostLink®/AE and BSD CostLink®/CM for project budgeting and cost estimating.

For further information on BSD SpecLink®, see www.bsdsoftlink.com or contact Bryant Hendricks at bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com or 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638).

About CSI: CSI is a national association of specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, building materials suppliers and others involved in commercial and institutional building design and construction. The organization has 145 chapters and more than 16,000 members. CSI provides technical information and products, continuing education, professional conferences, and product shows to enhance communication among all disciplines of building design and construction, and to meet the industry's need for a common system of organizing and presenting construction information. For more information visit www.csinet.org or call Teresa Sullivan, CSI, at (703) 706-4744.

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Access Construction Reference Standards Direct from Specifications

September 1, 2006   Printer-friendly version

Atlanta, GA, and Englewood, CO -– Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) of Atlanta and IHS Inc. (www.ihs.com) announced today the release of the Fall 2006 edition of BSD SpecLink®, which includes thousands of additional hyperlinks to the IHS Standards Store.

Latest BSD SpecLink® update includes 5,300 more hyperlinks to the IHS Standards Store, enabling users to view and purchase referenced documents directly. In the current SpecLink® release, an additional 5,300 hyperlinks have been inserted at paragraphs where the standards are actually mentioned. In most cases, a synopsis of the standard is available on the IHS website where the document itself can be purchased and downloaded online for immediate viewing through this single site. Under a previous agreement with IHS, BSD provided hyperlinks to most of the 2,300 referenced documents from the complete citation in each specification section via the IHS Standards Store. Only about 300 standards are not available through IHS, and in those cases are available via the sponsoring organization’s website, and in a few cases the documents are free.

BSD SpecLink® is a software product used by thousands of architects, engineers and other design professionals to produce and maintain detailed construction specifications nationwide. Built on an underlying relational database structure instead of word processing, SpecLink® includes guide text for hundreds of building product categories and references to thousands of construction industry standards. SpecLink® references these industry standards instead of repeating relevant content, keeping the guide text and edited project specifications more concise. Until the latest product release, architects and engineers who needed access to the actual reference standards from one or more of the 186 organizations whose documents are included had to acquire them by contacting each organization separately.

Because BSD SpecLink® is comprehensively updated each quarter and IHS maintains both current and previously issued editions of the standards in its databases, SpecLink® users are assured that their construction specifications are up-to-date and synchronized with the appropriate reference standard editions. For further information on BSD SpecLink®, go to www.bsdsoftlink.com. For further information on IHS products, services and solutions, including the IHS Standards Store, go to www.ihs.com or contact Tim Stack, IHS, at 303-397-2359.

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is a leading global provider of critical technical information, decision-support tools and related services to customers in a number of industries including energy, defense, aerospace, construction, electronics, and automotive through two operating segments, Engineering and Energy. We serve customers ranging from governments and large multinational corporations to smaller companies and technical professionals in more than 100 countries. Our customers rely on our offerings to facilitate decision making, support key processes and improve productivity. We have been in business for more than 45 years and employ more than 2,300 people around the world.

For further information on BSD SpecLink®, see www.bsdsoftlink.com or contact Bryant Hendricks at bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com or 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638).

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BSD SpecLink® Data to Provide Manufacturer Lead Service

March 26, 2006   Printer-friendly version

Atlanta, GA -- Building Systems Design (BSD) announced today the launch of a new lead service for building product manufacturers. Available by subscription, this lead service provides manufacturers with specific project information about how particular specification sections in the BSD SpecLink® product are being used nationwide, including which manufacturers have been specified on each project. The new service is in addition to an existing quarterly statistical report that has been available to participating manufacturers for several years.

BSD gathers data automatically from the computers of SpecLink® subscribers that enable the company to compile reports on the frequency of use of specific sections and the number of times particular manufacturers have been specified. The original statistical data does not identify particular users or projects, so it is of interest primarily as a trend indicator and a tool to determine the relative popularity of specific products. BSD also uses this data to help determine which sections should receive more maintenance attention.

With the current spring release of BSD SpecLink®, architecture and engineering customers have the option to release specific project information to BSD for use in the new, more detailed lead service, which provides monthly reports to participating manufacturers that are organized by specification section, state, architect/engineer, and project. Data for these more detailed reports is provided voluntarily by SpecLink® users, and the type of information gathered includes project name and location; owner’s name; and facility type, size, approximate cost, and approximate completion date. To encourage users to provide this data, the software includes the same information on optional cover sheets for the administrative reports that are automatically generated by the specification system for use during the construction phase of a project.

A checkbox at the bottom of a dialog box for project information allows BSD to publish and release specific project data to participating building product manufacturers. Clicking to remove the checkmark will prevent the specific project data from being included in the lead service reports until the architect/engineer rechecks the box.

Mr. Robert Paul Dean, AIA, CSI, President of BSD, believes this new lead service will work to the advantage of all parties. According to Mr. Dean, “Timely release of project data will ultimately result in greater competition between specified manufacturers, benefiting both the project owner and the architect/engineer. Manufacturers will be able to obtain better and timelier data on projects for which they have been specified, allowing them to prepare more competitive proposals. And because of the low cost of electronic data gathering, BSD is able to offer its services to all parties at extremely attractive prices.”

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Construction Specifications Now Available by Metered Account

December 1, 2005   Printer-friendly version

Atlanta, GA -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced the release of the winter 2005-06 edition of BSD SpecLink®, which introduces a new metered account purchase option. Previously, all construction guide specification systems sold in the United States had been offered only through annual subscription, so the new metered sales capability makes the BSD specifications product available to a broader market.

BSD SpecLink® is a software tool used nationwide by thousands of architects, engineers, and other design professionals to produce detailed construction specifications for a wide variety of commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings. For many design firms, the unlimited use permitted by an annual subscription makes that option the best choice. However, a significant percentage of smaller firms complete a limited number of projects per year and find that the cost of an annual subscription exceeds their specifications budget. In addition, some BSD SpecLink® subscribers from time to time would like to have the use of a small number of sections that are not included in their current subscription catalogs. The new meter account addresses both situations by allowing customers to buy only what they need at a particular time.

To take advantage of the new meter account capability, users must have an Internet connection. After downloading the product from the BSD website (www.bsdsoftlink.com) and installing it, customers pay by credit card for an initial meter amount. They then enter a unique Electronic Invoice ID (EID) in the software, which initializes the account for the purchased amount and allows access to the entire database of guide specifications. Subsequently, a predetermined charge is automatically deducted from the meter account whenever a final document is printed. Users may edit any document and may print unlimited copies of draft documents, which bear "Draft Copy" watermarks that do not obscure the text. An automatic Table of Contents and a number of automatically generated reports -- such as required shop drawing submittals and a list of all manufacturers specified -- also may be printed at no charge.

A meter account costs $490 and may be replenished for the same amount at any time. SpecLink® construction document sections cost $7 each to print. PerSpective design criteria documents cost $21 each, and Short Form sections cost $35. Up to 50 users can use a single meter concurrently. When a meter reaches $0, printing ceases and all sections become unavailable until the meter is replenished. Meter customers who also have a valid subscription to a portion of the database may continue to print documents within the catalogs included but will be unable to print documents that fall outside that range.

For further information on BSD SpecLink®, see www.bsdsoftlink.com or contact Bryant Hendricks at bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com or 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638).

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Construction Specifications for All Project Phases

September 1, 2004

Alexandria, VA, and Atlanta, GA. -- The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) announce the immediate availability of a new version of BSD SpecLink® with an expanded PerSpective® database and a global MasterFormat™ translation switch.

As partners in a venture to provide better specification tools for the construction industry, CSI and BSD collaborated on the design and execution of the new software, which combines two previously separate products and adds unique automation features. Previous versions of BSD SpecLink®, a subscription product in use by thousands of design professionals, were used primarily for producing up-to-date construction specification documents. CSI, in a joint venture with the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), had previously developed PerSpective®, a performance-based specification system intended initially for design-build projects. By combining the two separate products into a single application, BSD and CSI have produced the first specification product that can be used during all building project phases and for all project delivery methods.

The new BSD SpecLink® database is organized on three tabs that correlate to project phases. The PerSpective® tab comprises performance specifications that can be used at the very earliest project stages, before any design work has occurred. Any material selections made in PerSpective® are linked to the Short Form tab, pre-editing abbreviated material specifications that are useful at the schematic design and design development phases. Selections made on this tab, in turn, are linked to the SpecLink® data on the third tab, which is typically used to produce detailed construction documents and automatic administrative reports that are useful during construction administration. The linking feature causes decisions made at each phase to pre-select text for use during subsequent phases, improving coordination and minimizing editing time.

Another major feature of the new product is an automatic MasterFormat™ switch. A system for organizing construction information and specifications, MasterFormat™ is widely used within the construction industry and has recently undergone a fairly radical restructuring. In developing MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition (MF04) with wide participation of the construction industry, CSI expanded it from 16 to 49 divisions, moved and renamed some topics, and changed the section numbering scheme from five-digit numbers to paired six- or eight-digit numbers. Although some observers have predicted a period of confusion in the construction industry -- because not everyone will be willing or able to apply the changes in MasterFormat™ immediately -- the new SpecLink® product will allow all users to switch any project back and forth between the two formats at any time, with a single mouse click.

According to Dr. Karl Borgstrom, Executive Director of CSI, "This new specification product is an exciting advance in specifications technology and a significant contribution to the improvement of communications within the construction industry." Mr. John Witherspoon, BSD's CEO, said "BSD is extremely pleased to partner with CSI in making this state-of-the-art software available to design professionals nationwide."

For further information on BSD SpecLink®, see www.bsdsoftlink.com or contact Bryant Hendricks at bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com or 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638). For more information about CSI's MasterFormat™, go to www.csinet.org.

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TCA adds another member benefit

August 25, 2004

Atlanta, GA. -- In a continuing effort to enhance and increase benefits available to its membership, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) has embarked on a relationship with Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) - a firm that provides software and data products to architects, engineers, and contractors worldwide. Through this relationship, the TCA worked closely with BSD to revise the BSD SpecLink® language for Section 03470 - Tilt-Up Precast Concrete, beginning with the fall 2004 update. TCA now endorses BSD SpecLink®'s Section 03470 as a favorable Tilt-Up specification guide and will provide further assistance in the maintenance and updating of future releases. BSD's product will carry the TCA logo accompanying a statement endorsing the content.

Part of the relationship forged with BSD includes the opportunity for the TCA to receive quarterly reports enumerating the projects that use the Tilt-Up Precast Concrete section, as well as hyperlinks from appropriate locations within the section to specific pages on TCA's website. The Tilt-Up section of the program has been reviewed by TCA and includes content from the TCA Guideline Specifications. One of the continuing benefits of this collaboration is TCA's opportunity to submit new information and recommendations for improvements to the section on a quarterly basis. TCA members will be able to purchase a subscription to BSD SpecLink® at a 15 percent initial discount and a five percent renewal discount.

Founded in 1983 with the mission to provide industry standard software for the architectural/engineering/construction (A/E/C) industry, BSD today offers a number of groundbreaking products. BSD SpecLink® is a construction specification writing, management, and production system with built-in intelligence designed to help users dramatically speed up editing tasks and reduce specification production time while minimizing errors and omissions. SpecLink® contains the industry's most comprehensive and up-to-date database of master specifications, and includes lists of relevant building product manufacturers, appropriate reference standards, LEED/environmental issues, product selection guidance and more. It includes more than 700 sections covering all Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Divisions, and the latest release includes a global switch that allows subscribers to switch any project between the current 16-division format and CSI's brand new MasterFormat™ 2004.

"We are excited about this new relationship established with BSD," said Jim Baty, TCA's Technical Director. "The Tilt-Up section of the program has been thoroughly reviewed by our staff to add valuable language directly from the TCA Guideline Specifications. The ability to provide more guidance, education and quality for Tilt-Up projects through our involvement is a primary goal of the TCA and one we are glad to have the opportunity to cultivate through our relationship with BSD."

According to Robert Paul Dean, AIA, CSI, president of BSD, "TCA's participation in this new program is an affirmation of BSD's commitment to providing our construction industry subscribers with the most current, technically correct guide specifications in the most sophisticated software available. We are very pleased to have TCA as a partner in that ongoing effort."

For more information about BSD SpecLink®, visit www.bsdsoftlink.com or call (888) BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638) to speak with a sales representative.

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BSD SpecLink® First with MasterFormat™ 2004

May 24, 2004

Atlanta, GA -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces that BSD SpecLink® -- its flagship automated specification production software -- will be the first commercial information product to incorporate the new MasterFormat™ 2004 when it is published jointly by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) later this year.

BSD SpecLink® is used by thousands of architects and engineers across North America for preparing up-to-date construction specification documents. Because SpecLink® is built on a relational database, instead of conventional word processing files, BSD will simply add new data fields, allowing its subscribers to choose between the 1995 MasterFormat™ and MasterFormat™ 2004 and to switch easily back and forth between them with mouse clicks.

MasterFormat™ is a system for organizing construction information and specifications that is widely used within the construction industry. For decades, MasterFormat™ has comprised 16 divisions organized around basic construction materials (e.g., Division 3 - Concrete; Division 4 - Masonry). These divisions have been further divided into sections identified by 5-digit numbers (e.g., Section 03300 - Cast-In-Place Concrete; Section 04200 - Masonry Units). After a three-year revision process that has involved many sectors of the construction industry, CSI and CSC have announced that the new MasterFormat™ will be expanded from 16 divisions to 50 divisions -- actually 49 divisions plus a new Division 0. Among other changes, mechanical and electrical systems have been moved from Divisions 15 and 16 and the number of topics greatly expanded. In addition, the familiar 5-digit numbering scheme has been replaced by paired digits in a 6- or 8-digit format. Finally, many section titles have also been changed. In short, under MasterFormat™ 2004 every section will have a new number, and many sections will also have a new title.

Many observers anticipate a period of confusion after MasterFormat™ 2004 is published this summer, because not everyone will be willing or able to make the switch immediately -- or simultaneously. To maintain maximum flexibility while continuing to offer its users state-of-the art capabilities, BSD has demonstrated a new MasterFormat™ global switch, similar to its current units of measure switch that permits display of inch-pound and/or metric units in the data. This global switch will allow the user to work in one MasterFormat™ and switch to the other MasterFormat™ for final printing, or to maintain an office master project in one format and edit it for a particular client in the other. Users will even be able to print a table of contents that includes the alternate section numbers in parentheses, for cross-reference purposes.

Building Systems Design was founded in 1983 and currently produces the BSD SoftLink® suite of software applications for the architecture/engineering/construction market. In addition to BSD SpecLink®, the SoftLink® suite includes PerSpective® for preliminary and performance specifications (a CSI-DBIA product), plus BSD CostLink®/AE and BSD CostLink®/CM for project budgeting and cost estimating.

For more information about any of the SoftLink® products, call Bryant Hendricks at 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638) or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com or visit www.bsdsoftlink.com.

For more information about CSI/CSC's MasterFormat™, go to www.csinet.org.

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Specifications software now retrieves usage information

September 2, 2003

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of an unprecedented method of reporting the names of manufacturers specified in architects' and engineers' construction specifications. Called the "Specified Manufacturers Log," this report is featured in BSD's groundbreaking specifications software product, BSD SpecLink®. Available in September 2003, the Specified Manufacturers Log makes BSD the only provider of construction industry information offering direct feedback to building product manufacturers on the relationship between being listed and being specified.

BSD SpecLink® is used by thousands of architects and engineers across the United States for preparing up-to-date construction specification documents for tens of thousands of commercial, institutional, and industrial projects each year. One of the new features of the Summer 2003 edition of SpecLink® is an automatic summary by specification section of all acceptable manufacturers included in the edited project specifications of all SpecLink® subscribers. The first Specified Manufacturers Logs will include project data from June 1, 2003 onward, sent automatically to BSD by the software from the subscribers' servers. Privacy concerns prevent BSD from revealing firm names or project names or locations, but the report does list all manufacturer names listed, all sections specified, the number of projects involved, and the number of firms/organizations involved. The new report makes use of a special ML (manufacturer listing) data tag to identify paragraphs naming acceptable manufacturers. All manufacturers in the SpecLink® master database have been tagged, but users can also attach ML tags to manufacturers they have added. Microsoft® Dot.Net technology is used to collect and send the summarized information to BSD.

BSD SpecLink® includes several other features designed to complement the Specified Manufacturer Logs. To obtain additional information on any of the hundreds of manufacturers in the master specification database, SpecLink® users can now click on over 1800 hyperlinks that connect directly to the manufacturers' websites. Live hyperlinks have been added in the Master Note attached to each manufacturer listed in SpecLink®. Websites appear in a separate Explorer window, allowing users to browse the manufacturers' information, copy relevant text, and paste it directly into the open SpecLink® document. For an additional fee, building product manufacturers can customize the Notes to include their logo, a brief description of their products or other promotional text, and multiple hyperlinks to web pages relevant to the product selection process.

Building Systems Design was founded in 1983 and currently produces the BSD SoftLink® suite of software applications for the architecture/engineering/construction market. For more information about the Specified Manufacturer Logs and other services for building product manufacturers, contact Susan McClendon at 888-273-7638 or smcclendon@bsdsoftlink.com. In addition to BSD SpecLink®, the SoftLink® suite includes PerSpective® for performance specifications, plus BSD CostLink®/AE and BSD CostLink®/CM for cost estimating. For more information about any of BSD's products, contact Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com. Information and software demonstrations are also available at www.bsdsoftlink.com

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Building cost modeling makes estimating easy for architects and engineers

September 2, 2003

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of 70 built-in cost models in the latest release of its innovative BSD CostLink®/AE software for design professionals. Based on data from RS Means, a division of Reed Construction Data, these models make it possible for architects and engineers who are not cost estimating specialists to quickly generate detailed cost estimates very early in a project. Furthermore, the estimates produced by the cost models can be refined easily as the project design is developed, since all the assemblies and quantities used by the models can be accessed and modified as required.

The RS Means models included in CostLink®/AE are constructed of up to 75 separate assemblies, and each assembly comprises 1 to 25 tasks and/or material components. The models operate through use of a series of formulas that calculate the quantity of each assembly and the quantity of the member tasks in each assembly, based on a small number of key parameters such as gross building area and number of floors. These parameters, which are adjustable by the user, are used by the formulas to project assembly quantities such as exterior closure area, slab on grade area, roof area, etc. In practice, the user chooses a model category (Commercial, Industrial or Institutional), selects a specific model from that category, then chooses one of the exterior closure and framing alternatives offered by the software. Next, the user enters an estimated building size and length of perimeter. The other major building parameters can then be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary.

Each model has an associated set of possible "Additive" items, which may or may not be appropriate for a particular project. The user simply enters a quantity for each item to be included. Another tab allows the user to select any of 700 different U.S. locations, enter an appropriate sales tax, and adjust contractor markups and other cost assumptions, such as the architect's fees. When this data has been appropriately adjusted, the preliminary cost information for the project is complete, and the user can print or preview a summary or a detailed cost estimate. It's also easy to add assemblies and cost items using any of the RS Means Assemblies and Cost Items provided with the software. The user can also experiment with alternative assemblies and building elements to investigate the effects on project cost.

Building Systems Design, Inc. is the only company that provides the RS Means modeling capability integrated with a full-featured estimating system. Founded in 1983, BSD currently produces the BSD SoftLink® suite of software applications for the architecture/engineering/construction market. In addition to BSD CostLink®/AE, the SoftLink® suite includes PerSpective® for design criteria, BSD SpecLink® for construction specifications, and BSD CostLink®/CM for professional cost estimating. For more information about any of BSD's products, contact Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com. Information and software demonstrations are also available at www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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Building Product Manufacturers Featured in Specifications Software

January 7, 2003

Atlanta, GA -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of a new version of its groundbreaking specifications software product, BSD SpecLink®. Released in December 2002, the new SpecLink® edition features a number of enhancements that focus on building product manufacturers.

BSD SpecLink® is used by thousands of architects and engineers across the United States for preparing up-to-date construction specification documents. One of the new SpecLink® features is a report that automatically lists by product type all acceptable manufacturers included in the edited project specifications. To obtain additional information on any of the hundreds of manufacturers in the master specification database, SpecLink® users can now click on over 1800 hyperlinks that connect directly to the manufacturers' websites. Examples of ARCAT SpecWizard sections have also been included in the new release. These proprietary sections, which are based on products from sponsoring manufacturers, feature graphic notes to assist in product selection and checklist editing that produces a customized specification section automatically.

SpecLink®'s new report, called Manufacturers Listed in Project, uses a special ML (manufacturer listing) data tag to identify paragraphs naming acceptable manufacturers. When the user is finished editing the project specifications, a mouse click generates a report that lists by product category every manufacturer named in the spec documents. All manufacturers in the SpecLink® master database have been tagged, but users can also attach ML tags to manufacturers they have added.

Live hyperlinks have been added in the master note attached to each manufacturer listed in SpecLink®. Websites appear in a separate Explorer window, allowing users to browse the manufacturers' information, copy relevant text, and paste it directly into the open SpecLink® document. Over 1,800 manufacturer hyperlinks were added in this release, and the links lead directly to the manufacturers listed, instead of to an intermediate website. In addition, hundreds of hyperlinks to ARCAT's website(www.ARCAT.com) have been added at the Manufacturer headings in Part 2 of most product sections, allowing SpecLink® users to easily find other manufacturers for most product types.

The SpecWizards included in the winter release comprise a short checklist that precedes the master specification text for selected sections. Notes attached to the checklist options include photographs, diagrams, and other graphics that clearly illustrate product features. Links from the checklist options automatically select appropriate specification paragraphs, resulting in a specification section that is pre-edited by choices made in the checklist.

Building Systems Design was founded in 1983 and currently produces the BSD SoftLink® suite of software applications for the architecture/engineering/construction market. In addition to BSD SpecLink®, the SoftLink® suite includes PerSpective® for performance specifications, plus BSD CostLink®/AE and BSD CostLink®/CM for cost estimating.  For more information about any of BSD's products, contact Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com. Information and software demonstrations are also available at www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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BSD CostLink®/AE: Cost Estimating for Designers

August 26, 2002

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) is pleased to announce the immediate availability of BSD CostLink®/AE, a cost estimating system developed especially for design professionals. Although just introduced, CostLink®/AE is based on time-tested BSD CostLink®/CM, BSD's premier detailed cost estimating system. The AE version is a simpler product designed to appeal to architects, engineers, and other design professionals for whom cost estimating is important but not the primary job function. Positioned as a companion product to BSD SpecLink® and PerSpective® specification writing software, CostLink®/AE is a subscription service that includes integrated R.S. Means cost data and unlimited technical support. Updated annually, the cost databases include over 11,000 systems and assemblies, 20,000 line items, and cost indices for over 700 U.S. locations.

To keep things simple, all costs in AE are installed costs that include material, labor, and equipment components, in addition to pre-computed subcontractor overhead and profit. The user can adjust the default general contractor markups and other factors such as architect's fees and a contingency budget. To construct an estimate in CostLink®/AE, the user drags and drops (or copies and pastes) entire building systems, assemblies, and line items from the Means data into a project, then inserts quantities. The organization of the project estimate is totally flexible. CostLink®/AE provides templates based on UniFormat II and MasterFormat™, but the user may also construct a unique hierarchy or copy another project as the starting point. At any point in the estimate development process, reports can be previewed or printed that break down the total cost into whatever level of detail is desired.

CostLink®/AE also supports dynamic linking to Microsoft Excel. Architects can create a space program or building parameters model in Excel and link quantity cells directly to CostLink®/AE. Once linked, the values in AE update automatically as the space program or other parameters change. It's also possible to attach a note and/or pictures to any folder or line item in the cost estimate.

Built-in reports are already formatted, but they can be customized in a variety of ways. Cost estimates can include markups in the individual line items, or the markups can be summarized at the end of the report. Users can also choose the level of summarization and may choose to show or hide a number of optional columns, such as percent of total, unit costs, and quantities. Headers and footers are customizable, and a company logo can be added for further refinement. Reports can also be exported to a number of formats, including PDF, Excel, and Word.

About BSD: Building Systems Design, Inc. is a software development company founded in Atlanta in 1983 to create PC-based software tools for the a/e/c market. In addition to cost estimating products, the BSD SoftLink® suite includes BSD SpecLink® and PerSpective® specification writing and management tools. For more information about any of BSD's products, Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com. Information and software demonstrations are also available at www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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Colorblind architects can now use wizards to prepare specifications

June 18, 2002

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) announces the immediate availability of new versions of its groundbreaking specification writing products, BSD SpecLink® and PerSpective®. Released in early June 2002, new versions of each product have improved features that include a new interface with reduced dependence on color cues and wizard capability for adding intelligence to office master specifications.

BSD SpecLink® is used for preparing construction specifications, while PerSpective® is designed for preparing performance specifications early in a project, before building materials and systems have been selected. Both products are sold on an annual subscription basis primarily to design professionals. In response to requests from some subscribers with various types of colorblindness, BSD has made a number of changes designed to complement color cues in the software with shape and position markers. For instance, paragraph status indicators now change shape as well as color to indicate link status. Paragraphs that have been selected automatically by green links from user-selected paragraphs display a green square. Paragraphs automatically excluded by red links display a red stop sign. And paragraphs that are highlighted by yellow links display an inverted yellow triangle. In addition, the status indicator for any active paragraph now appears to be depressed, whereas those for inactive paragraphs -- unselected text that will not print as part of the project specifications -- appear raised. Paragraph icons that indicate the availability of a master or project note or the presence of a user-modified or user-added paragraph also have been changed to be more descriptive and less dependent on color.

Another major new feature in both BSD SpecLink® and PerSpective® is the ability to attach a tag to any paragraph. 28 different tags are available, and most are used to generate special reports for a project. For example, paragraphs calling for shop drawing submittal would have an SD (shop drawings) tag attached, while paragraphs calling for samples would have an SA (samples submittal) tag. Specialized non-printing (NP) and non-selectable (NS) wizard tags allow the user to add a checklist at the beginning of a section with links to the specification text. If the checklist questions are tagged NP, designers in the office can select options applicable to a project, the links will automatically edit the section, but the checklist questions will not be included in the printed specification section. Users can also include instructions that are turned on by links under some circumstances. If these instructions are tagged NS (non-selectable), they will not print with the section, but in addition, users will not be able to select or exclude the instructions inadvertently. According to BSD President Robert Paul Dean, "by using these tags creatively, a specifications specialist can add an amazing amount of intelligence to an office master specification that is used by non-specialists within the office."

Both SpecLink® and PerSpective® include master specifications data that is maintained in a relational database, rather than as word processing files. The user's project files are stored separately and are merged with the master data for viewing and printing edited specification documents. The database structure allows selective updating on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis and also makes possible BSD's exclusive text linking feature.

About BSD: Building Systems Design, Inc. is a software development company founded in Atlanta in 1983 to create PC-based software tools for the a/e/c market. In addition to its specifications products, BSD offers a line of construction budgeting and cost estimating software tools, including BSD CostLink®/CM. For more information about any of the products in the BSD SoftLink® suite, Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com. PowerPoint presentations and software demonstrations are also available at www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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Construction Cost Modeling Feature Now Available in BSD CostLink®/CM

March 19, 2002

Atlanta,GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of a new version of its premier cost estimating software product, BSD CostLink®/CM. Released in early March 2002, the new CostLink® product has many new features, including interactive linking with Excel spreadsheets.

With this latest release, CostLink®/CM users are now able to maintain project "models" within Excel spreadsheets, requiring only minimal parameter changes in the Excel model to change numerous quantity fields in a CostLink®/CM project. When a user changes a cell in an Excel worksheet that changes the values of other cells, the corresponding values in CM are also saved, regardless of whether or not the CM project is currently active. When the CM project is opened later, the values are automatically updated. The software allows linking a single cell in Excel to multiple items in a CM project, as well as allowing linking to multiple CM projects from a single spreadsheet.

Communication between BSD CostLink®/CM and Microsoft Excel is handled by an intermediate application called aecLinkMan™ that runs in the background. The links between applications are stored in a database managed by aecLinkMan, eliminating the need for both applications to be open concurrently. The software also allows the user to suspend linking at any time, in order to "freeze" quantities.

The new Excel linking feature complements other linking capabilities already built into CostLink®/CM. Users have long been able to export data from CM to Primavera's P3 scheduling software and to Microsoft Project. More recently, the ability to export data from Seagates' Crystal Reports was added for enhanced formatting capability. For more information about BSD CostLink®/CM version 3.0, contact Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com, or visit www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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Faster Construction Specifications With Enhanced Software Products

March 19, 2002

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of new versions of its groundbreaking specification writing products, BSD SpecLink® and PerSpective®. Released in early March 2002, the new version of each product has many improved features. These include a number of rewritten functions that eliminate document reloading after processing, thus streamlining the editing process.

BSD SpecLink® is used for preparing construction specifications, while the newer PerSpective® product is designed for preparing performance specifications early in a project, before building materials and systems have been selected. Both products have been enhanced by the addition of new user-modifiable default capabilities, including project folder location, export folder location, and project selection view. Perhaps the most timesaving new feature, however, is a setting that allows the user to automatically select any new text added to a project. A corresponding improvement in the Import from Clipboard feature is an option to select all new paragraphs being imported. This is a major timesaver when large blocks of text are being imported for immediate use on a project.

The quarterly update installation process for both products has also been enhanced. Both SpecLink® and PerSpective® can be installed on a network and can be made available to any number of workstations, each of which is updated each quarter. The software now looks in the registry to determine where the previous version was installed and installs the update in the same location automatically. A new security feature prevents the user from inadvertently using the software after the server update has been completed but before the client update has been finished.

Both SpecLink® and PerSpective® include master data that is maintained in a relational database, rather than as word processing files. The user's project files are stored separately and are merged with the master data for viewing and printing edited specification documents. The database structure allows selective updating on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis and also makes possible BSD's exclusive linking feature. Thousands of links in the master database improve productivity by automatically selecting related text and excluding incompatible options as the user selects paragraphs for a particular project. For more information about BSD SpecLink® or PerSpective®, contact Bryant Hendricks at 888-273-7638 or bhendricks@bsdsoftlink.com, or visit www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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Short Form Specs Catalog Now Available in PerSpective®

June 26, 2001

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of a new catalog of Short Form specifications.  Previously included exclusively as part of a complete PerSpective® license, this separate catalog is a more affordable option for many firms.

The PerSpective® Short Form specs are useful for schematic design or design development documentation and are complete enough for construction documents on smaller, less complex projects.  All section numbers and titles conform to the 1995 edition of CSI's MasterFormat™.

The complete PerSpective® product includes the construction industry's first database of performance criteria for buildings.  Intended initially for design-build projects, it is also useful for specifying performance requirements at an early stage in conventional design-bid-build projects.  Users of the PerSpective® Performance Specifications catalog can expand their performance specifications into detailed material requirements using the Short Form specs. 

Originally developed by The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and released in 1999, PerSpective® is now marketed and sold by BSD.  BSD and CSI-DBIA have made a new strategic alliance dedicated to the development of innovative software products for the construction industry.  BSD now distributes PerSpective® with its BSD SpecLink® and BSD CostLink® products and the three partners share development and maintenance of all three products.

For more information about licensing the PerSpective® Short Form or Performance catalogs, call BSD at 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638) or visit www.bsdsoftlink.com.

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BSD, CSI, and DBIA announce new strategic alliance for innovative construction industry software

April 25, 2001

For more information, contact:

CSI: Dominique Fernandez; 800-689-2900; dfernandez@csinet.org
DBIA: David Johnston, 202-682-0110; djohnston@dbia.org
BSD: Robert Paul Dean; 888-BSD-SOFT; rdean@bsdsoftlink.com

Alexandria, VA. - The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), and Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) today announced a strategic alliance dedicated to development of innovative software products for the construction industry.  BSD, a software development firm specializing in cost estimating and specification writing products, assumed management, marketing and technical support of CSI/DBIA's PerSpective®, effective April 1, 2001.  PerSpective® is the construction industry's first electronic database of performance-based building specifications and is used extensively (although not exclusively) for design-build projects.  BSD will distribute PerSpective® with its BSD SpecLink® and BSD CostLink® products.

As part of a seamless transition, the three partners will share development and maintenance of all three products.  CSI and DBIA, who developed PerSpective® as a joint venture, will provide input on all three products through a technical committee and corresponding members using a dedicated Web site.

According to CSI's Executive Director, Gregory Balestrero, "each organization will bring to this new relationship a set of capabilities and strengths that will inevitably result in better and more powerful tools for the construction industry."  DBIA's President and CEO, Jeffrey L. Beard, added that "working together, we can achieve a result for our members that would not be possible for any one organization."

On the market since 1999, PerSpective® has been adopted by a variety of organizations and institutions, including the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Intel Corporation, Chrysler Realty Corporation, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The U.S. Department of State has also adopted PerSpective® for new embassy construction worldwide.  BSD SpecLink®, available since 1996, is in use by architectural and engineering firms nationwide.  Distributed on CD-ROM, it features a quarterly update service that automatically merges updated information in the master database with a user's own customized text.  The latest version of BSD's sophisticated cost estimating software is BSD CostLink®/CM, which permits users to build a cost estimate using one data structure, then view it in any number of alternative organizations.

Access to PerSpective® and SpecLink® is sold as an annual subscription, and CostLink® is sold with optional commercial databases and extended technical support.  BSD will include all three products on a single CD-ROM, which will be replaced quarterly.  CSI and DBIA members will receive a 15 percent discount on new sales and a 5 percent discount on renewals.  For more information on any of the products, visit www.bsdsoftlink.com.  To order, contact BSD sales at 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638).

BSD, an Atlanta-based company, has been in business since 1983.  Its software products are widely recognized as being among the most advanced tools available to construction industry professionals.

CSI is a national professional association of more than 18,000 members that provides technical information and products, continuing education, professional conferences, and product shows to enhance communication within the construction industry.  CSI's policy of industry-wide membership has resulted in improved communication and unprecedented teamwork to develop innovative products and services benefiting all involved in nonresidential construction.

DBIA was founded in 1993 to promote the widespread and successful utilization of the design-build project delivery method throughout industry and government.  Its membership comprises firms and individuals engaged in the delivery of all types of building projects via the design-build process and dedicated to improving the professional standards of the industry.

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New AGC document generation software delivers powerful productivity features at subscriber's fingertips

March 23, 2001

Contact: Dennis S. Day, 703-837-5310

Nashville, TN. -- Crafting proper design and construction agreements and related documents are never easy tasks. For many decades, industry participants have looked to and relied on the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to furnish them with balanced, industry-accepted, standardized forms to assist them with such challenging tasks. Now, AGC has gone one - considerably larger - step further with the introduction of DocuBuilder™ Contract Document Software, a revolutionary productivity tool intended to make creating and editing construction agreements a more expedient and easier process. Utilizing AGC's comprehensive library of contract documents, DocuBuilder™ software enhances productivity through such features as global word replacement options, header customization, visible document links, ability to annotate specific provisions and to import custom text, automatic delineation of document modifications, network installation capability and a comprehensive help system.

"Welcome to a new and better way of creating and customizing contract documents for your projects," said AGC Executive Vice President and CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.  "DocuBuilder delivers the better business environment every AGC contractor member needs to be successful. Release 1.0 is just the beginning. This initial release includes AGC's 200 and 400 series of documents, the rest of AGC's documents will follow later in the year."

Anticipating the demand from its membership for electronic delivery of products, the AGC Contract Documents Committee proudly offers the industry a state-of-the-art software program that is easy-to-use and intelligent. It is the first step in a series of new and innovative ways AGC is bringing electronic and e-commerce products to its members and the construction industry. "We were very impressed with DocuBuilder™," said Steve Warnick of Austin Commercial, a commercial contractor headquartered in Dallas, Texas who participated in the beta test of the software. "Frankly, we found DocuBuilder™ to be heads-and-shoulders above similar software that we were already using," remarked Warnick. "DocuBuilder™ is a dynamic product that can expand through additional content, features and hyperlinking to meet the contract document and associated information needs of the industry for many years to come," added John R. Witherspoon, Chief Executive Officer of Building Syst ems Design, Inc., a software developer specializing in solutions for the construction industry who was tapped by AGC to lead the development of DocuBuilder™.

By the end of the year, DocuBuilder™ will contain AGC's full family of more than 50 agreements, covering nearly every delivery system and relationship. The new software and the agreements contained therein are designed to help all project participants - owners, contractors, design professionals and specialty contractors - make better business decisions in a shorter period of time. AGC contract documents are industry-tempered forms, reflecting considerable input from owners, design professionals and specialty contractors and their respective associations and providing a firm foundation for enhanced client relationships and project success.

To learn more about AGC DocuBuilder™ Contract Document Software, call toll free 1-866-DOCUBLD (362-8253) for your free information kit.

The Associated General Contractors of America is the largest and oldest national construction trade association, founded in 1918.  AGC represents more than 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors, and 12,000 specialty-contracting firms.  Over 14,000 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, through a nationwide network of chapters.  Visit the AGC website at www.agc.org.

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BSD SpecLink®+ makes its debut

December 11, 2000

Altanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) announces the immediate release of BSD SpecLink+, its latest specifications management tool for construction professionals. Based on a Microsoft® Windows® 32-bit architecture, the new product has an underlying structure that is similar to BSD's original 16-bit product but presents a completely new look and offers many new capabilities.

Most Complete Database
The new product offers the largest commercial database of specifications on the market - over 725 individual sections. SpecLink+ users receive a quarterly CD-ROM with comprehensive updates to the database that are automatically installed.  Edits, selections, and additions the user has made to a specification project are preserved during the update process.

Intelligent Links
Based on a relational database instead of word processing, SpecLink+ employs over 125,000 "intelligent links" to multiply the productivity of its users. As products are selected for inclusion in a project, green links attached to these paragraphs automatically select additional related text, yellow links highlight relevant options, and red links exclude incompatible text.

New Graphical Interface
One of the major differences from the original SpecLink product is a totally new, WYSIWYG user interface. Navigation to a desired section is via a tree that operates like Windows Explorer. The selected document appears in a panel to the right of the tree, which looks and feels much like a conventional word processing program. Although each paragraph is actually one field in a database record, changes are made directly in the document. Editing text is as simple as blocking to delete and clicking to insert.

In addition to retaining the advantages of establishing document format for all project sections in one place, the new SpecLink+ now allows customized formatting of individual paragraphs. A global style selected or customized by the user for each text level determines font, line spacing, paragraph numbering format, and indentation. However, users can now block text in a paragraph and underline it, bold it, or apply a different font that takes precedence over the style established for that level.

Notes Window
One of the most exciting changes in SpecLink+ is the new Notes window. The master database includes tens of thousands of helpful notes that are attached to individual paragraphs. These notes typically are designed to provide additional information about options within the text. Instead of cluttering up the text, however, they only appear when the Notes window is clicked open. Colored icons in the document panel alert the user to the availability of these notes when the window is closed.

The most dramatic change in the Notes window, however, is the addition of graphic and hyperlink capability. Notes can now include photos, diagrams, and drawings, in addition to text. Clicking on an embedded hyperlink opens the user's Internet Explorer browser and jumps directly to the designated web page. This new graphic and hyperlink capability will be extensively exploited in future editions of SpecLink+, greatly enhancing its usefulness in verifying that product information included in the database is both current and applicable to the project.

More Information
For more information on BSD SpecLink+, visit our website at www.bsdsoftlink.com or call Bryant Hendricks at 1-888-BSD-SOFT (273-7638). SpecLink+ runs under Windows 95/98, NT, and 2000. Building Systems Design, Inc. is an Atlanta-based software development company and the developer of the BSD SoftLink® line of linked architectural and engineering products, including a series of BSD CostLink® cost estimating programs and databases.

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BSD CostLink®/CM - BSD's Flagship Cost Engineering System for Construction Management

August 21, 2000

Atlnata, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD) announces immediate availability of BSD CostLink®/CM , our new flagship cost engineering system for facility design and construction. CM is a sophisticated tool for modeling and managing design and construction costs. CostLink®/CM is BSD's strategic application for the year 2000, providing the foundation for development in the coming decade.

The View is Everything
CostLink®/CM includes the capability to maintain multiple views of a cost estimate. Predefined views include a Bid Schedule View, Contractors Hierarchy View, a Schedule Activities View and a CSI MasterFormat™ View. The user can create additional hierarchical views - for example, to organize the cost estimate using a client-specific chart of accounts.

CM supports user-defined queries with an easy-to-use Query Dialog allowing you to retrieve information based on the contents of one or more fields in the Project Database. For example, you can query for all items with a total material cost greater than $100,000, or all items installed by a certain type of crew, or all items with a quantity of zero. CM allows you to store queries in the Views Selector and re-use them as needed during estimate development.

Reports
CM provides a wide variety of standard report formats. Like our previous CostLink® 16-bit release (BSD CostLink®), CostLink®/CM provides reports for direct cost summary, indirect cost summary and owner cost summary. The report manager teams with the organizational interface, allowing the user to select the summarization hierarchy independent of other report selections. This combination provides enormous flexibility for reporting and analysis.

Better still, CM separates its computational engine from the report formatting and output vehicle. Using Crystal Report Writerä by Seagate Software, you create your own output formats and reports and can even modify some aspects of the built-in reports. It's also possible to use your own choice of report writer to output data from CM's Microsoft Access-formatted Project summary tables.

Real World Dollars and Cents
CostLink®/CM supports estimating using any combination of five predefined cost types (labor, equipment, material, shipping and other) and up to five user-defined unit cost types such as owner furnished equipment. While labor and equipment resources are normally grouped as a crew used to produce or install a cost task, labor and equipment can also participate directly as an estimate line item or assembly member.

Starter databases of cost tasks, assemblies, labor and equipment are provided with the software. Additional commercial databases are available from BSD, including the full range of R.S. Means cost databases.

Beyond Direct costs
To facilitate modeling of indirect costs, CostLink®/CM supports hundreds of markup combinations, each of which can be selectively applied to individual line items, the whole project or anywhere in between. Markups can also be defined to apply to one, some, or all cost types (labor, equipment, material, etc). Markups can be as simple as a single percentage markup for all estimate items, or as simple as no markup at all.

As in the predecessor BSD CostLink® product, contractors can be defined in terms of their hierarchical relationship to each other. Each contractor's markup can be specified independent of other contractors. Markups are defined as any of up to five predefined indirect cost types (Overhead, Profit, Bond, PTI, and General Excise Tax) and five user-defined types. In CostLink®/CM, contractors are created in a separate contractor's view that facilitates work assignment by drag and drop from other project work breakdown views.

CM also supports Owner markups on the total of direct and indirect costs using predefined types for Escalation and Contingency, and up to five user-defined owner cost markups. Like indirect cost markups, owner markups can be applied at individual line items, to the whole project, or anywhere in between.

More information
For more information on CostLink®/CM visit our web site at www.bsdsoftlink.com or call our sales group at 1-888-BSD-SOFT (273-7638). CM runs under Windows 95/98, NT, and 2000. Building Systems Design, Inc. is an Atlanta-based software development company and the developer of the BSD SoftLink® line of linked architectural and engineering products, including BSD SpecLink® project specifications software and data.

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New specifications product ideally suited for small projects

October 12, 1998

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. has released a new specifications product ideally suited to small architectural and engineering offices, or larger offices that also do smaller scale projects. Called BSD SpecLink/SP™, it draws from the same power base as the revolutionary BSD SpecLink® product, but has a more directed scope. SP's special pricing means that even the independent designer can afford a state-of-the-art specifications management package.

BSD SpecLink/SP contains 150+ specifications sections from Divisions 1 through 16, including Series 00 documents, plus over 200 free proprietary sections that are based on particular product lines. A built-in model project allows the user to start with a pre-edited set of complete specifications that are appropriate for many small projects. Because master data is always visible and never deleted, it is easy to review project choices or select alternatives. Users can also import their own custom sections and create office-specific model projects.

The SpecLink® database includes thousands of intelligent links within and between sections, resulting in an increase in specification productivity and better coordination. These links automatically include related text and exclude incompatible options, but leave the user free to change at will. BSD SpecLink/SP contains a multitude of formatting and printing options that are all controlled within the system with one group of settings. It's no longer necessary to deal with clumsy macros or complicated file management to change the page layout for all sections in a project.

The program runs under any version of Microsoft® Windows™. Inexpensive annual subscription fees include toll-free technical support. Building Systems Design, Inc. is an Atlanta-based software development company and the developer of the BSD SoftLink® line of linked architectural and engineering products, including the BSD CostLink® cost estimating package.

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New Software Tool for Landscape Architects

October 1998

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc. announces the immediate availability of a new specification software product tailored to the specialized needs of landscape architects. The Landscape Catalog is the latest addition to BSD's complete line of automated specification products, all based on BSD's revolutionary BSD SpecLink® software.

The BSD SpecLink® Landscape Catalog contains dozens of specification sections that cover all the most commonly specified landscaping materials, including subjects as diverse as outdoor lighting, masonry, rough carpentry, and concrete, as well as planting and earthwork. In addition, the database includes hundreds of free proprietary sections based on the SpecDisk® collection by The Architect's Catalog, Inc. Altogether, there are nearly 300 sections available in Division 1 through Division 16, plus Series 00 documents that cover bidding and contracting requirements.

The extensive database includes thousands of "intelligent links" between paragraphs, resulting in better coordination and improved productivity. As the landscape architect makes selections from the master text provided, these intelligent links automatically include related topics and exclude incompatible options. There are also thousands of notes in a separate window that provide useful information about the choices presented in the text. Updated quarterly, the system is uniquely designed to incorporate changes without affecting any customization by the user.

The BSD SpecLink® software includes a multitude of formatting and printing options, including font control by text level, two-column layout, and landscape page orientation. Instead of complicated macros and dozens of individual word processing files, the system allows the user to establish the format for an entire project and print all sections with one group of settings.

The program runs under any version of Microsoft® Windows™ and requires no other software. Inexpensive annual subscription fees include toll-free technical support. Building Systems Design, Inc. is an Atlanta-based software development company and the developer of the BSD SoftLink® line of linked architectural and engineering products, including the BSD CostLink® cost estimating package.

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Version 1.5 of BSD CostLink® Cost Estimating Software - The second in a suite of linked construction software applications

August 1997

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc., an Atlanta-based software development company, announces the release of Version 1.5 of BSD CostLink®, a Windows-based cost estimating system that is both comprehensive and easy to use.

CostLink® is designed to work from early budgeting through final cost estimating, becoming more and more precise as early assumptions are replaced by detail. The Windows interface allows users to copy and paste or drag and drop assemblies and unit prices from commercial databases, such as those provided by R.S. Means, Saylor, or Richardson Engineering. The system also accommodates in-house, user-defined data.

Work breakdown structures, project templates, cost categories, contractors, and other project variables are all user-definable. The system includes numerous built-in reports, together with a data interface that allows the user to export project data to a favorite report writer. For added versatility, BSD CostLink® allows notes to be added virtually anywhere, and reports can be generated automatically in English units, in metric, or in both. The system also supports multiple currency denominations and rounding.

BSD CostLink® combines the strengths of BSD's DOS-based Composer Gold™ cost estimating software with a highly intuitive and flexible user interface. Fully compatible with both Composer Gold™ and the government's MCACES Gold, BSD CostLink® can share projects and databases with either. Reports generated with BSD CostLink® meet all requirements for U.S. government MCACES estimates.

Built-in integration functionality will allow BSD CostLink® to communicate with CAD and specifications software in the near future. The first component in a planned suite of linked software products - BSD SpecLink® - was rolled out by BSD in the spring of 1996: BSD SpecLink® is a sophisticated Windows-based specifications management system with an intelligent database. The final component needed to implement the planned linkage system will be BSD CadLink, slated for introduction in late 1999.

BSD CostLink® can be used stand-alone or on a LAN.

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New BSD SpecLink® Contributor Program

July 1997

Atlanta, GA. -- Building Systems Design, Inc., developer of the BSD SpecLink® automated specifications software, is recruiting highly qualified contributors and reviewers for a new specification service. Qualified Contributors will submit new specification sections for publication and will also provide an ongoing "industry review" for related sections. In exchange, Contributors will be entitled to steeply discounted renewals to BSD SpecLink®, free tuition to a BSD SpecLink® training course, and a citation in all SpecLink® publications. SpecLink® subscribers will benefit from the expertise of industry spec writers in a variety of disciplines.

To qualify as a SpecLink® Contributor a spec writer must personally be a user of BSD SpecLink® in an active architectural, engineering, interiors, landscape, or specification consulting practice. In addition they must have familiarity with and understanding of the CSI-recommended principles of specification writing, and a familiarity with at least one of the national model codes. BSD is interested in highly qualified contributors who can provide specifications sections of the highest caliber.

Prospective contributor should identify discipline, code jurisdiction, and product areas with which he/she is familiar, and may propose a family of sections they would like to review. All sections will be reviewed by Building Systems Design and will be accepted based on need, experience, and preference. For a complete description of the BSD SpecLink® Contributor Program please contact Susan McClendon, Product Manager at 888-BSD-SOFT (888-273-7638).

BSD SpecLink® is a trademark of Building Systems Design, Inc. MasterFormat™ and SectionFormat™ are trademarks of The Construction Specifications Institute. Microsoft is a registered trademark and Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.

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