Frequently Asked Questions
Do you know of any available [professional] spec writing training?
A good place to begin is with the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) – You can find a local chapter on their site; there are local volunteers who conduct the training sessions for members
If you are intertested in being a certified Specifier:
- Construction Documents Technology Certification for the core foundation http://www.csiresources.org/certification/cdt
- Certified Construction Specifier Certification http://www.csiresources.org/certification/ccs
- Certified Construction Contract Administration Certification http://www.csiresources.org/certification/ccca
- On Demand Webinars http://eo2.commpartners.com/users/csi/
SpecLink-E Top Questions
- How are these specifications different from what I'm using now?
- Is writing specs using SpecLink-E faster than word processing?
- How can BSD SpecLink-E help you make more intelligent use of your time?
- How exactly will SpecLink-E save you time?
- Is the section content in SpecLink-E's database any better than that of competitive software?
- What's the next step to getting started with SpecLink-E?
- How are these specifications different from what I'm using now?
The main difference is that by using the SpecLink-E software and our master database, you select text that you want to include (instead of deleting text that you don't want or need), add any additional text that is needed, choose between the built-in options, and set the "global" variables. Only the text you have selected prints in your project, but all the remaining text is still there for use if you need it, either for this project or for the next.
Second, the database is "intelligent," i.e., intelligent links have been added that multiply your productivity. As you make decisions about your project, these links automatically include related requirements and exclude options that are contradictory.
Third, "notes to the specifier" are available throughout the database in a separate window. The notes are context-sensitive, and there can be a note for every paragraph. You can also add your own notes to any paragraph—but none of these notes "clutter up" the screen and none of them have to be deleted or hidden before printing.
Finally, when you are finished and need to print the copy, you set the printing format only once for the whole project. You can choose from preset formats or modify any of them. Margins, indents, fonts, paragraph numbering, line spacing, headers and footers are all customizable.
Normal word processing utilities, like spell checking and find-and-replace, are also included.
Yes. Even if you can use your office master or a previous project spec without making any changes at all, preparing specs using SpecLink-E will be faster than using word processing.
First of all, the nitty-gritty of numbering paragraphs correctly, making the pages look right, and customizing headers and footers is taken care of with a single group of settings for the entire project. There is no making sure the right styles are applied, running macros, or other complex or time-consuming word processing operations. You simply select the text you want, set or customize the print format settings, and print.
Secondly, you can re-use previous projects without the danger of leaving out something important. This is a very powerful aspect that is not immediately obvious. Because the software functions by selecting text to include, rather than deleting text not required, all the original text is still available in any project. If a previous project is similar to your next project, you simply copy it (one command, not copying multiple files) and change it as required. If a particular spec section is not needed in the next project, simply deselect it (no need to delete it). If a section that was not in the last project is now needed, select it, open it and select the text you need. If you make an office master project, you can even have the text in each section pre-selected to suit your most common practice.
SpecLink-E is an intelligent construction specification writing, management, and production system with built-in intelligence designed to help you dramatically speed up editing tasks and reduce specification production time while minimizing errors and omissions. Combined with the industry's most comprehensive and up-to-date master database for building specifications, SpecLink-E enables you to accelerate your specification writing with unsurpassed accuracy and integrity, leaving more time for other important things—like design. Add free, unlimited technical support, and it becomes hard to imagine working any other way.
SpecLink-E offers many exclusive, time-saving features that give you powerful advantages over other construction specification methods. Begin your SpecLink-E evaluation today, and experience these features for yourself:
- Data is stored in a single database instead of multiple files. Because your building specification project is managed in a single file, instead of requiring you to manage dozens of files, your file management nightmares will be over forever!
- Edit by selecting text instead of deleting text. It works like a checklist, dramatically speeding up your editing process. You simply go down the checklist, clicking on (selecting) information relevant to your project. Only selected text actually appears in the final document. Unselected text is always available for future use, even if you start with a copy of an earlier project instead of starting over. You can change your mind as much as you want, and you never need to go back to the original master document or another project to search for deleted text! In addition, if you need short form specs or outline specifications, you can generate them from the same project file you will use later for final construction documents—you simply collapse the text for outline or short form specs and select additional text to later complete the specs and produce your construction documents.
- Intelligent links automatically trigger related text. As you select information, more than 170,000 color-coded intelligent links automatically include relevant provisions (green), exclude incompatible options (red), and highlight for consideration other related options (yellow). This significantly speeds up editing while greatly reducing errors and omissions — delivering unsurpassed accuracy and data integrity. Adding your own intelligent links in an office master project is a drag-and drop process that takes mere seconds. You can customize, add, delete, or modify your added links based on your specific company or project requirements at any time.
- Separate notes-to-the-editor windows provide quick and easy assistance. While you're editing and reviewing your specification, a separate window containing BSD's context-sensitive master notes can be viewed simultaneously. The master notes include built-in hyperlinks to the websites of named manufacturers. You can also add your own reminders and instructions in a separate project notes window for easy reference. Both notes windows aid you in the creation of your specification without taking up space in your document... and you never have to delete or hide them.
- One-step global formatting brings it all together. Here's where the benefits
really begin to multiply! Since each project is a single file, most
production work can be done with a single setting or command.
- Globally change page format, paragraph numbering style, headers/footers, and other document characteristics for all the sections in your project... immediately... in one place.
- Use keywords in headers and footers to insert data like section name, number, and project ID... automatically.
- Create a Table of Contents that includes page counts... with one mouse click.
- Based on SpecLink-E's powerful relational database technology, dozens of automatic administrative reports are available to facilitate construction phase administration. You can quickly and consistently print automatic reports for any project — including lists of required submittals and manufacturers specified — thereby quickly and consistently print automatic construction phase reports, including required submittals and manufacturers specified, thereby extending the value of SpecLink-E throughout the construction phase.
SpecLink-E contains the industry's most comprehensive and up-to-date database of master specifications. It also includes lists of relevant building product manufacturers, appropriate reference standards, LEED/environmental issues, product selection guidance, and much more.
- The master database currently includes over 783 sections that span all building disciplines
- SpecLink-E conforms completely to the 2004 edition of CSI's MasterFormat™ and the CSI 3-Part specs format.
BSD dedicates a full-time staff of expert construction specification writers, augmented by independent consultants, user feedback, and a comprehensive technical review committee to ensure that all updates are accurate, comprehensive, and timely. Hundreds of changes are made each quarter, resulting in master specifications that are the most up-to-date of any system on the market.
By evaluating the SpecLink-E automated specification writing software, you'll see firsthand how quickly and easily you can complete spec writing tasks that now take much longer. The SpecLink-E Evaluation Copy is free and includes several unlocked sections for use in evaluating the software. You're entitled to free, unlimited support during your evaluation—including consultation with a specification writer on our staff.
Review the materials available on the Additional Information page to get your evaluation copy, demo/tutorials, samples, and ordering info. You can also get a live demo over the web, or have a CD-ROM mailed to you.
SpecLink-E can be used either in a stand-alone configuration or in a concurrent network licensing configuration, where information can be shared by project team members.
Catalogs are available for architecture, structural engineering, civil engineering, landscape architecture, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, as well as a "basics" catalog that is suitable for low-risk or small project specifications. See the Catalog Listing and Ordering Info for more details.