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About Building Systems Design

BSD develops the best master specification content available to the architecture, engineering, and construction markets of North America, and delivers that content via innovative software tools that help you simplify your projects and get more done.

We were founded in 1983 to develop commercial software for the Federal government. We did this for more than 15 years, and some of our software is still used by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Defense for detailed construction cost estimating.

Our suite of products still includes CostLink/AE, which helps architects, engineers, and other non-financial-experts produce cost estimates. We also produce master guide specifications for use with our SpecLink-E system, and interoperability with BIM and Revit through our LinkMan-E product. And because software is only as valuable as its implementation, we offer extensive support as well as a full range of training options to meet the needs of both the novice and advanced user.

BSD was acquired in 2010 by the Construction Specifications Institute, an industry organization with the mission of advancing building information management and the education of project teams to improve facility performance.

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Because we understand that the true value of software is in the implementation and support rather than in the purchase price, subscribers to BSD's products enjoy free, unlimited technical support—the best in the A/E/C industry.

Telephone Support

BSD maintains a telephone hotline staffed by personnel familiar with our products. Hotline hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Call (800) 266-7732.

E-mail Support

We also have a support messaging system that allows us to respond to your after-hours support needs. Click here to send us a detailed message about your problem. You will generally receive a response within 1 business day.

Remote Support

BSD also provides remote assistance for complex issues not easily handled by telephone or email support.
 Please click the "Remote Support" button when prompted to do so by a member of our support staff.



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BSD products address all phases of design and construction

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MASTER GUIDE SPECIFICATIONS — BSD SpecLink®-E is designed to produce documentation for all types of projects and for all phases of a project — from programming all the way through construction administration. Our database of 783 sections can be expanded or collapsed to provide outline, short form, and full construction specs — without the need to start over at each phase of a project. SpecLink-E is a sophisticated master guide specification system subscribed to by architects, engineers, and specification writers nationwide that lets users:

  • Reduce spec production time.
  • Speed up editing tasks.
  • Update specs automatically and painlessly without disruption.
  • Improve spec coordination.
  • Reduce errors & omissions.
  • Transition seamlessly from schematic design specs to design development specs to full construction specs, using the same database.
  • Access built-in automation for simplifying sustainable design certification, including LEED v4.
  • Connect to BIM through BSD LinkMan-E

CLOUD BASED VIEWER -- SpecLink Cloud is a platform designed to simplify sharing and collaborating on building project specifications. Designed with the project team in mind, SpecLink Cloud enables architects, engineers and specifiers to share and review specifications with their constituents including owners, consultants and contractors.

The solution is cloud-based and projects are accessible on any browser-enabled device with information organized on a central, secure platform. Customers also have complete control over who has access to that information. SpecLink Cloud is a companion tool for SpecLink-E, the most advanced solution available today for specification writing and production. Click here to see how SpecLink Cloud will enable virtualization and collaboration across the design process.


BIM INTEROPERABILITY — BSD LinkMan-E is an interoperability tool that will connect multiple applications through a comprehensive master database. Initially, it provides interoperability between BSD SpecLink-E and Autodesk's Revit. It allows a project manager to see and compare data from each application, highlighting conflicts and missing information. It can also be set to automatically "turn on" appropriate sections and specification text in SpecLink-E — based on data from the Revit model.

The data from Revit can be updated at any time without overwriting edits that have been made in BSD SpecLink-E, and users can add their own BIM objects and link them to the LinkMan-E data in a simple drag-and-drop process.

COST ESTIMATING — BSD CostLink®/AE is a different kind of cost estimating tool. It was designed by design professionals for design professionals — architects, engineers, and others — for whom cost estimating is important but not their primary job function. Produce budgetary estimates on day one in less than 15 minutes – and produce detailed cost estimates at any point in project development.

BSD SpecLink for Building Product Manufacturers – This year, SpecLink-E’s more than 10,000 users will specify manufacturers by name over a million times. Just think of what that could mean for your products. As a SpecLink-E manufacturer, you’ll reach specifiers at the point of decision with pictures and other important details. And when specifiers choose your products, SpecLink-E uses intelligent links to ensure that the specifications match your product. But the best part is that we can prove the results. SpecLink-E provides specific, section-by-section reporting and includes frequency of use, details of individual projects, and the names of products actually specified.



Project managers: Are you using Revit for your BIM model–and wishing for a tool that would automatically highlight potential conflicts between the model and your specs?

Wish no more. With BSD's LinkMan-E, you can create links between Revit objects and specifications in SpecLink-E and identify potential conflicts on a single dashboard. You can even automatically adjust the specifications based on changes you make in your Revit model.

Interested? Then learn more by watching two brief videos below—and then explore these pages to see how LinkMan-E can save you hours of tedious coordination work and prevent costly errors from creeping into your contract documents.

Looking for a new and better way of managing specifications production for building construction projects?

BSD SpecLink-E is a master guide 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, SpecLink-E enables you to accelerate your specification development with unsurpassed accuracy and integrity. Here's a description of the FEATURES of SpecLink-E.

In addition to conventional construction specifications, SpecLink-E includes Design Criteria for buildings (formerly PerSpective, the industry’s first and only commercially available database of performance-based specifications). Design Criteria are used during the early building design stages and for projects delivered via the design-build method.

The SpecLink-E software includes many productivity tools, including the ability to create automatic administrative reports, such as submittal requirements, useful during construction administration.

SpecLink-E is sold in both independent, stand-alone modules (catalogs) or as a fully-functional interactive group — just purchase the pieces that meet your particular needs.

BSD SpecLink-E is a client/server application that may be used by a single user (standalone) or installed on a network for use by any workstation on which the client is installed. BSD also offers SpecLink-E Cloud.



SpecLink-E, unlike its competitors, allows users to edit by selecting text instead of deleting it.

All of the master text is always available: just select what you want. Editing is fast and easy! You customize your projects without affecting the master. Furthermore, you can add your own text or import data from a word processor. All your changes are stored in a project overlay that maintains your project’s integrity--even when we update the project master!

Editing in SpecLink-E

Click on the thumbnail pictures to see them full size.

Although most editing is simply a matter of clicking on text you want to include... You can also edit master text, add your own paragraphs,and import text from word processing. All your changes to the master text are stored in a project overlay file that is completely unaffected by our quarterly updating!

Slide18smaller<<< Edit master text: Click anywhere within a paragraph and type as you would in word processing to create an edited version of master text.

Slide20smaller <<< An icon in the Notes column indicates the presence of a master note, with information relevant to editing the paragraph. This note appears in the left panel of the screen when you click anywhere in the paragraph.

images<<< Clicking the project notes button in the toolbar opens the project notes panel. You can enter a project note at any paragraph in the project, including paragraphs you have added. The presence of a project note is indicated by a new blue icon in the Notes column.

images<<< Click on a hyperlink in the Notes panel opens a browser window with other information relevant to the paragraph.

Below is a conceptual illustration of the SpecLink-E database, showing how your project data is stored in an "overlay" over the master data. This is how you can make any type of edit without changing the master data. It is also why the automatic updates do not ever change or remove your edits–the master data "slides in" under your project edits.


Intelligent Links

SpecLink-E contains 170,000 links between related paragraphs and embedded choices within those paragraphs, providing additional intelligence that helps you build comprehensive, accurate, and coordinated specs.

As you select information, these intelligent links automatically include relevant provisions (green), exclude incompatible options (red), and highlight for consideration other related options (yellow). This connectivity between related provisions significantly speeds up editing while greatly reducing errors and omissions—delivering unsurpassed accuracy and data integrity.

In addition, SpecLink-E users can:

  • See source and target for any link and can override any of the master links.
  • Add custom intelligent links in an office master project through a simple drag-and-drop process.

Full Length, Short Form, and Outline Modes

SpecLink-E's master text can be collapsed or expanded to produce specifications that are appropriate for schematic design, design development, and construction documents phases, using the same database.

Below is a summary of the differences between the Full Length, Short Form, and Outline modes of SpecLink-E:

  • Outline Spec Mode. The master text available is primarily the key text in Part 2—descriptions of the major products in each section. These outline specs are very short and are not generally suitable for construction documents; rather, they are intended for use at the early schematic design stage, to establish the basic identification and general quality of products.

    Because completed outline specifications generally consist of only a few paragraphs per section, the printed output is organized by division (each division starts a new page) and does not employ paragraph numbering.

  • Short Form Mode. The text that appears in Outline mode is expanded to produce compact, three-part specification sections. Part 1 typically includes only items such as Submittals and Warranty, Part 2 includes more detail on the products (but no manufacturer names), and Part 3 includes basic installation requirements.

    Short form specifications are typically prepared at the end of the design development phase, but they can also be used as the final construction specs for simple, uncomplicated projects where the Contractor is a known entity. The printed output is organized by section (each section starts a new page) and uses one of the standard numbering schemes or your custom scheme. Sections are typically not more than a page or two in length.

  • Full Spec Mode. In full spec mode, all master text is available. Part 1 may include Related Requirements, Referenced Standards, Quality Assurance, Delivery, Storage, and Handling, Field Conditions, and so forth. Part 2 includes all available detail on the products, including manufacturer names and brand names (where applicable). Part 3 includes all available detail on execution, such as Examination, Preparation, Tolerances, Field Quality Control, Cleaning, Protection, Startup, etc.

    In this mode, completed specifications are typically prepared as construction documents. Like the Short Form specs, the printed output is organized by section (each section starts a new page) and uses one of the standard numbering schemes or your custom scheme.

Proceeding Through Project Phases

At an early design phase, such as schematic design, you can begin in Outline Spec Mode. Because the master text is collapsed to display only major products in each section, you can easily focus on the most important product selection decisions. A printout of the outline spec can be used to inform the Owner and other project personnel of the decisions made at this phase.

At the design development phase of a project, the outline specs can be expanded to reveal more text in Short Form Mode, presenting more basic decisions or allowing completion of construction specifications for uncomplicated projects.

All previous decisions and text selections are retained as the SLE user moves forward from one phase to the next. The specifications for each succeeding phase of a project are literally built on top of the previous documents -- expanding the text as the design becomes ever more detailed.

At the construction documents phase of a project, the short form specs can be expanded to Full Spec Mode, revealing all the master text for editing and production of full-length construction documents.

Using Outline and Short Form Modes with an Office Master

Note that the process described above also works in reverse. Instead of beginning with the master text collapsed and building the specifications from the ground up, users can begin with a fully developed office master project.

A copy of the master project can be collapsed to produce pre-edited outline specifications, expanded partially to produce short form specs, and then expanded fully for construction documents. Of course, editing can take place at any phase to adapt the master specifications to the specific project. In SpecLink-E, master text is never deleted—it is simply turned on or off, and only the text that is "on" is assembled into the project specifications and printed.

SpecLink-E Outline/Short Form Catalog

In the SpecLink-E Outline/Short Form catalog, only the Outline and Short Form modes are available. The subscriber to the Outline/Short Form catalog has access to all sections in all Divisions (with a few exceptions in Divisions 00 and 01 that are simply templates, without content), but the Full Specs mode is disabled. This catalog is intended for specifications typically prepared at the end of the design development phase or for final construction specs for simple, uncomplicated projects where the Contractor is a known entity.

Automatic Updates

Architects and engineers now can have complete confidence that their project specifications are as current as it is possible to be.

For decades, traditional master specification systems have been delivered to subscribers as a collection of individual word processing files that are modified to fit the needs of particular projects, with each file focusing on a particular product category. Updating these files typically has been accomplished by periodic replacement of the entire file, so coordination of the updating requires significant effort, and replacement of the hundreds of files typically takes six to seven years.

By contrast, BSD provides continuous, on-line data updates that provide architects and engineers with up-to-the-minute information that merges automatically with data already included in a developing project specification without altering the current output. This on-line approach to keeping construction specifications up-to-date is revolutionary and helps assure our customers are producing the very best and most current specifications possible.



The Construction Specifications, over 740 master guide sections in Divisions 00 through 46, are used to produce detailed three-part specifications for construction documents for design-bid-build and design-build projects. The software also creates over 30 automatic administrative reports, such as submittal requirements, that are useful during construction administration. The construction specifications are organized according to CSI/CSC’s MasterFormat® (2004/2010+ editions and up) and CSI/CSC’s SectionFormat™ (2008 edition). CSI/CSC's PageFormat™ (2008 edition) is one of the four built-in but customizable page formats available.

The master database includes the most commonly used and specified products and construction activities, including architectural, civil, structural, landscape architecture, interiors, plumbing, HVAC, fire protection, electrical, telecommunications, special construction work, and water and wastewater equipment.

SpecLink-E sections are complete "long form," non-proprietary specifications based on industry standard reference documents (ASTM, ANSI, etc.) with notes to the user at points in the text where user options or required choices occur. Shorter specifications can easily be prepared from the same database, by using the Outline/Short Form switch. User-changeable global options allow customization of units of measure and the terms employed for many variables such as the owner, architect/engineer, contractor, and the state where the Project is located, among others. Users can also create their own unique global terms.

The database also includes a small number of proprietary sections sponsored by individual building product manufacturers.

See the Catalog Listing for complete details.

Design Criteria

The Design Criteria sections of BSD SpecLink-E are used to define the expected performance of a whole building and its parts early in the project, before the facility has been designed.

The Design Criteria documents use performance-based and prescriptive statements as applicable to the subject matter, for buildings of many types. The 32 sections are organized by building element, in a manner similar to Uniformat. These specs are often referred to as "whole-building" performance specs because they describe the performance of built elements (including the building as a whole) rather than the performance of individual materials or equipment. The Design Criteria would be used by design professionals to document design criteria, by Owners to prepare requests for proposal for design-build projects, and by design-builders to prepare proposals.


Design Criteria are used by architects, engineers, owners, and design-builders to:

  • Establish design criteria before the design is begun.
  • Prepare RFPs and proposals for design-build projects.
  • Facilitate early decision-making; obtain consensus or agreement.
  • Communicate material and equipment decisions before beginning construction documents.
  • Avoid prematurely detailed drawings.
  • Transmit information to other members of the team -- owners, design-builders, estimators, construction managers, lenders, etc.
  • Document design criteria in writing for commissioning activities.

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The Design Criteria are designed for early-design documents rather than for construction documents. As such, they:

  • Define the performance of the entire building and parts of the building without assuming any specific design solution.
  • Assume that no drawings exist beyond schematic sketches, however require a Space Program be prepared.
  • Include optional "Use/Do Not Use" lists for all significant construction elements (e.g. roofing, HVAC systems, etc.).
  • Organize the design criteria according to UniFormat, rather than MasterFormat.
  • For Design-Build projects, substantiation criteria are included for all significant elements — activities, documentation, and submittals used to predict or prove success — of which the completed project is the final proof!

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What the master database of Design Criteria covers:

The Design Criteria sections make it easy to specify "whole-building" functional performance, using the best available voluntary performance standards and references to all major US building codes and provides alternative methods of non-restrictive specifying where performance standards are not available. A global "switch" changes language depending on the speaker -- Owner, Design-Builder, or Design-Builder to Constructor. The text thoroughly addresses commercial and multi-family projects and can be adapted for most other types of buildings. Projects will require a separately prepared space program defining dimensional requirements, space utilization criteria, project mission and goals, aesthetic needs, environment, and similar criteria. Some types of criteria it includes are:

  • Building envelope, weather resistance, physical security, longevity.
  • Interior construction, space efficiency, acoustics, and indoor air quality.
  • Common equipment and fittings found in many occupancies.
  • Energy efficiency, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and telecommunications.
  • Environmentally responsible design, including LEED and other certifications.
  • Landscaping, paving, fencing, and other site construction.
  • ICC International Codes as Owner's design criteria.
  • Many more aspects of common building types.

Because the Design Criteria do not specify particular products, they can be used for projects anywhere in the world that the criteria are understood. The standards referenced to establish criteria are primarily U.S. standards, like ASTM, ANSI, ASHRAE, ASME, NFPA, and IEEE.

The Design Criteria can also be used in any building code jurisdiction. To establish fundamental criteria reference to a code is required. The user has the option of entering a specific code or selecting from the list of codes available. If no code is required by law, the user can select the ICC International Codes as base criteria, along with the NFPA National Electrical Code.

For design-build projects, the Design Criteria Catalog includes provisions for conducting a "competitive" design-build request for proposal process and model contracting requirements -- the design-build equivalent of Division 0 and 1, with contractual considerations based on DBIA Design-Build Manual of Practice (MOP) principles, but allowing DBIA, AIA, EJCDC, ConsensusDOCS, or other external documents to be referenced.

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Types of facilities the Design Criteria are suited for:

The Design Criteria contain criteria for buildings, interior fittings and services, demolition, and sitework related to buildings. The occupancies for which the most complete requirements are included are:

  • Office Buildings: Commercial, professional, governmental, institutional.
  • Residential/Hospitality: Dormitories, barracks, hotels, motels, boarding houses, multi-family residential, nursing homes.
  • No- and Low-Tech Commercial: Retail shops and stores, theaters and movie houses, barber/beauty shops, bars and restaurants, banks, dry-cleaning delivery stations, florists and plant nurseries, laundries (self-service), motor vehicle showrooms, print shops, low-hazard warehouses.
  • Lower-Tech Institutional: Schools and colleges, places of worship, police and fire stations, post offices, animal clinics, kennels, pounds, child and elder day care facilities, community centers, convention halls, exhibition spaces, galleries, museums, libraries, outpatient clinics.

Besides the occupancies listed above, the Design Criteria can be used to effectively specify the performance of the basic fabric of virtually any type of building. Fittings, fixtures, equipment and services that would not normally be found in the occupancies listed above would have to be added by the user. For example, for industrial projects the process elements are not included, but the buildings involved can effectively be described using the Design Criteria. Some occupancies that fall in this category are:

  • Single family residential.
  • Health Care: Hospitals, mental hospitals, research laboratories.
  • Detention: Prisons, jails.
  • Stadia and other very large audience facilities.
  • Recreational: Ice rinks, natatoria.
  • Automotive service, car washes.
  • Utility Facilities: Water and waste treatment, telecommunications, power generation, trash incinerators.
  • Industrial and Factories: Warehouses housing high-hazard materials, clean rooms, film studios, food-processing facilities, paint shops, canneries, tanneries, fisheries, boat-building.
  • Mortuary and funerary facilities.

The Design Criteria are not particularly well suited for non-building types of projects, some of which include: Highways, bridges, and other transportation facilities; pipelines and transmission lines; flood control and marine facilities; very large tanks and towers; special industrial storage, such as silos.

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A Facility Program is generally needed to accompany performance requirements:

The Design Criteria describe the built elements of a building - the walls, floors, plumbing, pavements, etc. - not the rooms those built elements form. A Facility Program defines which rooms and spaces are required, how big they must be, and any specific requirements for the spaces like how many people will occupy them, what furnishings must be accommodated, electrical power requirements, telephone outlets, environmental controls, special finishes. Some requirements related to spaces are included in certain Design Criteria sections, stated like this: "...where a room is identified as such-and-such do this...".  Most importantly, the Facility Program defines the problems that the design is to solve and is used to judge the proposed design solution.

In a way, the Design Criteria can be likened to specifications and the Facility Program to drawings. Another way to look at it is: The Facility Program defines the quantity and the Design Criteria define the quality. So a Facility Program is a necessary companion to any document prepared using the Design Criteria. Space Programs can be developed using word processing or spreadsheets and are often arranged in a tabular fashion for ease of review. Some Facility Programs include layouts of particular rooms or bubble diagrams showing the relationships between the spaces. Just as construction drawings are unique to a particular project, so is the Facility Program.

Establish credible building performance levels:

  • Performance specifications help satisfy Owners' quality concerns without committing projects to particular material and system choices at the proposal stage.
  • Get early agreement on design criteria by using the Design Criteria sections as a "checklist" of performance requirements.
  • Accurately define the Owner's expectations while providing design-builders and their architects and engineers the greatest possible flexibility to devise the most cost effective solutions to the Owner's needs.
  • Allow innovation without compromising the Owner's performance and quality requirements, especially when on a tight budget.

Facility Owners and design-build consultants can:

  • Better define quality for important elements without limiting the design solution, prescribing details only when necessary.
  • Obtain a fixed price on an enforceable scope.
  • Avoid low-quality results without specifying too much detail.
  • Compare multiple proposals easily.
  • Forestall mistakes before they are built, using detailed substantiation submittals.

Design-builders can:

  • Preserve design flexibility by specifying required performance rather than specific products.
  • Offer a more accurate fixed price very early in the design process.
  • Avoid mission creep -- losing control of the budget -- without specifying too much detail.
  • Minimize disputes by having contract scope in writing.
  • Establish credible performance criteria by referencing accepted industry standards.
  • Avoid committing to specific materials and systems while design is still in flux.

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Procurement and Contracting Documents

SpecLink-E's Division 00 includes documents for conducting bidding processes for both design-bid-build construction projects and design-build projects, such as invitation or advertisement for bids, bid/proposal forms, and many others. It also includes provisions incorporating by reference many Agreements, General Conditions, and other contractual documents published by prominent industry organizations. including those from AIA, EJCDC, ConsensusDocs, and DBIA.

Click here to see a complete list of the sections in Division 00.

Reference Standards

SpecLink-E includes citations to over 2,000 reference standards. SpecLink-E is the only specifications product on the market that verifies every reference standard included in the master database on not less than an annual basis. SpecLink-E includes full titles and edition dates of all reference standards — in a References article in Part 1 of each section and in a consolidated reference standards section in Division 1. Either or both locations can be automatically "turned on" with one setting. The title/date entries are automatically coordinated to the standards that are actually cited in the body of the specifications, to avoid the confusion caused by uncited references appearing in the References articles. Our Specifiers' Library includes a complete list of the organizations whose standards are referenced in SpecLink-E.

SpecLink-E also includes hyperlinks that allow users to connect to a website for more information about every reference standard. BSD works with IHS, Inc., which gathers information from disparate sources and makes it available to various industries, including the construction industry. Under our agreement with IHS, we provide hyperlinks to all documents that are available through their IHS Standards Store. For other documents not available through IHS, SpecLink-E provides hyperlinks to the authoring organization's web site, where the documents can be purchased and may sometimes be available free of charge.

Catalog Listing

The Catalog Listing is a detailed list of the sections included in SpecLink-E, with synopses of contents and updated dates. The catalog listing posted here covers the current edition, as listed above.

SpecLink®-E Design Criteria and Construction Specifications (and SpecLink+ MasterFormat 2004+)

The following tables of contents are for the information of subscribers to SpecLink+ only - subscriptions must have been begun prior to December 1, 2009. This catalog is no longer being updated. It was last updated December 1, 2012.

SpecLink+ Construction Specifications (MasterFormat 1995)

Short Form Specifications

Automatic Updates

Updates are automatically installed and do not affect subscribers' data.

BSD delivers SpecLink 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. SpecLink includes a 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.  The charts and slides below provide details about how updates work.

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.

This on-line approach to keeping construction specifications up to date is revolutionary and will help assure our customers are producing the very best specifications possible.  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.

Changes to the master database are summarized in our newsletter and can include changes to:

  • Section text (over 630 sections are in the database).
  • Automated links (SpecLink-E utilizes over 160,000 links).
  • Master notes (users have access to over 41,000 notes about specifying issues, with hyperlinks to over 1,100 manufacturers' web sites).
  • Reference standards (over 2,000 unique reference standards in the master text).

Click on the thumbnail pictures to see them full size... or view a short PowerPoint slide show version here.

SpecLink-E's updating scheme allows you to keep your specs totally current without affecting any customized text or formatting.







When an existing project is opened after a quarterly update has been installed, this dialog box appears. You can update your entire project automatically – but without affecting any added or edited text!






You can automatically update just the manufacturer listings - or just the referenced standards - or both!







If you choose to ignore the updates or to apply only manufacturer or reference standard updates, the project opens with any unresolved updates indicated by a magenta title in the section selection tree.







Clicking on a magenta title will open the section to show any paragraphs that would be affected by the update marked by a rust color in the status columns.






A right click on any paragraph marked by the rust color allows you to open a dialog box showing the current project text and how it would be changed if the update were applied – allowing you to update any individual paragraph or ignore the update.






On the Tools menu, you can also choose to update just the current document or open a dialog box that allows you to select only the sections you want to update.






Updating the current section, a group of selected sections, or the entire project never overwrites any of your customized text!

Specifying Sustainable Design

If sustainable design is a consideration for your project, SpecLink-E can help you correctly specify the requirements no matter which system you’re using.

Issues that may come up during the construction process include:

  • Intrinsic to Location: Such as access to transit, surrounding development density, use of a brownfield site.
  • Design Phase Activity: Such as integrative planning process, LEED AP on team, site environmental assessment, site master plan.
  • Post-Construction Activity: Such as green power offsets, "No Smoking" policies, agreements for joint use of school facilities.
  • Embodied in the Overall Design: Such as energy performance, daylighting, view, and direct access to exterior.
  • Explicitly Shown in the Contract Documents: Either on the drawings or in the specs, or both. Examples include:
    • On Drawings: Boundary for site development to protect existing vegetation.
    • Only in Specs: Contractor's indoor air quality procedures and testing, construction waste management procedures.
    • Shown in Both: Bicycle facilities; the location of bike storage and the shower room are shown and detailed on the drawings; the specs define the bike storage racks or lockers and the materials and systems for the shower room.

In general, the design team needs to decide which criteria or credits the project will pursue and which of those require specification content. SpecLink-E helps make these decisions by providing a concise list of provisions that address typical sustainable design issues—in particular, the LEED v4 BD+C prerequisites and credits. The complete list is at the end of Section 01 3329 - Sustainable Design Reporting, which is the starting point for specifying for sustainable design using SpecLink-E.

BSD SpecLink-E Sections Supporting Sustainable Design Specifying:

Section 01 3329 - Sustainable Design Reporting contains Contractor procedures supporting the documentation of sustainable design. The section explains the importance of the sustainable design rating to the Contractor and subcontractors because some of the credits available depend significantly on the Contractor's performance. This section also functions as a preliminary checklist of sections that may be needed to specify provisions to achieve specific credits. Intelligent editing of this section requires familiarity with the applicable Rating System document.

This section is not intended to contain any of the actual sustainable design criteria -- only procedural requirements that are binding on the Contractor, such as information to be gathered, forms to be submitted, and incentives, if any. Where SpecLink-E offers a solution to a specifiable criterion, the solution is specified in the section(s) covering that issue. For instance, Contractor procedures to aid in ensuring good indoor air quality are specified in the Indoor Air Quality Procedures section.

At the end of this section is a complete list of provisions in SpecLink-E that address sustainable design issues. This list has three functions:

  • To help the design team identify solutions that can easily be incorporated into the project because SpecLink-E already includes them,
  • To point out to bidders and the Contractor important provisions that relate to getting the project certified, and
  • To automatically activate the relevant provisions in other sections as the specifier chooses to include them in the edited section.

The last function provides the greatest time-saving. This automatic "turning on" of the relevant sections, and the relevant provisions within them, makes them highly visible to the specifier (the sections are marked with a green box in the project tree) allowing the specifier to quickly identify sections that require further editing for completion.

Other sections that a sustainable design project is most likely to need are:

Many other sections address specific issues for specific products, such as very low-GWP refrigerants in every section that involves refrigeration and sustainably harvested wood in Division 6 sections. These sections cannot be effectively prepared until design and material selection decisions have been made and are available to the specification preparer.


As of June 2014, SpecLink-E supports the following LEED rating systems:

  • LEED v4 BD+C, for Building Design and Construction:
  • NC, New Construction and Major Renovations
  • CS, Core and Shell Development
  • Schools
  • Retail
  • DC, Data Centers
  • WDC, Warehouses and Distribution Centers
  • HOS, Hospitality
  • HC, Healthcare

Specifying "Green" Without LEED:

Although LEED requirements may be considered "green," all "green" provisions are not encompassed in the LEED Rating Systems. In most cases, LEED specification requirements are simply specifier options that may or may not apply to a particular project. BSD SpecLink-E treats these requirements as generic sustainable design requirements so they can be used on projects that do not require LEED certification as well as those projects that do.

In addition, the sustainable design requirements are located in each applicable specification section, rather than gathered together in a single section, so that they can address the issues independently of which rating system is being used. For example, Section 01 5721 - Indoor Air Quality Controls, includes provisions to achieve several LEED Prerequisites and Credits, such as verification of ventilation effectiveness, testing air isolation of residential units, and construction air quality procedures, without mentioning LEED at all!

Any or all of these procedures would be equally valid on projects not requiring LEED certification. For SpecLink-E users, the easiest way to identify sections that address sustainable design issues is to review Section 01 3329 - SUSTAINABLE DESIGN REPORTING. Although its list of specification sections is intended for the Contractor’s information, it also serves as a checklist for the specifier.


Read and follow the links below to find answers to some frequently asked questions about BSD 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hardware Requirements

BSD SpecLink-E is a client/server application that may be used by a single user (standalone) or installed on a network for use by any workstation on which the client is installed. An Internet connection is required for operation in both standalone and network configurations. The charts below summarize the hardware requirements for each version of our software. For additional information, please review the SpecLink-E Hardware and Installation Guide (.pdf) or contact BSD Technical Support at 1-800-266-7732.

BSD also offers SpecLink-E Web Hosted. The web-hosted version of SLE can be accessed from all major computer platforms anywhere an Internet connection is available (Windows, Macs, Linux, IOS (iPad/iPhone), and/or Android and offers all of the features, advantages, and benefits of the traditional version of SLE. But software updates and hardware upgrades are handled by BSD and occur regularly at no cost to the customer. This ensures that both the user interface and SpecLink data remain up-to-date. There are no known VPN or firewall issues with the web-hosted version of SLE.

Professional Version

  Standalone Configuration Server/Workstation Configuration
  Standalone (Both Server and client) Workstations (Client only)

Network Server


Install location Laptop or Desktop Laptop or Desktop Server
Internet Connection Required Required Required
Browser Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher Not required
Processor Intel-compatible processor, 2 GHz or better
Operating System: (English only operating system) Windows 7 or newer Windows 7 or newer Windows Server (20031, 2008 or 2012) SP22  
(32 or 64-bit) (32 or 64-bit) (32 or 64-bit)
RAM 4 GB or more 2 GB or more 4 GB or more
Minimum Required Disk Space 10 GB on C: drive4 1 GB 10 GB on C:drive4
Monitor Resolution XGA or better XGA or better XGA or better
DVD Needed if setup is not downloaded
Printer Laser printer or PDF writer Laser printer or PDF writer Not required

Corporate Version

  Server/Workstation Configuration
  Workstations (Client only) Network Server
Install location Laptop or Desktop Server
Internet Connection Required Required
Browser Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher Not required
Processor Intel-compatible processor, 2 GHz or better
Operating System: (English only operating system) Windows 7 or newer (32- or 64-bit) Windows Server ( 2008 or 2012) SP21(32 or 64-bit)
RAM 2 GB or more 4 GB for 2 users+ 2 GB per each additional concurrent user2
Minimum Required Disk Space 1 GB 10 GB on C: drive3
Monitor Resolution XGA or better XGA or better
DVD   Required for initial installation
Printer Laser printer or PDF writer Not required

Web Hosted Version

  Workstation Configuration
Devices Workstations, desktops, laptops, phones, tablets (Client only)
Install Location Installed 2X client
Internet Connection Required
Browser Internet capable browser
Processor Intel-compatible processor, 2 GHz or better. ARM for mobile devices
Operating System: (English-only operating system) Windows 7 or newer, Mac OS X (10.5 or newer) and Linux. For iPhone/iPad, Android OS version compatibility, see your app store for the “2X” app
RAM 2 GB or more for desktops and laptops only
Minimum Required Disk Space 1 GB
Printer Laser printer or PDF writer
1. BSD will always provide support for their software but cannot guarantee the operating environment in which you run it. Since Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows XP and will shortly discontinue support for Server 2003, there may be some unforeseen circumstances and instability in the future with regards to running software on it that is outside of BSD’s control and would not be supported.
2. Currently, we do not support SpecLink-E installation with the following configuration: Windows 2011 & 2012 essentials with Office 365. Contact support at 1-800-266-7732 for further information.
3. For our Corporate users we have found that 4 GB of RAM on the server devoted to SpecLink-E is sufficient for 2 concurrent users. To maintain performance we recommend that an additional 2 GB of RAM be installed for each additional concurrent user.
4. During initial installation, the database can be installed on another local drivewith a minimum of 3GB that must be available on the C: drive.


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Ready to get started? Just follow the steps below. Still have questions? Call 1-888-BSD-SOFT or have a sales rep contact you… or schedule a web demo to learn more about the software.

1. Choose the catalog that best meets your needs


Please call for pricing.

  • Comprehensive Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    675+ sections

  • Architectural Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    496 sections

  • Mechanical/Electrical Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    356 sections

  • Structural Engineering Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    195 sections

  • Civil Engineering Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    235 sections

  • Landscape Architecture Catalog

    Outline, Short Form, and Full Specs + Design Criteria

    227 sections

  • Design Criteria Catalog

    Outline and Short Form Specs + Design Criteria for all sections (excludes Full Specs)

    More info

  • Outline/Short Form Catalog

    Outline and Short Form Specs for all sections (excludes Full Specs and Design Criteria)

For more information:
A general overview of the different types of contents.
A detailed listing of the section numbers and titles included in each sub-catalog.

For multi-user pricing please call 1-888-BSD-SOFT or email a product consultant with any questions. Other combinations are available.

2. Add Water and Wastewater Equipment?

Water and Wastewater Equipment is an add-on to SpecLink-E, in any of the above configurations.

Please call for pricing.

3. Add LinkMan?

LinkMan-E is an add-on to SpecLink-E, in any of the above configurations.

Please call for pricing.

4. Add Web Hosting?

SpecLink-E is available with Web Hosting, which means BSD will host all your files and manage all hardware, software, data maintenance, and updates on your behalf.

Please call for pricing.

5. Place your order

You may order by phone, fax, or mail. A signed copy of the Terms and Conditions is required with each order — by fax or mail. You may review and print the Terms and Conditions.



To have a sales rep contact you

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

  • Orders placed before 12:00 Noon (EST) are available the same day.
  • Delivery is via download from our web site.
  • Georgia subscribers should add the appropriate Georgia state and county sales taxes.


BSD CostLink®/AE provides quick, easy, and modifiable cost estimates using built-in RS Means Cost Data. It was created exclusively for design professionals (and building owners) who like to keep things simple without sacrificing accuracy or flexibility.

Welcome to a cost-estimating package specifically designed for architects, engineers, and others who are doing budgets, cost plans, and design development estimates. CostLink/AE is designed for design professionals by design professionals. Let's face it, you don't want to spend lots of time learning or using a complex cost estimating system. You only have time for a cost estimating system that is quick, easy, and modifiable—and doesn't take much time to learn. Enter CostLink/AE:

QUICK: Create a reliable, accurate, and detailed cost estimate in 10 minutes or less! CostLink/AE provides a simple front-end cost modeling interface that allows rapid creation of a cost estimate at the very earliest stages of a project. Because your estimate is a "living" document, you can continually refine and modify it as your project evolves.

EASY: With CostLink/AE's unique front-end Cost Modeling interface (based on the reliable, built-in RS Means cost data that you've come to trust), you simply:

  • Pick one of the 77 building models that is similar to your project.
  • Select the frame and enclosure systems.
  • Enter the gross area and building perimeter.
  • Select optional additive items from a list appropriate to your building type.
  • If necessary, adjust project location and various mark-ups.

CostLink/AE then automatically generates an instant cost estimate for you. You can immediately view or print the estimate in as much or as little detail as necessary with our flexible data display options.

Built-in RS Means data: With RS Means cost data built-in and seamlessly integrated with your cost estimate, we've already done most of the work for you. Get more details on the cost data provided with CostLink/AE here.

MODIFIABLE: Your estimate can be refined and updated quickly and easily as your project evolves. You can refine your estimate by changing quantities, by making simple drag-and-drop material substitutions from the built-in RS Means databases, or by adding materials and systems common to your project type—all with minimal input time and effort.

Click here to watch a 3-minute video demonstration of CostLink/AE.

BSD CostLink/AE How it works

Below, you’ll see a graphic presentation that shows how CostLink/AE works. For more details, check out the links to the left. Or better yet, schedule a live demo using the link to the right.

CostLink/AE has a simple and intuitive interface and a fast and powerful computational engine with flexible reporting capabilities. Its front-end Building Cost Model interface makes building an early estimate quick and easy, while the built-in RS Means cost databases make customizing the estimate as simple as drag-and-drop. It is sold on an annual subscription basis, with annual data updating.

Click on the thumbnail slides to see them full size… or view a short PowerPoint slide show version here.

For Manufacturers

BSD SpecLink for Building Product Manufacturers – This year, SpecLink-E’s more than 10,000 users will specify manufacturers by name over a million times. Just think of what that could mean for your products. As a SpecLink-E manufacturer, you’ll reach specifiers at the point of decision with pictures and other important details. And when specifiers choose your products, SpecLink-E uses intelligent links to ensure that the specifications match your product. But the best part is that we can prove the results. SpecLink-E provides specific, section-by-section reporting and includes frequency of use, details of individual projects, and the names of products actually specified.

Click here to request to have your products listed in SpecLink-E.

Enhanced Manufacturer Listings

Click the links for each manufacturer to see full enhanced listings.

BSD SpecLink Featured Manufacturer

Web-based application for control and monitoring of lighting and/or window shade control in Sections 12 2509 - Window Shade Control Systems and 26 0943 Network Lighting Controls

Over the past year, BSD has helped Lutron completely overhaul our CSI spec position. Our four sections inside SpecLink‐E place our most important products in front of specifiers at the time they are making their decisions. Because the sections are 'smart,' specifiers can choose the appropriate combination of products easily for systems that can be difficult to specify, and SpecLink‐E’s 'spec by inclusion' logic helps prevent users from over‐specifying extended warranties and extra services that often remain as part of un‐edited boilerplate specs.

Lutron is also using SpecLink‐E as an in‐house spec writing tool. Both our inside and outside sales teams use the software daily to easily write project‐specific specifications for customers. Salespeople are now writing specs in a matter of minutes (rather than the hour or more they used to spend editing multiple Word documents), custom‐tailoring the sections for each project.

SpecLink‐E is a truly remarkable product that has improved Lutron’s spec position and has increased our team’s efficiency in the field.

Many thanks to you and to your team at BSD!

BSD SpecLink Featured Manufacturer

Paints and Coatings for Sections 09 9113 - Exterior Painting and 09 9123 - Interior Painting

I would like to congratulate your team on a job well done for the innovative solution that BSD has created for Sherwin-Williams paint specifications within SpecLink.

SpecLink now makes it easier than ever for a specification writer to work within the MPI categories and confidently select the correct Sherwin-Williams products and insert them into their specification.

BSD’s elegant approach of linking Sherwin-Williams paint products to the MPI system within SpecLink brings a new level of simplicity to the challenging task of writing a good paint specification.

We often hear from specifiers that selecting appropriate paint systems for a given project is one of their most difficult tasks. SpecLink takes this difficult and time-consuming task and greatly streamlines the process, making it fast and easy to create a reliable paint specification. This represents a significant contribution to the construction specifications community.

Wagman Metal Products
BSD SpecLink Featured Manufacturer

Steel-Reinforced Plastic Trowel Blades in Section 03 3000 - Cast-in Place Concrete

Despite initial doubts, and having a notoriously hard product to specify, SpecLink-E literally got us spec'd on over 100 projects our first year.

Resources for BSD Customers

Contact Us

Because we understand that the true value of software is in the implementation and support rather than in the purchase price, subscribers to BSD's products enjoy free, unlimited technical support—the best in the A/E/C industry.


If you’re a new SpecLink-E subscriber and want to learn more about getting started, head here.

If you’re a current subscriber looking for the latest version of SpecLink-E, and other tools, visit the Download Center.

For more education about our products, visit the Specifiers’ Library.

You can also find information about training, online courses for specifiers, technical support, lists of sections in SpecLink-E, and much more.

For New Users

Download Center

The product downloads on this page are for BSD Subscribers Only. If you are not a current subscriber, you are welcome to try a free evaluation copy of any BSD software product.

Select the product you want to download

*To check your version, open Speclink-E and click the file/about SpecLink-E button to see your version.


If you are having a problem installing our software, please check the 3 issues below. If the problem continues, please email us or call us at 800-266-7732.

  1. Confirm that you are logged in as Admin.
  2. Verify that there are no incomplete Windows updates.
  3. Reboot your computer after running Windows updates.

Training Services

For information on training, please contact your Account Manager or contact Support.


The best part of the training was that the time was dedicated. Anyone could work their way through the training manual on their own, but when you try to do it while working on other things, it takes a lot longer and doesn't make as much sense. Doing it as a formal training program was vastly superior. We were isolated in a conference room with no phones, no chatter from neighbors, and no interruptions. A big part of the training is having the instructor instantly available to answer questions.

Virtual Training Class September 2014

I've enjoyed the virtual training environment. Other's questions help to learn more. The best part of this training, no need to travel to another state and disrupt your professional life as well as personal life in order to get trained. My hat's off to SpecLink for offering Virtual Training.

Virtual Class April 2012

The class was very good. I am already applying some of the stuff I learned to a spec I am working on today. The instructor was very good, I would recommend the class to anyone interested in the SpecLink E program.

Chicago April 2011

I want to thank you for your clear and informative classes. You have successfully demystified the software for many of our users. One user said he had learned more in the first half day of training than he had learned on his own in several weeks. Thank you for a job well done.

Los Angeles February 2011

Since the training class, I have been using the heck out of the software! I am much more comfortable in it now. I actually enjoy doing specs now, and that is a sickness!

Regional Class February 2009

Having used SpecLink for several years, I had not taken a class before and seeing how the linking and non-printing checklists work will make our SpecLink use much more beneficial to our office.

Michigan March 2009

The smaller class size was helpful for 'one on one' instruction.

Seattle, 2008

Well paced. Perfect proportion of instruction, demonstration, and hands on activity. The lessons did not drag - good content and well suited for a variety of users. Easy to stay engaged.

On-site training, Texas, 2007

Thanks for everything! This was definitely worth the money (unlike lots of training classes!)

Virtual Training Class

Specifiers' Library

SpecLink-E User Group

To help make your specifications complete and accurate, BSD has compiled resources into a “Specifiers' Library”. With these resources you can learn about industry standards, document formatting, contracts, units of measure, and more. And you can find links to industry resources to help you stay current and even receive continuing education credit.

Reference Materials for Specifications

Specifying Products

Producing a Project Manual

Specifying Courses

Supporting Documents

BSD approaches the subject of enabling the specifying design professional to make efficient and effective decision making in a variety of ways. We have always had content and functionality within each section explaining how to specify and we are continuously adding links to additional supporting documentation here on the web.

Within Speclink-E:

  • Master Notes are structured to provide a vast amount of information, guidance and education on various options and decisions the user must make to create a compete specification and define project requirements. Embedded Intelligent Linking also provides significant guidance to user decision-making.
  • Optional Checklists, where included in Sections, have decision specific considerations and are engineered to intuitively guide the user through the major decisions required in the section, and the related decisions that affect other sections.
  • Our continuous updating is integral to this information and functionality as well.

On the web:

The goal is to help one get prepared to specify, what questions one may need to ask and in many cases, we are sharing additional research and insight that we used in creating or overhauling our sections to stay on top of industry changes and trends.

The following linked documents can be thought of as additional, supplemental material to the specification sections within SpecLink-E. If you're confused about which section to use for a specific project, or for example unclear on, say, the differences between different types of air handling units, transformers or maybe waterproofing or sealant applications, or sustainable design issues we hope we can clear up those questions.

We plan to greatly expand the listed documents here, for every section in SpecLink-E, so bookmark this page for future reference. Please contact us at if you feel there is an area that could benefit from additional information via our supporting documents.

Additional Topics:

Coming Soon: Green Globes and LEED update. Rather than many separate updates, we have expanded the Sustainable Design content to deploy not only new Green Globes content for new and interior construction, we are expanding LEED V4 to include LEED V4 Homes (Multifamily) and other LEED programs that were previously not included. We know there are still active projects with Subscribers due to the LEED 2009 sunset last year and there will be concurrent updates will be made to LEED 2009, since LEED has evolved since our LEED 2009 sections were superseded with the initial LEED V4 release.

Soon to follow this update: We have entirely new content in the works to address Well Building Certification. (This is a later release)

Featured Firm Types

Click on the links below to learn how design professionals across the country use Building System Design’s products.

Submit Your Success Story

Success Stories: Architects/Large Firms

Success Stories: Architects/Small to Mid-size Firms

Success Stories: Architect/Engineer Firms

Success Stories: Engineer Firms

Success Stories: Design-Build Consultants

Web-Hosted Version of SpecLink-E

Differences between the Web-Hosted version of SpecLink-E and local versions

A system administrator will need to setup user id's and passwords for all users that will be accessing the program. Click the link below for setting up new users. 

The cloud version of SpecLink-E has the same functionality as a locally installed version with a few exceptions as noted below. The Help file in the software gives detailed instructions on how to use the software.

Program time stamps - Due to the geographical locations of our clients the time that is recorded and displayed in SpecLink-E is in Coordinated Universal Time. Server side functionality that is normally handled by the local user or their IT staff will now be handled by the Support Department at BSD. These functions include:

  • Registration of the software and maintenance of clients' SpecLink-E licenses
  • Maintenance of Client backups and logs
  • Program maintenance and updates
  • Server updates and maintenance

Setting up your computer to run the Web-Hosted version of SpecLink-E

Step 1 - Setting up to access the Web-Hosted version

Step 2 - Setting up your Companies users

Step 3 - Miscellaneous Setup


Proposal Gordian Group