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Archive through March 03, 2020Marc Chavez37 03-03-20  12:54 pm
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(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2021 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am new to the field. I have a project I cannot publish. I looked at the Q & A section and resolved them thinking this was the problem. It did not resolve it. Does anyone have any tips or ideas on what to do?
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1891
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2021 - 01:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

FYI, I spoke with a Deltek support person a few days ago. He said that Deltek will stop issuing updates to the MasterSpec Word files in a year or two. The reason is so because Deltek is concentrating all their effort on Specpoint.
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2021 - 07:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Deltek/Avitru have been stating (threating) to terminate MasterSpec for MS Word as one of their products for at least 5 years now. Each statement in the past has made it sound like they were months away from it happening. And here we are still getting updates in MS Word. I am sure it will happen someday, and maybe this time it will be the end for MS Word MasterSpec files and a big income boost to Deltek from fees through manufactures.

Once it does happen, I bet BSD/RIB SpecLink may acquire a lot of new subscribers if people look closely at both companies software options.
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1892
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2021 - 01:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I understand and agree that the future of specification production is a cloud-based database program and not individual Word files. I also understand and agree that Deltek should not use up money and resources for a product that will be discontinued.
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
Stephen Wilson
Senior Member
Username: swilson

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2019
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2021 - 04:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"What do millennials use? Who will be our future spec writers. Hmmmm"

Millenial spec writer here. I'm in full support of cloud-based spec writing. I had used SpecBuilder Cloud but switched over to BSD (now RIB) SpecLink Cloud a few years ago. (Both platforms have their advantages but at the time SpecLink Cloud had a better editor and spec style that I preferred.)

Personally I don't like editing in Word. Working in a cloud environment that uses database-type editing is much faster for me to work in.
Marc Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 632
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2021 - 05:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

not to get into it in depth but…This is part of the point of Specpoint (no pun intended)

There have been several polls of the average of spec writers on this site, the AIA's Architects journey to specifications" and Alberti group's "The Risk Management Value of Specifications" In this last publication the mode was between the ages of 61 and 65 back in 2013! The median was in the mid to late 50's. Specification Writers are a late maturing group in a late maturing profession, when we retire who will be selecting products and building up the non-graphic information?

The answer, IMHO is a 30-35 year old (millennial) licensed professional with a couple of CA jobs or "project architect" jobs under their belt. This young professional has been managing the BIM and following it to the field.

BUT YOU RETIRED and they have to "do" the spec.

THEY, I feel, are going to start with the assemblies they work with in Revit and that manufacturers are more often requiring for warranty. NOT a product but a complete assembly bridging many different spec sections.

For this reason and others, Specpoint has an assembly/product centric front end. Spec sections are still there and will be for the foreseeable future, BUT how the workers of tomorrow (or late this year) get to them is the question.
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 848
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2021 - 06:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Stephen Wilson, please send me your contact info. I am at "nwoods" at "WeAreTaylor" dot com
Stephen Wilson
Senior Member
Username: swilson

Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2019
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2021 - 08:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Marc, you have essentially written my bio:

"The answer, IMHO is a 30-35 year old (millennial) licensed professional with a couple of CA jobs or "project architect" jobs under their belt. This young professional has been managing the BIM and following it to the field."

That is exactly how I started doing specs. Worked as a PA in an office and we needed specs done on a project I was doing. One of our principals with spec writing experience coached me through it, and I learned as I went along. Since changing firms I'm now our main internal specs writer, but we have others that write them in-house, and we still outsource some to independent writers.

I'm trying to get some of the younger staff to get into writing specs on their jobs, or at least just to understand them and know how to read them. I think this helps and I've seen more and more of our younger staff writing specs themselves, or at least putting outlines together that I can help finish.

I haven't seen Specpoint yet but I'll have to check it out... maybe now that conferences are happening in the world again, I can see a demo sometime in the near future. It's always fun to badger the product reps at those things and ask them hard questions. :-)
Ed Storer
Senior Member
Username: ed_storer

Post Number: 97
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Monday, October 11, 2021 - 03:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I retired as SpecBuilder Cloud was being released.

Cloud computing was for other people who saw it as an advantage.

I was reasonably happy with SpecBuilder Desktop as providing a reasonable good "first cut" draft section.

I would do one section at a time and export to Word where I could use Masterworks and my own macros.

I realize that maintenance of a Q&A spec editing system was/is difficult. I worked as a specification programmer on one of the first such systems that was adopted as MasterSpec Q&A. It was originally released as SweetSpec.

Using cloud-based systems never presented an advantage for me.
Ed Storer, CSI Member Emeritus
Linda Stansen (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 10:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have an instant karma repair kit if anyone is interested.....
Honestly, I'm turning into a dinosaur. I'm very happy with Word docs and editing them for my projects. I still don't trust that the cloud is safe (witness recent major snafu with the big platforms). I may just have to retire..
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 12:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Linda, I'm there with you too. I'm resigned to retire when cloud-based systems become only choice.
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1865
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 01:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm kind of the opposite. Even though I'm retired, I sometimes wish I was still working so I could explore and learn this entirely new approach to specifying.
Lisa Goodwin Robbins, RA, CCS, LEED ap
Senior Member
Username: lgoodrob

Post Number: 398
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 01:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm with Bunzick. New technology can be fun, albeit frustrating at times. Learning something new usually is.

I can't wait until we can automatically coordinate specifications information with modeling with keynote systems. Isn't that the promise of the "I" part of BIM?

I don't understand professionals who will keep up to date with new building technology but not with new documentation processes. Are they the same people who still haven't moved to the 6 digit format?
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1420
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 02:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To my mind Word (and most other "gifts" from Microsoft) is pretty horrible but it beats typewriters and mimeograph machines.

The available database programs have plusses and minuses. I like and dislike both of the major providers' software and know that content from both will require extensive modifications to suit my projects. I like Beth Stroshane's attitude of "break it early; break it often." It provides the providers with information on how we work and what we need. How else are they supposed to know? They don't generate specs all-day every day.

Cloud-based isn't a big deal. Perhaps you can be more comfortable if you backup whatever you need to your hard drive at the end of the day so you don't lose your work. At least then you don't have to panic when something crashes and the only thing you can access is your hard drive. If the system is working you can always overwrite your backup copy with whatever you create the following day on the cloud.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 693
Registered: 12-2002

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 05:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I remember hosting a teleconference in 2001 with the developer of the ARCOM Linx automated editor and a developer of AutoCAD Architectural Desktop 3.0. They had never spoken. The concept of tying Linx edits to the Drawing keynote selections seemed like a pipe dream. Nothing came of it then. Little has since. Today, the young staff driving the BIM model in many architect firms are long on software knowledge and short on building knowledge and on product knowledge. They eventually get good at it - then get promoted to PM while the next young staff come in. The Manufacturer/Product database in commercial specification libraries is deteriorating in content and value while the vendors' focus shifts to BPM advertising dollars. We have architects spending time selecting products that we had already specified a month before, because they don't read the specification drafts we prepare. We will continue to have challenges ahead.
SpecGuy Specifications Consultants
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 936
Registered: 01-2008

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 07:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Well said Phil. I agree.

I learned about connecting keynoting and spec section #s via ConDoc in 1990 while working in HI.

Today it just isn't the young staff that will not read the spec (what is a spec?). I am still experiencing this mindset from the seasoned professionals. Shame on them. Part is from shear laziness.
James Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 337
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2021 - 08:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wayne, there may be some laziness involved but my experience is what Phil mentions, although a bit out of sequence. I see PMs working in the BIM and developing details because the less experienced staff is not progressing in those aspects as required. This is not entirely their fault either and, from what I see, it is an industry-wide problem. I do not have a good solution but the problem is on my mind constantly.
Greta eckhardt (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 05:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Like John and Lisa, I am excited to learn that Deltek is finally offering an assembly-based product for preparation of specifications. IMHO, Assemblies are much closer than "work results" to the way Architects think, and this gives me hope that, in this time of reduced numbers of full-time specifiers, the Architects can more readily work on the specifications themselves. Ideally the software will have a feature that allows a technical member of the project team to review and comment on the selections the Architect has made. This notion makes me feel a bit less guilty for retiring from the profession, although it would be fun to see how Specpoint works.

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