What are the best CSI-Format Specification Writing Tools?

2023 Sep 06
What are the best CSI-Format Specification Writing Tools?

The short answer is ... It depends. The long answer is the tool that works for your firm. In this post we will review the options you have to create CSI specifications in today's construction industry.

commercial specifications

Commercial Specifications: Regularly updated guide specifications. - MasterSpec and SpecText - by subscription - $2,500/year plus - RIB SpecLink Cloud - by subscription - $2,500/year plus - United Facilities Guide Specifications and Specsintact - free - Numerous manufacturer's guide specs and SpecWizards - free

scip spec writers

Consulting Specification Writers: For individual projects or developing firm masters. - Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice. Rule of thumb $1-4k for interiors projects, $6-12k for standard small buildings, $12-30k for larger custom buildings.

The Office Master: #1 in the USA.

In-house specs prepared over years, typically based on the commercial specifications but customized to your office practice. Frequently used by firms designing similar building types. Requires an in-house spec manager to keep current.

Shortage of Specification Writers: Not true!

While there is a shortage of people who want to write specifications full-time, nearly every firm has someone who takes on the role of specification writer on a project-by-project basis.

construction documentation timeline

How Long Does it Take to Write a Draft Spec During The Design Development Phase:

Outline or short-form spec - one day. Full spec - one to five days. Collating specs written by engineers and architects - one day for the table of contents and project manual. From 60 pages to 6,000 pages - depending on risk and bidding constraints.

future of spec writing

The Future of Specification Writing:

In over 20 years, BIM and Google haven't integrated the process. Today, more and more building product manufacturers are providing coherent proprietary specifications and technical resources to architects for editing them. Real specs, real choices, and buildable. ARCAT is the current industry leader in building that database!

Kalin Associates Inc.