PIONEERING A NEW SPECIFICATIONS SECTION

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The definition of an innovator is “someone who introduces new methods, ideas, or products.” StruXure is rooted in innovation, so it should come as no surprise that the company has just added to its list of accomplishments the pioneering of a new specifications section in the nation’s top industry specifications system. What does this mean exactly? Let’s back up a few steps.

Have you ever purchased a product with assembly required, pulled everything out of the box, looked at the instructions, and then decided to wing it? Hey, you’re no novice. You know your way around a tool box, and you’ve understood how pieces fit together since receiving your first Lego® building set for your 8th birthday. Whether this scenario is familiar or not, in the high-stakes construction world, nothing can be left to chance. That’s why both blueprints and specifications are legally required documents necessary for a construction project to move ahead.

Construction Drawings vs. Specifications

Most of us know that blueprints, also called construction or technical drawings, are the visual guides that architects generate to convey their design intent to builders. But did you also know that those drawings must be accompanied by a set of written instructions called specifications? In the Architecture / Engineering / Construction (AEC) vernacular, specifications (specs for short) describe in detail the scope of work, materials to be used, methods of installation, and quality of workmanship for a package of work to be placed under contract? The more sizable and complex the project, the lengthier the spec documentation becomes. A critical, albeit tedious, exercise.

To help streamline the spec writing process, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the leading organization for architects and design professionals, teamed with software experts at Deltek to create MasterSpec®, the most widely used specification system in the industry. MasterSpec® offers more than 950 copyrighted MasterSpec® sections, which allows designers to select expertly written specification content for thousands of products without having to waste time writing detailed explanations that already exist. Subscribers to MasterSpec® can pick and choose the content needed for their unique project. Typically, if an exact description doesn’t exist in the database, then the architectural spec writer will choose the closest one and modify it, or will write his or her own description. Certainly, the former helps accelerate the process.

Finding a Home for StruXure on MasterSpec®

For StruXure, its unique pergola with automated pivoting louvers didn’t fit into any existing category in the system. There was the awning category, but StruXure’s Pergola X is far more than an awning. There was the aluminum structure category, which was much too broad and lacked an explanation of the pergola components. So, in order to help designers with a specification description that fully explains what its products are made of and how they should be installed, among other details, StruXure worked with a Product MasterSpec® writer to create a report that went before a committee to advocate for the independent product section addition, and ultimately led to a new basis of design, three-part specification entry. The new section, 107319 Pergolas and Louvered Structures, will now help designers quickly add the description when specifying StruXure’s products. The months-long process has also paved the way for other industry manufacturers who will surely follow StruXure’s lead.

For more information about StruXure’s new specification section on MasterSpec® go here.