AIA MasterSpec Goes Digital with Specpoint

January 14, 2022
Denise McDaniel
Product Marketing Manager

AIA MasterSpec has long been the AEC industry’s go-to building materials library, with over 900 master guide specifications encompassing thousands of products. Now, AIA and Deltek, the exclusive developer and distributor of MasterSpec, bring the practice of construction specifications into the 21st century with the recent introduction of Specpoint, which takes MasterSpec out of stationary Word documents, into a digital environment.

Specpoint is an all-in-one specification and design automation tool and is the new home for all MasterSpec content. Specpoint’s cloud-based technology modernizes MasterSpec and the specification process by:

  • Connecting specification content and graphical content earlier in the design process
  • Embraces an assembly-based approach to developing specifications
  • Increases collaboration between various disciplines

Rather than managing hundreds of Word files that can’t be easily maintained, Specpoint is a highly interactive cloud-based solution and operates in real time, allowing product manufacturers and architects and engineers to collaborate with full transparency to improve accuracy and efficiency of the specifications process. With Specpoint, users are enabled to intelligently research and select products, effectively write specs, and produce project manuals to deliver successful projects.

“MasterSpec remains the gold standard for guide specification content, but it needed modernization,” said Gill Letourneau, AIA CSI, senior director of product management at Deltek. “With MasterSpec content now associated within assemblies and product families, the collaboration between disciplines and design team becomes much more efficient and focused.”

Assembly-based specifications

The AEC industry has long understood the value of assemblies and Specpoint’s assembly-based approach is foundational to specification development.

“Everything is an assembly—a window has flashing, trim, paint… But in the field, there’s not enough coordination between multiple elements of those assemblies,” said Letourneau. “By looking at the full assembly spec in Specpoint, you have a more encompassing view of the entire opening.”

An assembly-based approach gives team members better insights to the selection of construction elements required to meet the overall project performance and design requirements, providing the starting point for all BIM development and documentation and ensuring better collaboration between disciplines when defining complex systems and critical assemblies. Interdisciplinary selection of building products provides better coordinated and more complete project phases as the design progresses, reducing change orders, rework, and errors and omissions which could lead to possible litigation.

In addition, those with larger, more complex projects will see a noticeable improvement in communication and coordination efforts that assembly selections provide the design team. Specification writers will need to be brought into the design process much earlier to provide expertise on selecting proper assemblies and in time provide product expertise when selecting proper components and products.

Specpoint also brings efficiencies to how product manufacturers serve architects with improved workflows by making product, technical, and warranty information available at your fingertips rather than on a sales or promotional schedule. Manufacturers can update product information as needed and architects be assured changes will be reflected in the product selections. In addition, manufacturers provide information to Specpoint in a consistent format, making it easier for designers to find what they’re looking for and make more accurate product comparisons and selections.

“It’s a way to match the architect’s or designer’s requirements with products that meet those requirements in a logical way,” Letourneau said. “It’s Amazon meets MasterSpec—as I’m indicating what I need, the products become available for me to choose from. And because designers are seeing pictures, spec writing becomes more visual."

“The generation is changing, and the industry is getting younger,” Letourneau added. “The tools that these emerging professionals are familiar with are quite advanced, and they expect the same level of advancement on the specification side. This is becoming critical to today’s firms as this new generation of Architects are getting asked to do the specs more and more. They demand the same level of technology—it can’t be typing words into a text editor. It needs to be much more graphical and modern.”

Getting started with Specpoint

Getting started with Specpoint is relatively easy. Deltek has launched the Specpoint Customer Assistance Program (CAP) to aid customers with starting new projects quickly and easily in Specpoint. Using self-paced online product training courses, the CAP program provides you with the necessary tools to get you and your team up and running smoothly on Specpoint.

We realize MasterSpec customers may have several existing projects at different stages of design, therefore, transitioning to a new solution should be done thoughtfully and strategically. Because of this, Deltek will provide Specpoint as a technology expansion to existing customer at their annual MasterSpec renewal or at early renewal (upon request). Need advice as to what type of project is best to get started using Specpoint? Choose a project that is reasonably modest in size and complexity with a short duration as a good starting point with Specpoint.

Ready to learn more about how MasterSpec has been modernized and digitized via Specpoint?

Check out the following Solution Speed Session to take a closer look at Specpoint and contact your Deltek customer success manager to learn how you can get onboard with Specpoint.


Deltek Specpoint Speed Session

3 Advantages of Assembly-Based Design

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About the Author

Denise McDaniel is an experienced professional with a passion for helping AEC firms know more about their business and do more for their clients. As a Product Marketing Manager, she leads the Deltek Specifications Solutions product positioning and messaging by providing key insights, benchmarks, and trends to A&E firms. Her experience working in both the software technology sector and for a general contractor/construction management firm brings a unique perspective to the Deltek Specifications product line.