Hord Coplan Macht Fuels Project Efficiency with BIM and Spec Coordination

August 31, 2020

Hord Coplan Macht is an integrated firm offering planning, architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and environmental graphic design with offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; and the DC Metro area. 

At the heart of Hord Coplan Macht (HCM) firm culture is an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for continual improvement. This is evident in their design work, accolades and advocacy. They have been a regular in the Engineering News Record (ENR) Top 250 design firms list in recent years and were recently named among the Interior Designer Top 100 Giants of 2020.

The Background

While we’re accustomed to seeing innovation in visual design and execution, it’s easy to overlook the significant portion of every design project that is non-visual. From the aesthetics of architecture structures to a meticulously designed triage in Emergency Departments (ED), the average person can see, touch and experience design innovation in their day-to-day life. What brings these designs to life is less obvious to the human eye.

At the core of every building are thousands of critical, discrete units of information contained inside Building Information Models (BIM) and project specifications. These pieces of data are delivered to the construction team and help dictate the materials, sustainability standards and installation instructions required to successful complete the build.

In 2015, HCM realized their non-visual project data management needed to be reimagined. They saw an opportunity to enhance and modernize their specification management as part of an overall growth and efficiency mindset.

The Goals

In order to modernize their specification data management, HCM had three key areas in which they set out to improve their non-visual data management:

  • Reduce the volume of RFIs (Requests for Information) and change orders associated with insufficient or inaccurate project specifications.
  • Limit the administrative burden of editing specifications using basic text editors.
  • Find a scalable approach to specification development that can grow with project volume and complexity. 

The Solution

HCM selected e-SPECS for Revit, now part of the Deltek Specification Solutions platform, to help them achieve their project management goals.

In simple terms, e-SPECS facilitates a coordinated environment for BIM models and specification content. Fully integrated and preconfigured around MasterSpec®, a product of The American Institute of Architects, the solution allows for customization of the checklist and master documents around a company’s particular requirements. This can help firms automate up to 60% of spec development.  

The Outcomes

According to Mike Bensky, a senior specifier and thought leader at Hord Coplan Macht, the impact of integrating their BIM and specification solutions has been noticed beyond his team.   

“One of the best compliments I’ve received professionally was around my one-year anniversary at HCM,” Bensky said. “After using e-SPECS for a year, a project manager said to me: ‘We’re getting a fraction of the spec-related RFIs and change orders that we used to get.’”


"After using e-SPECS for a year, a project manager said to me: ‘We’re getting a fraction of the spec-related RFIs and change orders that we used to get.’"

Mike Bensky, AIA, CSI, CDT, CCS, LEED AP BD+C – Senior Associate, Specifier at Hord Coplan Macht


The firm is also benefiting from the ability to record and maintain lessons learned, Bensky notes. With e-SPECS as a foundation for their spec management, they can commit to continuous improvement by making sure past project data and firm standards can be intelligently applied to future projects.

Another key benefit is in the direct support of firm growth through enhancing project data. With a smarter and more automated flow of information between BIM and specifications, HCM has been able to take on larger projects and produce quality documents to support those designs.

As Mike states, “When I think about the volume of high-quality spec work we’ve produced over the past five years, I cannot see how that could have been achieved without e-SPECS for Revit.”

 HCM childrens national hospital washington dc


About the Firm

  • Company: Hord Coplan Macht 
  • Industry: Architecture & Design
  • Employees: 300
  • Products & Services: Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, and Environmental Design
  • Locations: Baltimore, Charlotte, Denver and DC Metro
  • Website: www.hcm2.com