Merge Architectural Group Simplifies Complex Projects with Deltek Specpoint

July 27, 2023
Merge Architectural Group

An Interview with Carlos Murrieta, Principal and Co-Founder at Merge Architectural Group.

Merge Architectural Group is an award-winning architectural firm located in Phoenix, Arizona, providing complete architectural, planning, and interior design services. Co-founded by Carlos Murrieta and Clarisa del Castillo in 2012, they have a diverse portfolio focused on community, education, government, higher education, hospitality, and multifamily projects

Merge Architectural Group works on many complex projects and realizes that construction requires a holistic approach where drawings and specifications need to work together seamlessly. Looking at ways to simplify processes, Carlos Murrieta selected Deltek Specpoint to streamline specifications contributing to smoother project execution, better communication among stakeholders, and the successful delivery of high-quality architectural projects. Carlos also greatly appreciates the value derived from Specpoint, which integrates cutting-edge technology with the comprehensive resources of AIA MasterSpec®.

Streamlining Specification Workflows

Before Specpoint, Carlos manually reviewed each specification section, line by line, to ensure accuracy and consistency, which was a very time-consuming process. This inefficient process would delay finalizing specifications and potential project schedule impacts.

With Specpoint, Carlos and his team automate repetitive tasks, use consistent templates based on industry best practices, and benefit from auto-populating product information. By leveraging these capabilities, they streamline the specification workflows, saving time, reducing errors, and ensuring project consistency and compliance.

Carlos reveals that “We moved some of the projects that we started years ago into Specpoint because it was a lot easier to manage them.” He continues, "With the flexibility to access projects from wherever you are, we can have multiple people working on the same sections in the same divisions at the same time, greatly streamlining workflows.”


“One of the things that I love about using Specpoint is that by the time I select a product, it already recognizes that I am required to use a specific product in another section which greatly simplifies my work.”

– Carlos Murrieta, Principal and Co-Founder at Merge Architectural Group


Taking the Guesswork Out of Specs

Although Carlos has a seasoned team of top-notch architects, they find that writing specifications for their projects can be time-consuming work.

With Specpoint, the team at Merge Architectural Group have a guided process for creating specifications, breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps. Team members can reduce the learning curve by following pre-built templates and prompts.

Carlos informs that “Specpoint ensures you know you're not forgetting anything through the design process. It is a powerful tool because it not only provides hints about what we need to be considering or reviewing but also provides options for materials with more detail, making it easier to incorporate them into the specs and in our drawings.”

Carlos adds that “One of the greatest advantages of Specpoint is when you are creating a section, let's say about steel or high-performance paint, it's already telling you that you need to select other products. And that eliminates a lot of challenges.”


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Keeping Pace with Iterative Design

Since Merge Architecture Group implemented Specpoint, it has helped them to keep pace with the iterative nature of design.

For example, in Specpoint, elements can be grouped by CSI MasterFormat divisions, sections, and subsections or assemblies. Carlos shares, "If I want to start discussing how we're going to build the walls, I can just go to the assembly portion and start selecting all the products and the different specification sections that I'm going to need to build my walls. This assembly-based process is much more efficient than jumping through the CSI MasterFormat division catalog to ensure I have specified my metal framing, load bearing framing, and finishes.”

An added benefit of Specpoint is the ability to select a division, and right on the screen, it will change immediately to the product that it's incorporated inside that spec so Carlo’s team can determine if that's something they may want. Carlos adds, "It's also good for us that at the same time, we are selecting this section, we can see the different products that apply on the side screen.”


“When specifying with Specpoint, it is wonderful to go to one place and select everything you need.”

– Carlos Murrieta, Principal and Co-Founder at Merge Architectural Group


Building Relationships with Reliable Suppliers

According to Carlos, navigating numerous building product manufacturer options and determining the best fit for a specific project can be time-consuming and complex.

Since AIA MasterSpec is part of Specpoint, Carlos has significantly streamlined research and selecting products with access to over 50,000 manufacturer product listings, including products that provide unbiased, objective information vetted by AIA-sponsored architectural and engineering review committees.

Carlos shares, “One of the things that I noticed almost immediately with Specpoint is the level of detail with the building product manufacturer cards.” This information includes a concise product description highlighting its purpose, features, functionalities, detailed technical specifications, and manufacturer contact information.  

Carlos elaborates, "The coolest thing for us is that I can have immediate access to data sheets, cut sheets, and links to the manufacturer. I can email or call the manufacturer and ask them - tell me more about this half-inch, high-resistant drywall or whatever the case is.”

With a more accessible product selection, Carlos can explore a greater variety of products, materials, and technologies, considering performance, sustainability, cost, and availability. This expanded choice enables him to find innovative solutions and build relationships with reliable suppliers.

Carlos went on to say “You know, with public or university projects, you need options so the owner can select products based on price, quality, and other features. That's one of the things that I have with Specpoint; it provides access to many different manufacturers and their products.”


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Switching to Specpoint Yields Timesaving Benefits

For Carlos, switching to Specpoint reduces the time required to create, update, and manage specifications. Tasks typically done manually, such as formatting, cross-referencing, or searching for information are automated, which frees up valuable time for other essential activities.

With the ability to import data from Microsoft Word documents to Specpoint, Carlos shares that “I found it powerful to import our specs directly out of MasterSpec Word documents into the software, and it can recognize different pieces and parts of the specification sections.” He continues, "This gives us the confidence that we can just import this data into Specpoint and continue working on the specifications as if nothing happened.”

With automation, Carlos finds that he can generate specifications faster, effortlessly navigate through the specifications, and easily make updates or revisions. This streamlined process allows Carlos and his team to handle more complex projects and complete them more efficiently.

As a team of ten architects, of which three build specifications, Carlos concludes, “Specpoint allows everybody to work together at the same time and be able to share in the different phases of the project in one place. Spepoint helps streamline the process for developing specifications and makes it less labor intensive for making changes and updates.”


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About Merge Architecture Group

Merge Architectural Group is an award-winning architectural firm located in Phoenix, Arizona, providing complete architectural, planning, and interior design service. The firm is committed to designing excellence through a client-concentric collaborative design process, assuring each client has the most responsive, accurate, and cost-effective approach.