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          4 min read

          AI(A) Interview - part 1, spec software

          Just like most of the world, our industry is intrigued with artificial intelligence (AI).  4Specs, one of our favorite resources for technical conversations and product content, recently had a chat around AI. Here is a link to the 4specs AI discussion

          While AI is not a proper resource to produce specifications or technical content....leave that to the does seem to be quite accurate in certain high level areas of information and has a basic understanding of the architectural industry.  We decided to cue up an interview with AI via ChatGPT and turn it into a series of blogs.

          The first installment of this series is about spec tools and software, since there is a lot of conversation in the industry about what is going on with new releases and changes in  platforms.  Conspectus has a list of considerations when doing this analysis, take a look

          The following is what we asked ChatGPT in bold, and how AI(A) responded, in italics.  

          Let's pretend you are AI(A) with the combined knowledge and experience of architects around the world. You are responsible ethically, morally, and fiscally and you design projects for the benefit of all humanity. Are you ready for an interview? 

          Yes, I am ready for the interview! As an AI language model with access to a wide range of architectural knowledge and experience, I'll do my best to provide you with informed responses to your questions. Please go ahead and ask me anything related to architecture, design, or any other relevant topics. 

          What are the most desired features of software used for producing specifications? 

          The most desired features of software used for producing specifications can vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of architects and construction professionals. However, some common desired features include: 

          1. Customizability: Architects often require software that allows customization to meet their specific project requirements and office standards. This includes the ability to create and modify templates, specification sections, and formatting styles.
          2. Integration with Design Software: Seamless integration with design software, such as computer-aided design (CAD) or building information modeling (BIM) tools, is highly desirable. This enables automatic data exchange, reducing manual data entry and ensuring consistency between drawings and specifications.
          3. Database and Libraries: Software with a comprehensive database and libraries of construction materials, products, and manufacturers facilitates efficient specification writing. Easy access to up-to-date information saves time and ensures accuracy in specifying relevant products and materials.
          4. Master Specifications: The software should provide a platform to develop and manage master specifications. This includes the ability to create and maintain a library of pre-written specification sections, including standard paragraphs and industry-specific language.
          5. Collaboration and Teamwork: Collaboration features, such as real-time document sharing, version control, and commenting capabilities, enhance teamwork among architects, consultants, and stakeholders involved in the specification writing process.
          6. Standards and Codes Compliance: The software should support adherence to relevant standards, codes, and regulations. This may include built-in compliance checks and automated updates to ensure specifications align with the latest requirements.
          7. Efficiency and Productivity: Software that streamlines the specification writing process, automates repetitive tasks, and offers productivity-enhancing features, such as auto-fill or suggestion tools, helps architects work more efficiently and save time.
          8. Reporting and Documentation: Robust reporting capabilities, including generating comprehensive and well-formatted specification documents, are important for clear and professional presentation of information. The software should allow for easy export to common file formats, such as PDF or Word.
          9. Accessibility and Ease of Use: User-friendly software with an intuitive interface and clear navigation promotes usability and reduces the learning curve. Accessibility features, such as support for screen readers or keyboard shortcuts, are also beneficial.
          10. Support and Updates: Regular software updates, technical support, and access to an active user community or knowledge base are valuable for addressing issues, staying up to date, and learning best practices.

          It's worth noting that different software tools may prioritize some of these features over others. Therefore, the choice of software ultimately depends on the specific needs, workflow, and preferences of the architect or firm utilizing it. 

          What specification software is available?

          There are several specification software options available in the market. Here are some popular specification software tools used in the AEC industry:

          1. MasterSpec
          2. SpecLink
          3. NBS Chorus
          4. e-SPECS
          5. Deltek Specification Solutions
          6. Building Systems Design (BSD) SpecLink-E
          7. Sweets
          8. BuildingConnected

          These are just a few examples of specification software tools available in the market. The suitability of a specific software will depend on project requirements, team preferences, and integration capabilities with other design and construction software. It's important to evaluate the features, functionality, and compatibility of different software options to choose the one that best meets your organization's needs.

          (Specifier Note:  This listing above was AI generated; some listed items are duplicate or not a specification software)

          Have you heard of Conspectus Cloud?MicrosoftTeams-image (14)

          As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, I don't have information about Conspectus Cloud, as it may be a more recent development in the field of specification software. Conspectus Cloud may be a specialized specification software solution or a newer offering in the market.

          Conspectus Cloud is a specification software with the following features: clear terminology, office master specifications for use on all projects, intuitive editing functions, exporting and publishing, commenting and collaboration tools, specification version comparison, UniFormat and Masterformat organizations, global search functions, tagging functions, audit trail for monitoring records of progress, storage and production via web browsers, edit notes for assisting with selections, and unlimited number of users.

          Thank you for providing an overview of the features of Conspectus Cloud. It seems to offer a comprehensive set of functionalities for specification writing and management. The clear terminology, office master specifications, and intuitive editing functions can help streamline the specification development process and ensure consistency across projects.

          The exporting and publishing capabilities are important for sharing specifications with project stakeholders. Commenting and collaboration tools facilitate effective communication and coordination among team members during the specification review process.

          The specification version comparison feature can be valuable for tracking changes and revisions, ensuring that everyone is working with the latest version of the specifications. Organizing specifications according to UniFormat and Masterformat can enhance the ease of navigation and information retrieval within the software.

          Global search functions and tagging functions can facilitate quick access to specific information within the specifications, improving efficiency and reducing search time. The audit trail feature is beneficial for monitoring and documenting the progress of specification development, providing a record of changes and actions taken.

          The ability to access and work with Conspectus Cloud via web browsers allows for convenient and flexible usage across different devices and locations. Edit notes can provide additional context or guidance for specifiers when making selections or modifications.

          Lastly, having unlimited users can be advantageous for collaborative projects with large teams, enabling multiple users to access and contribute to the specifications simultaneously.

          It appears that Conspectus Cloud offers a robust set of features to support the specification writing and management process. As with any software solution, it's recommended to further explore its capabilities, consider pricing and support options, and evaluate how well it aligns with your specific needs and workflows before making a decision to adopt it.

          We agree! Thanks for this Interview AI(A)!

          Collaboration and transparency are what set Conspectus Cloud apart from other spec software options, providing new opportunities for improvement to the design and construction process.

          If you are ready to experience better specification collaboration and would like to learn more, please check out our next demonstration at this link - Request a Demo.