Project Development and Documentation Courses

Session: Specifications Format and Processes

Course Number: SPEC1120

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Introductory

About:
AIA Owner-Architect agreements require the design team to produce written design documentation during each design phase. Understanding the requirements, the expected content, and the purpose of each document is key to meeting the architect's contractual obligations. This course reviews the architect's contractual requirements for documenting design intent, products and systems, and project quality during each design phase and the tools available to help produce each required document. Reliance on recognized industry standards governing each type of document ensures a uniform structure to promote efficient communication of project design to the owner and construction requirements to the contractor. The formal information structure allows nearly instant data retrieval when needed to address questions, especially during the construction administration phase.

Prerequisite Knowledge
Basic knowledge of design phases, and correlating documentation.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Identify what specifications are, and what role they play in construction contracts in relation to all other contract documents.

Learning Objective 2:
Define industry standard specifications formats controlling subject matter location and presentation, and allowing efficient information retrieval.

Learning Objective 3:
Examine AIA Owner-Architect agreements for content and purpose of written documents design teams are required to produce.

Learning Objective 4:
Explore Preliminary Project Descriptions as an effective alternative to outline specifications to define design intent for Schematic Design and Design Development phases.

Back to top of page.



Session: Evolving Specifications - MasterFormat® to UniFormat™

Course Number: SPEC112003

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Advanced

About:
Just as drawings evolved from linen to electronic models as BIM so must specifications evolve. The traditional MasterFormat construction specifications served an industry organized by design discipline and construction trade. Today, these distinctions blur as design and construction teams become more collaborative and construction begins before design is completed. BIM supports collaboration, while traditional specifications encourage segregation by maintaining information in design discipline silos. Traditional specifications hinder design and construction teams from tapping the power of electronic data describing each construction project. Instead, consider new forms for specifications to meet the ever changing project delivery systems springing from today's electronic capabilities. Data until it is organized has little meaning. Organizing BIM, specification, and estimate data by the same means will provide improved understanding of each project element and, therefore, the entire project. Starting project documentation with UniFormat™ project descriptions allows models, specifications and estimates to be aligned, all under the same organizational system. The direct connection provides an effective means for simultaneous analysis of costs relative to function, performance, and materials. When systems are confirmed, system components can be linked to traditional MasterFormat® construction specifications. Explore how UniFormat can organize contract documents supplementing traditional specification, directly connecting the BIM with contractor's estimate and providing a means to effectively specify BIM objects as functional elements.

Prerequisite Knowledge
A basic understanding of current practices for producing schematic design documents including BIM, drawings, basis of design, and outline specifications will be helpful, but is not essential.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Apply CSI UniFormat™ as a standardized structure to describe projects by easily understood systems to support continuous estimating.

Learning Objective 2:
Integrate specifications, BIM objects and project estimates via UniFormat™ organization.

Learning Objective 3:
Develop specifications content level matching BIM level of development throughout the entire process.

Learning Objective 4:
Identify the relationships between BIM and UniFormat™ specifications that allow external model data to describe functional and performance requirements for BIM objects before designed solutions are known.

Back to top of page.


Session: But that's not what I meant! Specifying the Architect's Intent

Course Number: SPEC112002

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

About:
Once a designer hands their drawings off to the author of the specifications, what is the confidence level that their intent will be correctly captured? It has nothing to do with the competency of the specifier. The difficulty is the structure of specifications sections, which typically begin with a Summary article and a "Section Includes" statement. Section Includes has been relegated to a simple list of materials, products, and assemblies that are contained within the each section. These lists offer no insight as to intent. There is a solution: CSI's MasterFormat® states the specifications master list of numbers and titles is classified by work results, not by products. So replace those Section Includes product lists with Work Results statements to describe the Architect's Intent. Specifiers are likely the best ones suited to the task. The specifier infers and confirms the intent through the specifications writing process. Specifiers review drawings, interview the architect, take notes, and collect data. And then specifiers restate the intent as contract requirements. Stating intent with short explicit descriptions will paint a mental picture drawn from the reader's experience. The association with previous experience will allow instant understanding and will promote better retention.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Basic knowledge of MasterFormat® and SectionFormat™

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Construct Statement of the Architect's Intent by: Stating what product will be installed. Stating how the product will be installed. Stating where the product will be installed.

Learning Objective 2:
Understand how to positively specify as opposed to specifying by exception.

Learning Objective 3:
Identify techniques to specify both unusual and common conditions without missing any scope.

Learning Objective 4:
Describe what system the contractor must build with a list of the products required to complete that system.

Back to top of page.


Session: Documenting Design Intent with Preliminary Project Descriptions (PPD Format)

Course Number: SPD01

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Basic level of knowledge of: PPDFormat™, UniFormat™ or UNIFORMAT II, preliminary cost estimates, drawing detail filing, and checklist preparation for types of specifications

About:
For Schematic Design, the AIA B101 Owner-Architect agreement requires documented preliminary material and system selections and consideration of alternative materials and systems. How can architects present this information, effectively, to convey design intent? Preliminary project descriptions (PPDs) bring a flexible, expandable structure designed to capture project design, performance, and sustainability requirements for each functional element. When multiple design solutions are considered, the PPD can document each alternative, the selected solution, and the reason for the selection - providing a design record for both the design team and the owner. Learn how PPDs provide a convenient structure that can document material and system selections, including alternatives, all in a single document while providing the owner a powerful quality assurance tool to ensure the design satisfies the stated project requirements throughout the design and construction phases.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Basic level of knowledge of: PPDFormat™, UniFormat™ or UNIFORMAT II, preliminary cost estimates, drawing detail filing, and checklist preparation for types of specifications.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Explore a standardized structure for presenting design intent during early project design phases.

Learning Objective 2:
Demonstrate how to document multiple optional design solutions for evaluation to meet project performance and budget criteria.

Learning Objective 3:
Illustrate hierarchy and adjustable level of detail accommodating iterative design process.

Learning Objective 4:
Examine the relationships between preliminary project descriptions and BIM that allow PPDs to serve as external model data until the design solutions are decided.

Back to top of page.


Project Planning and Design Courses

Session: Inevitable Change

Course Number: SPEC112004

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

About:
The Basis of Design, Owners Project Requirements, or Owner Value Definition are never static. Change happens, regularly throughout design and construction projects. Change may be minor with little impact. Change may be major due to either uncontrollable external conditions or team driven internal conditions. Whatever the case, it is still the responsibility of the design team to assess the impact quickly and to deliver a facility that will meet the operational needs and values while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the end user. The speed and accuracy of the design team's reaction to inevitable change on a project is a direct consequence of decisions made and accurately recorded to preserve the project history. A slight error in hasty design decisions about building systems can significantly impact the well-being of occupants, users, and the general public. All members of the project must participate and play their role to ensure the owner's goals and user's needs are met. A collaborative relationship between key members - the owner, specifier, estimator, and design team, can positively influence the confidence in decisions and documentation that ultimately protect the occupants and end users. Together, the project team employs a new approach to improve estimating, specifying, and decision-making for the users' benefit.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Intermediate understanding of the project delivery process and the contractual relationships necessary to establish a sequential process of design and construction activities that converts a conceptual idea into a completed and occupied facility.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Understand how the relationship and process of the specifier and a conceptual estimator, working alongside the design team, encourages questions and reveals answers.

Learning Objective 2:
Describe building systems to positively impact the physical and emotional well-being of occupants through design decisions.

Learning Objective 3:
Identify viable options which will solely promote improvement of the occupants health.

Learning Objective 4:
Confidently and continuously record design decisions that elevate human experience and will benefit the environment, and constantly analyze systems, assemblies, and products needed to satisfy owner requirement and protect the health, safety and welfare of the end users.

Learning Objective 5:
Formulate processes that provide validation of design against owner and user value, to be employed under any circumstance.

Learning Objective 6:
Employ strategies to enable improved decision making to support the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of the facility.

Back to top of page.


Session: Storefront Windows, Window Wall, and Curtain Wall - What's the Difference? 

Course Number: TECH01

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

About:
Most architects believe they understand the differences among glazed opening framing systems. Published construction drawings and specifications indicate many individuals do not understand differences well enough to label openings correctly to coordinate with project specifications. Manufacturers know the differences because their literature segregates the various framing systems. MasterFormat®, the industry standard for specifications numbers and titles, includes specifications section titles for each system. MasterSpec, SpecText, and Speclink, the commercially available master specification systems, follow MasterFormat® and include separate specifications for each system. The reason: the systems are distinctly different - different performance, different applications, and different costs. Understanding the difference will help ensure drawing notations are coordinated with the specifications.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
The program will benefit novice and experienced attendees. A desire to understand the basic differences among storefront, windows, window wall, and curtain wall is all that is required for understanding the content of this course.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Explore the construction differences of each framing type.

Learning Objective 2:
Discover the practical performance limits of each framing type.

Learning Objective 3:
Examine structural and span limitations for each framing type.

Learning Objective 4:
Develop terminology understanding to ensure the right intent is conveyed by construction documents.

Back to top of page


Project Management Courses

Session: Transforming decision-making through transparency. Start to Finish. 

Course Number: CC01

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

About:
The Revolution has begun. It has been never more critical than now to have transparency in the process and drive total collaboration. Transparency transforms the behaviors of the project team, authenticity of content in the documentation and success in outcomes, not just in the project, but the process as a whole. The unsuspecting tool to drive this transparency, is specifications. Far more than a construction project manual, systems descriptions specifications encompass performance criteria, design criteria, and comparative options. They allow cost and functional analysis before the team commits design resources to any solution. Learn how owners' expectations and requirements are recorded and validated throughout the entire decision making process via written construction documentation, through case studies on projects and clients.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Basic understanding of owner's project requirements; design decisions-making process; roles and responsibilities of project team members; UniFormat™ and MasterFormat®.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Explain how having the Specifier act as an Owner's advocate will help the Owner find optimal solutions, and allow the Architect to focus on documenting the optimum solution.

Learning Objective 2:
Implement an open and transparent discussion between the Owner, Specifier, Architect, Estimator, Contractor, and Supplier allowing all project stakeholders to collaborate and develop information, discuss options, optimize decisions, record the entire process, and document the results.

Learning Objective 3:
Facilitate comprehensive participation by all parties, resulting in time and cost saving benefits.

Learning Objective 4:
Demonstrate how organizational format's already in existence will be used in new and innovative ways to revolutionize the way the design and construction industry delivers the written portion of Construction Documents.

Back to top of page.


Session: The Specifier; Advocate for the Owner

Course Number: SPEC112005

Credits: 1 LU

Course Level: Intermediate

About:
Perception: Designers think of specifiers as a requirement for permit or an annoying afterthought. Just pull the old spec off the shelf, dust if off and viola' you have a project manual. Reality: Specifiers are BIM: Building Information Managers. They have the information, or access to it, through their network of product representatives and suppliers. Specifiers understand the risks to other parties and how to manage those risks. Realization: Specifiers naturally become the owners advocate by helping them find optimal solutions to satisfy their criteria, within budget, and allow the Architect to focus on documenting the optimum solution. Take a step by step tour through the project, from Basis of Design and Owners Project Requirements, to RFI prevention. Peek into discussions, decisions, and solutions that transpire when the process becomes transparent and when the specifier is a forethought.

Prerequisite Knowledge: 
Intermediate understanding of the project delivery process and the contractual relationships necessary to establish a sequential process of design and construction activities that converts a conceptual idea into a completed and occupied facility.

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective 1:
Implement an open and transparent discussion among the Owner, Specifier, Architect, Estimator, Contractor, and Supplier, which will allow all project stakeholders to collaborate and develop information, discuss options, optimize decisions, record the entire process, and document the results.

Learning Objective 2:
Facilitate comprehensive participation by all parties, resulting in time and cost saving benefits. Specifically showing: a reduction in Addenda, requests for information, supplemental instructions and change orders.

Learning Objective 3:
Demonstrate how "cartooning" a project's specifications may aid the Architect in documenting decisions from the very first meeting through Owner building occupancy and potentially increase firm profitability and reduce stress in the office.

Learning Objective 4:
Demonstrate how organizational FORMATS already in existence will be used in new and innovative ways to revolutionize the way the design and construction industry delivers the written portion of Construction Documents.

Back to top of page.