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Specification Automation: One Document Can Cover Two Sets of Specifications

Austin, TX, April 4, 2013 — Fiatech is pleased to announce that it has released the Phase 1 report on its Specification Automation Project. The report details how using the schema developed in the research can provide for the creation and manipulation of a combined document, for example one that covers design/build and design/bid/build specs, in an efficient manner. Once a document has been created in this system, it can be managed more efficiently than two separate documents.

Fiatech members involved in the project include CH2MHILL, S&B Engineers and Constructors; Construction Sciences Research Foundation (CSRF); Siemens PLM Software; Bechtel; Hatch; and The Engineering Essentials Company (TEEC), now operating under Bentley Systems.

Construction specification authors and users are provided little computerized support to prepare completed documents when using Microsoft Word® (MS Word) for document processing. Generalized keyword-based indexing and searching and syntax checkers provide minimal help in using master documents or in finding material needed for specific applications. In 2009, Fiatech funded the Specification Automation Project. It became quickly apparent to the project team that specification documents needed to change from plain to intelligent text. The team immediately began to develop rules for how specification data can be identified and manipulated across multiple industry tools. Prior to the Fiatech work in this area, no effort had been made to apply the latest computer science technologies to the task of automating documents to interrelate with other engineering and design tools.

Phase 1 represents an excellent source of lessons learned. The project team consistently identified new steps and processes as well as a wide range of issues and requirements. Phase 2, now in the development stage, will be creating a laboratory of collaboration where professional specifiers from a variety of industries and disciplines can engage in modeling specifications to encourage interoperability, maintainability, and ultimately, improved compliance to the specifications.

Download the Phase 1 report here. To inquire about participating in Phase 2 of the Specification Automation Project, please contact Bob Wible, Fiatech Senior Project Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..