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Spec writing for LEED projects

Kalin Associates is the first and only independent specification consulting firm to have prepared specifications for more than 190 LEED projects seeking USGBC certification. Projects which have already achieved high-level certification include the Platinum-certified Blackstone Block at Harvard University with Bruner/Cott & Associates; the Gold-certified David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh with Raphael Vinoly Architects; the Gold-certified Cape Cod Community College Classroom Building (public bid) in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, with DiMella Shaffer Associates; and the Nexus Green Building Resource Center in Boston with ADD Inc.

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BIMspec—Integrating BIM and specs

BIMspec allows a design firm to integrate Building Information Modeling with their Office Master Specifications. In 2006, Kalin Associates developed a 9,500-line spreadsheet and database named SPie (Specifier’s Property Information Exchange) for a national organization of specifiers, the Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice (SCIP). In 2009, the National Institute of Building Sciences, under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, displayed the initial property set templates on the Whole Building Design Guide’s Product Guide.

BIMspec expands architectural designers' capabilities in BIM, using language which is currently scattered in the silos of specialists. The design developed by the architect should allow the model to speak in the traditional languages of our industry, from cost estimators using Uniformat to specification writers using Masterformat, from the work letters of the contractors to LEED certification and to the global factories of the product manufacturers and their trade organizations.

BIMspec can be implemented in Revit with attributes and naming conventions, or in your office outline and master specifications.

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Specs for international projects

We have prepared specifications internationally for more than 25 years. Projects include:

  • Masdar City master specifications in Abu Dhabi UAE for ADFEC, a new city designed on the principles of sustainability
  • Masdar Headquarters Building, Abu Dhabi UAE. Architect: Smith+Gill
  • Dubai Apartment Tower, Abu Dubai UAE. Architect: TRO Jung/Brannen Associates
  • Dubai Health Care City Phase II, Abu Dubai UAE. Architect: TRO Jung/Brannen Associates
  • Limitless Office Building Complex, Qatar. Architect: Burt Hill
  • King Khalid Military City, Saudi Arabia, design population of 65,000. Architect: Brown Daltas and Associates
  • Markaz al Mahmal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Architect: TRO Jung/Brannen Associates
  • Fitaihi Medical Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Architect: Steffian Bradley Associates
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Lectures and spec training

Mark Kalin, founder of Kalin Associates, has spoken at more than 100 national and regional conferences and tradeshows on green specs/LEED specs, specifications for large projects, specifications for small projects, and BIMspec.

Mark has also been an instructor in the national training courses of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and provides individualized specification training for architectural and engineering staff at your office and specification management consulting for design firms with multiple offices.

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Master specs for companies and agencies

Corporate Master Specifications


Master specifications communicate your corporate memory and design preferences to the architects and engineers you engage for your projects. Kalin Associates has prepared national master specifications for companies with large property portfolios, including United Parcel Service, Nextel Communications, AvalonBay Communities, the Ahold Companies, Fresenius Medical Care, Wellesley College, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Public Agency Specifications


We have prepared master specifications for state agencies and authorities, including the Division of Capital Asset Management for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DCAM) and the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).

Design Firm Master Specifications


Kalin Associates also provides master specification assistance to design firms, including firms seeking to green their specifications, switch from CSI 5-digit to 6-digit Masterformat, update technical standards, and develop advanced automation techniques to streamline document production.

Building Product Manufacturer Guide Specifications


We have prepared master guide specifications for more than 200 building product manufacturers in all CSI Masterformat divisions, including firms such as WR Grace, Overhead Door, MechoShade, Aqua Control, and Duncan Galvanizing. Manufacturers typically provide these specifications on their websites to provide guidance to architects and specifiers.
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Specs for small projects on CD-ROM

Updated for 2014, the 9th edition of our Master Short-Form Specifications includes 250 specification sections in both CSI MasterFormat 1995 5-digit and CSI Masterformat 2004 6-digit numbering schemes. Documents are provided by e-mail in Microsoft Word format.

The Master Short-Form Specifications are typically used by small to medium-size design firms preparing specifications for their projects themselves. They are intended for use as full, short-form specifications for light-commercial, tenant fit-up, design/build and residential projects, and outline specifications for large projects. Used by more than 2,200 firms since 1984, the Master Short-Form Specifications are in CSI 3-part format and include building product manufacturers names and technical standards, in an easy-to-use, edit-by-deletion format. As always, there is a full money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied for any reason. Orders are shipped within 48 hours. The one-time cost is $500, including shipping and taxes. Previous subscribers receive a substantial discount. Call 617-964-5477 x77 to order, or if you have any additional questions.


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Questions? Contact us anytime.
617.964.5477  /   mark@kalinassociates.com