Specification writing for sustainable design

Kalin Associates is the first and only independent specification consulting firm to have prepared specifications for hundreds of LEED projects seeking USGBC certification. Experience with sustainable design includes: Living Building Challenges; Passive House; WELL building standard; CALGreen; Enterprise Green Communities and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

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.

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

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.

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 and Maintenance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DCAMM) 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.