SPECIFICATIONS

It is not a misconception that some designers hate specifications, but not at HALL. With expertise in the development of national standards for the organization of construction specifications, five national awards for specification writing, and extensive experience on most major project types the firm is well acquainted with current industry standards, building products manufacturers, and specification writing practices. HALL is highly recognized for our Specifications Consulting. Through the development and implementation of new project delivery tools, professional writing, and speaking, we strive to educate the profession, improve communities, and advance the construction industry. The success of a building enclosure is not due to the aesthetics of the architecture, but the dual nature of combining art and science to create a functional space. Creating a building based on aesthetics without following industry standards will result in faulty facility performance. 

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Both Walter Scarborough and Dennis Hall have served on the AIA MasterSpec Architectural Review Committee, a peer-review committed helping to direct the technical content in order to maintain accuracy of the information in the constantly changing construction industry.  Similarly, Dennis Hall participated in the CSRF SpecText (now owned by ARCOM) Review Committee in (1992-1996), which was established to ensure that the CSRF documents were continuously updated to reflect current standards, best practices, and conformance to the specification practices recommended by CSI. Additionally, on January 27, 2017 The Board of Directors of BSD elected Dennis J. Hall as its new Chairman of Board of Directors. BSD is a software development firm that developed SpecLink-E. 

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HALL acts as a laboratory to test and implement standards and practice tools we help create. Our staff include Certified Construction Specifiers who have won numerous national specification awards from the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) for the quality of our Project Manuals.  The firm utilizes a sophisticated computerized system in the production of the project specifications to ensure that the document is well coordinated within and between disciplines, which translate into a more comprehensive document for the client.  Our services include project specifications, firm mater specifications, and building product guide specifications.   

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Members of the firm have participated in the development of each of the three most widely used commercially available guide specifications systems. Master Guide Specifications are developed for architects and engineers to be applied to diverse project scope and types, as such it is important that they reflect the current state of the industry. Preparation of Master Guide Specifications is a complex endeavor as they must incorporate a wide array of available options for the project team to consider when editing the documents for a specific project.  For that reason, participants on the review committees for these resources are considered to be experts in not only the preparation of written construction documents but also have specialized knowledge in a variety of construction areas. 

Members of the firm have actively been involved in the development and updating of industry standards related to the organization of Written Construction Documents, including three of the foundation classification systems used to structure data in a model. Building information can be organized in many ways and thus there are numerous standards relating to organization of the information including OmniClass Construction Classification System (OCCS) which is a strategy for classifying the built environment. OCCS consists of 15 tables representing different facets of construction information. OCCS, a North American Standard developed by a committee comprised of more than 100 firms and individuals, is often applied to organizing not only project specific information but product literature and other resources found in most architectural firms. OCCS incorporates both UniFormat and MasterFormat, two other industry standards which are frequently applied to the organization of construction information. UniFormat, organizes construction information based functional elements, for example, substructure and interiors, this organizational structure focuses on assemblies rather than materials. MasterFormat organizes building information according to common trade practices also known as work results. MasterFormat provides a list of numbers and titles which are the industry standard for the organization of project manuals and detailed cost information. SectionFormat/PageFormat andother industry standard provides a uniform approach to organization of specification sections.  SectionFormat provides the structure for arranging text within a specification section using a three-part format. PageFormat provides recommendations for formatting a written page including guidance for page numbers, margins, headers and footers.  UniFormat, MasterFormat and SectionFormat/PageFormat are all joint publications produced by Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC).