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December 3, 2014 2:05 PM CST

BSD supports green initiatives

In the news


Building Systems Design Inc. (BSD), a company offering software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering and construction markets, has published revisions to 116 specification sections related to sustainable design for architects and engineers.

BSD SpecLink-E, BSD's automated specification production system, has supported the various LEED rating systems published by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for many years. BSD's latest sustainability updates support LEED v4 BD+C, USGBC's most recent green rating system. The updates support other green initiatives, such as the Green Globes project developed by the nonprofit Green Building Initiative.

BSD accomplishes this support of multiple green systems by organizing all relevant design issues into five categories:

  • Location – Requirements intrinsic to location, such as access to transit or use of a brownfield site
  • Design Phase – Topics related to activities during project design, such as site master planning
  • Post-Construction – Occupancy issues, such as green power offsets and "no smoking" policies
  • Design Embodiment – Performance issues such as daylighting, views and energy usage
  • Contract Documents – Requirements explicitly included on drawings and/or in specifications, such as site boundaries for vegetation protection and contractor's quality procedures.
In general, BSD places the sustainable design requirements in each applicable specification section, rather than gathered together in a single section, so the issues can be addressed independently of which rating system is being used on a particular project.

BSD SpecLink-E is built on a relational database, rather than word processing files, so BSD has built into the database more than 170,000 "intelligent links" that help to edit project specifications based on decisions made by the user. This linking feature is especially helpful when a design professional wishes to pursue certification under a particular green rating system.

By activating Section 01 3329 – Sustainable Design Reporting, a user can select the desired rating system, and make further choices from the options presented. The built-in links will automatically activate related provisions in other spec sections. When all necessary specification sections have been fully edited, the system can print a submittals report that lists all sections in the project requiring submittal of sustainable design documentation.

Subscribers to BSD SpecLink-E can automatically download and install the hundreds of paragraphs involved in this sustainability update through a new software feature. Instead of quarterly updates that replace the entire master database, BSD's system lets users choose to have updates downloaded as frequently as daily, but not less often than quarterly. Or, the user can download and apply all available updates to the master database within a few minutes.

About the Author

Building Systems Design, Inc. has offered innovative software tools for the architecture, architectural engineering, and construction markets since 1983. Visit for more information.


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