Building Systems Design Inc. (BSD) has revised 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, USGBC’s most recent green rating system, but they also 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 they can address the issues independently of which rating system is being used on a particular project. For example, in the specification section dealing with indoor air quality controls, BSD includes provisions relevant to prerequisites and credits under LEED rating systems without mentioning LEED at all.
BSD SpecLink-E is built on a relational database, rather than word processing files, so BSD has built into the database over 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 simply select the desired rating system, make further choices from the options presented, and 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 new system lets users choose to have updates downloaded as frequently as daily — but not less often than quarterly – or to download and apply all available updates to the master database within a few minutes.