Streamlined specifications

Brad Brown, BIM manager and architect for BSA LifeStructures

Brad Brown is BIM manager and architect for BSA LifeStructures in Indianapolis, Ind. He’s been in the industry for 15 years and has consulted on around a hundred specification projects. For Brown, one of the biggest frustrations during the door hardware specification process is door renumbering.

"I cannot tell you how big of a pain door renumbers are," says Brown. He says that door numbers are often provided late in the process. Conveying that information accurately is difficult, especially when coordinating with the specification writer. There’s a lot of manual conversations that can lead to potential inaccuracies.

Aside from door renumbering, the manual aspect of the specifications can create various challenges. Brown explains that during the traditional specification process, he would hand the specification writers hard copy prints. Then the specification writers would have to type a lot of information into their software.

"Overtur has taken the tediousness out of specification writing."

"Not only is that a waste of effort," he says, "but every time you make someone retype something, there’s a chance of mistype or misspellings or transposing of numbers, which can cause huge implications in errors and omissions. We want to take as much retyping out of the equation as possible."

Allegion’s Overtur™, a cloud collaboration platform for the design and specification of door hardware, overcomes these challenges. According to Brown, using the platform gives his firm the security of knowing that all the information in their schedule is being properly conveyed to the specification writer without causing duplication of work.

Overtur is a cloud-based suite of tools where architects and door hardware consultants can come together to collaborate on specifications and the security design of doors and openings. These tools provide a centralized place to capture and maintain door hardware requirements and decisions, with easy options to push that information back to the design tools (e.g. Revit). This Revit plugin has proven to be most valuable to Brown and his firm, overcoming the headaches with manual door renumbering.

"To me, the most helpful thing is the fact that we don’t have to keep track of things like room name and number changes, and therefore opening changes," explains Brown. "Because the plugin talks to Revit, it knows that. For example, even though my name is Bradley Brown, most people call me Brad. But the government still knows me by my social security number. No one needs to remember that my name has changed from Bradley to Brad because my social security number still has me held by both names. It’s the same thing now with Revit. When we push changes, we don’t have to worry about doors XYZ now being 123 and trying to communicate that. The software already pulls that information for us. Knowing that this is taken care of is a huge burden off our shoulders."

Overtur has taken the tediousness out of specification writing, according to Brown. Architects can do their work and know that when they push the information to Overtur, the spec writer gets the information he or she needs. "We can passively do it as opposed to have to take meticulous notes, like this door is now this number. And I can send changes as I get them done. So if I get the first floorplan done, I can send them the changes. Get the second floorplan done, I can send them the changes. This has streamlined the process exponentially."

Aside from a more efficient door hardware specification, Brown values the flexibility of the platform. Users don’t need to adopt every application within the platform. The goal is for Overtur to meet the needs of each client. BSA LifeStructures uses Revit, and they don’t have time to be pulled out of that into another program. Overtur is able to get the information from Revit, and then share the door hardware in a format they can use.

"Allegion has done their best to work with the way we work, as opposed to telling us the way we should work," Brown says. "They still allow each form to be as individual and unique as possible."

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