Conspectus, Inc., a specialty consultancy providing specifications and other services to the construction industry, has developed Evolving Specifications, a new approach for delivering specifications for the construction industry. The Evolving Specifications approach uses a custom, and proprietary web-based tool, ConspectusCloud, to facilitate and allow active participation by all project stakeholders. A first in the industry.  Conspectus is responding to the industry’s demand to eliminate information gaps arising from uncoordinated data across multiple sources presented in multiple formats. The gaps have caused significant amounts of uncertainty and risk necessitating value engineering, schedule delays, project friction, and often rework needed to correct the issues and increased risk, but only after the fact.

Evolving Specifications records the owner’s project requirements keeps it at the forefront throughout the project. It effectively integrates all specifications data in a single cohesive platform, eliminating the gaps and ensuring the utmost coordination among all the data and parties. In addition, ConspectusCloud opens the black box used for specification production and allows the complete project team including the designer, owner, contractor, subcontractors, and material suppliers to review and proactively participate in the specifications process. The approach allows multiple design options can be defined and analyzed by performance, schedule, and cost to select the optimal solution meeting the owner’s objectives before committing massive resources to document the design. It is design management at its best.  This on-going analysis is especially helpful to inform owners and obtain their consent to the design approach. It also helps design‑builders to assemble contracting teams and to manage project costs against the owner’s budget.

In the process of creating the Evolving Specifications system, it became obvious that a cloud-based tool would be ideal to promote communication and problem solving among the team members unlike any other specification writing system. This tool is ConspectusCloud and it allows participants to see documents develop in real time as well as pose and answer questions about particular specification requirements in a totally new way. Comments are captured as threaded discussions for all to see. This single feature allows questions to be asked and resolved before becoming RFIs and Change Orders. Each participant can see the status of each specification document including unresolved comments and unresolved choices in the project dashboard to know what documents need attention. Each issue required by the project contract can be saved and retained for historic record. Comparisons between of any two issues or a current document can be effectively analyzed, discussed, articulated, while leaving a trail to understand what changes occurred and why for the project and for future projects. Perhaps most importantly participants can know who did what and when. The complete record is captured in the audit trail for each document.

In development since 2014, Evolving Specifications and ConspectusCloud were debuted in 2018. The new approach has been used successfully on 6 completed projects, including Delano Indian Wells, California; San Jose Sharks Arena Expansion, California; Glendale Hotel Louis, California and others are currently in development.

Now, Conspectus clients including WATG, Stantec, Perkins+Will, FXCollaborative, and SOSH Architects are requesting the new Conspectus approach and ConspectusCloud as the specification delivery method for their projects. Plus Conspectus is proud to have contributed experience from our new approach to the National Research Council of Canada by incorporating many of the concepts into the Canadian National Master Specifications.

Specifications are qualitative data defining the owner’s project requirements, setting design and performance criteria, and recording decisions from project conception through design, construction, commissioning and building operations.

Conspectus, Inc. is revolutionizing construction specifications by thinking beyond the specifier’s traditional role and focusing on the right priorities.  To every project, we bring a broader, more comprehensive approach that creates value and lowers risk for every stakeholder before, during, and after construction.