The Architects office master specification

The Architects office master specification

Architects office master spec

What is an office master specification?


At ZeroDocs, we’ve developed a lot of specifications for building product manufacturers throughout the years and shared our ideas on how to increase their specification rates.  The process is tedious and hasn’t changed much over the past 40 years.  This blog post offers tips on improving your specification rates much faster using the design professional’s (architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects) office master specification.


To start, let’s lay down the traditional ground rules for getting design professionals to specify your products:

Identify what design professionals are specifying your type of products. 

Call to schedule a meeting or discussion on your products. 

Leverage lunch and learns to create product interest and meet the right people at the design professional’s office.

Maintain consistent follow-ups to build a relationship and learn about new projects that could use your product.


Why use an office master specification?


If you’ve worked with design professionals, I’m sure you’ve figured out that they don’t write specifications from scratch. 


Project specifications originate from an office master based on what they’ve used in the past, so they don’t need to reinvent the wheel on every project.


The office master is a kit of parts for projects.  It’s the typical specs that every project requires, like drywall, concrete, windows, flooring, countertops, roofing, doors, etc. 


The office master keeps projects consistent, making it much faster and more efficient to produce specifications for a particular project. 


Where does an office master originate?


The office master usually starts from a specification resource that provides the design professional with 100s of specification templates organized by CSI MasterFormat number.  The Architect edits the required templates to specify a project’s products, assemblies, or materials. 


Gone are the days when an architect must write a custom specification from scratch; it’s now a process of editing or modifying a template for a particular project. 


Like a gym membership, the design professional can purchase a license (or subscription) per Architect.  Another option is to purchase a one-time master specification download that will eventually go out of date.  


Click here to visit the SimpleSpecs™ office master for Architects.


Why not write specs from scratch?


Could you imagine how much time and work it would require on each project to research products and write CSI 3-part specifications from scratch?


Office masters make it 10x faster to manage products, suppliers, and project requirements.  Approved products get specified in the office master as a “library of products” for everyone to use. 


Products are ready to specify, and selections are more consistent from project to project.


How is the office master updated?


Office masters can be updated manually by a principal, senior team member, or specifier at the firm.  


In larger architectural firms, a structural engineer might be in charge of maintaining all structural specs.  The interiors team may be in charge of updating approved finishes.  Specifiers may be the grand orchestrator of all changes and oversee best practices.  


Why it’s important to a building product manufacturer.


As a building product manufacturer, it’s essential to be specified on projects.  It’s how you grow a market and your brand recognition. 


Like billboards on a freeway, specifications are advertisements.   Getting specified advertises “I manufacturer this type of product,” and “I made it easier” for contractors to purchase my product by being specified.


How does a manufacturer get specified in the office master?


Suppose you are going to get specified by an architect the old fashion way using the basics.  In that case, it’s essential to know what product an Architect specifies and why, so you can provide the same solution (or a better one).


When the design professional asks, “is your product like x,” you’re usually being compared to what they used on past projects.  So don’t confuse the Architect with a sales pitch that starts with “we have a patent” or “our product is totally different than x.” Please keep it simple; this could be your first chance at getting specified. 




As a building product manufacturer, it’s essential to increase specification rates.  Increasing specification rates is how you grow a market and your brand recognition.


The traditional way of getting specified on projects is a slow process.  It involves prospecting for architects, scheduling lunch presentations, and consistent follow-ups to find the right project. 


Master specification systems are a great resource for manufacturers looking to increase spec rates, lead generation, and make their products more accessible. 


Allowing manufacturers to bypass the traditional prospecting phase by having their products pre-specified at the source.