As a student of architecture, you learn how to effectively communicate an idea formed in your head through visual and written representation so that another person can view those digital properties and visualize almost exactly the same thing. Wait, written you say? It’s not all in the BIM content? Nope, but we’ve got a solution for you.
Enter AIA MasterSpec. The AIA developed MasterSpec to fill a need that was quickly identified as projects started getting more complex and involving multiple parties – drawings or BIM are excellent ways to show location and quantity, but there is an incredible amount of information about building products – sustainability, finishes, tolerances, substitutions, delivery, storage, and installation requirements, etc. – that also needs to be addressed. Enter specifications. MasterSpec is used by a majority of the large and small firms in the United States and in projects worldwide to streamline and coordinate specification and BIM content. It’s also a great resource to learn about building products, as it includes extensive research material geared toward the first-time user.
The AIA has partnered with AIAS to offer free student access to MasterSpec through SpecBuilder Cloud, an online specification library, editor, and research tool. By registering for a free account here, you will have, with a couple limitations on output, free access to the same tools used in architecture firms to research building products and write specifications. And if you got into architecture because you don’t like to write, we’ve got some good news for you – using MasterSpec is a lot easier than you think.
Let’s talk about how to register for an account on SpecBuilder Cloud. It’s super easy and can be done in five clicks. Know that you can ONLY sign up for SpecBuilder Cloud with your .edu email address and you’ll need access to that email address to complete registration. Video is here, but it’s just as easy to follow the instructions below.
First, go to the SpecBuilder Cloud registration page. Fill out all the fields, remembering to use your .edu email address. For the “Site ID” field you get to have a little fun – make up your unique firm name. When complete, click the “I have read and accept the terms and conditions” button (making sure to read the terms and conditions) and then the Register button.
A screen that asks if you would like an Educational License pops up. Click on “Continue with Educational License.” An email will appear in your .edu email account asking you to confirm your account. Click on the link the email, and you are good to go!
For quick tutorials on SpecBuilderCloud, check out our support videos on YouTube here or our free “Getting Started with SpecBuilderCloud” webinar here. For more information on specifications, check out the Architects Handbook on Professional Practice.