A few months ago when I was preparing for my big move, I cleaned out my office. You might remember – that was when I gave away A LOT of code books (sorry – they’re all gone!). I have been working for Allegion – and for Ingersoll Rand prior to our spin-off, for 21 YEARS (yes – really!), so there was A LOT of paper in my office. I filled two giant rolling bins, AND I had another big pile that was from a top-secret project and had to be shredded. I had plans, door schedules, submittals – so much paper! I’ve written hardware specifications for thousands of doors, and each project produced piles of paper. For the top-secret project I would periodically receive boxes of new and improved plans, and have to comb through them looking for changes. Not fun.
I know that hardware is challenging for a lot of architects and specifiers, and some even profess to HATE hardware – which is why the secret entrance to this website is www.iHateHardware.com. Hardware specifications are much easier to manage if you have a good hardware consultant – I have literally held an architect’s hand to get her through a security meeting. 🙂 But it’s always been tough to get around the pain of transferring information, remembering to alert the hardware consultant to changes, and avoiding the RFIs that result when things aren’t coordinated quite right (“when did that single change to a pair?”).
When I started this website one of my goals was to make hardware less painful. Allegion has a new tool to help with that – it’s called Spec Exchange. It’s a custom Revit plug-in that streamlines the door scheduling process, and simplifies the transfer of information from the architect to the hardware consultant, and back again. If you have ever manually typed the hardware set numbers into a door schedule and missed one – so that every door after that has the wrong hardware set associated with it – you know how many headaches and change orders can be avoided by automating this process. Less time, less work, less mistakes, LESS PAPER, and the architect maintains control of their attributes and data, and can manipulate it as needed. Here’s a short video about Spec Exchange:
Over 100 of my Allegion coworkers are consultants who write hardware specifications, assist with application problems, provide wiring diagrams for electrified systems, answer code questions, help with substitution requests, and review hardware submittals. I have met very few architects and specifiers who wouldn’t jump at the chance to get the hardware specification off their plate (yes – I know there are a few of you who actually DIG hardware!).
If you’re an architect or specifier who is already working with one of our Allegion specwriters, or if you’d like to give us a try, I’d love for you to check out Spec Exchange and give us your feedback. The downloads for Revit 2014, 2015, and 2016 are available at no charge on the Allegion website. If you’d like help with the installation or if you want to connect with an Allegion specwriter, go to the Contact a Specwriter page. There are Allegion Spec Exchange “Power Users” all over the US who can help if you have questions.
And if you have read all the way to the end of this post and are willing to try Spec Exchange and share your feedback with me, I have a special gift for you…made by my new friend José, right here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Solid brass! Handmade! Not sold in any stores!