Byun Partners
Your partner in construction specification writing and related services.

Open invitation to architects, engineers, and manufacturers.

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Who am I: I have learned valuable lessons in the last 20 years from PMSM Architects, Perkins + Will, DMJM / AECOM, P2S Engineers, and J.A. Jones Construction Co.

Introducing David Byun:

I am an independent construction specification writer. (I write construction project specification).

I publish "smart" check-list.

Figure 1: QR code of checklist, iPad friendly.

I am on a mission to use the Internet to transform spec writing with the use of "smart" check-list.

Assistance with architectural specification writing is a particular strength of ours.
Contact us today to discuss your project requirements, and we will be happy to collaboratively assist you and your staff with our expertise.
We can help you with concise language to ensure completeness of your document preparation efforts.

My mentor; Roger Cormier has taught me everything I know at DMJM.
He taught me the "Q & A" method that is the genesis of my current checklist method.

My philosophy: Specs should be produced as efficiently as possible, both in time and money.
This can be accomplished with using the "smart checklist" method.
Without it, you will spend too much time and money. Specs have a specific role in documenting your design.
Don't try to complicate the spec by adding something that actually belongs in the Drawings.
For example, don't specify "where" a particular product is used; that "where" information belongs in the Drawings.

10 Best Reasons to work with us:

1. Fixed fee. Your project budget will not bleed due to re-working specs. Fixed fee includes CD, backchecks, and addendum. Written proposal explains what is included and not included in the fixed-fee proposal.
2. Quick service and on-time delivery. (We understand your profit is tied to Owner's schedule).
3. We offer valuable resource of product knowledge and contacts to local product representatives.
4. Qualified and certified: CCA, CCCA, LEED AP, EIT, MCP, and MCTS.
5. Computer savvy (MS Word, FTP, DropBox, BlueBeam, and PDF).
6. SpecsIntact. (military software)
7. The second set of eyes from spec writer's point of view.
8. Spec process is explained upfront to all design team members. We highly suggest using the "smart checklist" method.
9. Progress project specs are available for review.
10. We become your virtual in-house spec writer without the overhead.

9 Design faults to avoid:

1. Owner's master without automatic paragraph numbering is a disaster.
Please, if you insisted on using your master, do all of us a favor and spend some money and get it formatted with automatic paragraph numbering.
2. Table of content with a number of pages in the each section.
Why do we need this information? A number of pages in spec changes often, it changes whenever we make revisions.
They will be wrong anyway. I include which consultant wrote them instead. During construction administration, we can tell who wrote them easily.
3. I love the internet. Especially the email. Anything important should be emailed to me. Please do not call and ramble on-and-on.
I will forget. And it will be a Change Order. Owner will not be happy.
4. Don't rejoice if project schedule gets pushed back. You are now eating your profit.
5. No logic in the format of cutsheets, data sheets, etc. from each manufacturer. It has marketing, sales, data, opinions, etc. all mixed-in.
Please, provide only solid data that you can use to reject sub-par substitutions.
6. Ask the client/owner if project spec needs to be prepared using client/owner master specification. No sense waiting time using the wrong master.
7. Messed-up Door Schedule. This single sheet affects multiple spec sections. Request a sample if you have question.
Doors and Frames should have separate columns for material and finish. Don't leave out fire-rating information. This is crucial.
8. Multiple progress issues with header change. Please leave the spec alone and just change the spec cover.
Inevitably, some consultant will still have an out dated header in bid documents. (I don't touch consultants' spec)
9. Architect-Consultant Agreement: Make sure your agreement includes book specs. Particularly "CSI 3-part" specs.
The scope of consultants' work should be spelled-out.
If architectural drawing said SEE STRUCTURAL, the structural consultant should cover it both on the drawings and on specs.

8 Best Reasons to use the "smart" Checklist method:

1. Specs always lag drawings. Use the checklist method to write specs as drawings are produced.
2. Drawings can't show everything. Use a checklist to convey design intent to spec writer.
3. The checklist is universal. Can be used by in-house spec writer or independent spec consultant.
4. Use the checklist as in-house corporate memory. Add products used over and over. This creates consistency.
5. Checklist minimizes forgotten details. Keep the list as a reminder of requirements.
6. Use as Go-to document for noting what has worked in the past and what has did not.
7. Preparation of specification can be done remotely once checklist is completed (Anywhere in the world, thank you internet).
8. Tired of searching the web for suitable products? Don't spin your wheel, read the "smart" checklist for ideas.

"smart" Check-List

1. Checklist: What every Architect needs to fill out for a project - pdf
2. What is the most efficient way to write a specification? Use of checklist.
Best coordinated specs are the result of checklist method.
Don't start designing without reviewing this checklist.

Los Angeles Architectural Representatives Finder:

Office Master

We subscribe to AIA MasterSpec and your project specs are based that.

What is your next step?

1. Email or use Drop Box to send me progress architectural drawings in pdf.
2. Start compiling the checklist.
3. I will review and send you a written spec proposal in less than 24 hrs. If am in the office; less than 2 hours.
4. Sign-off on proposal
5. Start gathering electronic cutsheets (product datasheet). Treat this exercise as if you reviewing submittal during construction administration.
You want to pick out any options. It will be a change order if want it after the bid.
6. Determine spec format and master. Ask the client/owner if project spec needs to be prepared using client/owner master specification.
No sense waiting time using the wrong master.
7. Re-use the check-list for your next project. (Never the actual project spec).
8. Repeat the process.

Once written proposal is signed, we will set up an arch team/spec writer teleconference to kick-off spec process.
We will discuss among others:

1. Best mode of communication.
2. Basis of design products. Use of checklist. Client may have standard products list we need to follow.
3. Div 1 - based on AIA master spec vs client specifics.
4. Consultants' specs.
5. Finish schedule.
6. Door Hardware spec and Door hardware sets are by door hardware consultant. (Free service from Assa Abloy, Allegion, or Stanley)
7. Project schedule.
8. Start gathering electronic cutsheets (product datasheet). Treat this exercise as if you reviewing submittal during construction administration.
You want to pick out any options. It will be a change order if want to add after the bid.
9. When do we need a spec section for a particular product? Think dollars. For an off the wall $30 dollar product, probably not.
General rule is, if you are selecting a product with defaults, locate the item on drawings and identify model number and manufacturer.
If you want options, yes, we should have a spec for it.

Spec Review Process:
1. Progress project spec will be emailed to you in pdf at every milestone. (At least once at 50% for you to get some sort of comfort level)
2. You can markup progress spec and email back to me or you can upload to website like Bluebeam and collaborate.
3. As project matures, initial checklist goes away, and specs are in lined with what's on the Drawings.