The specification process for door hardware is complex. At times it’s tedious and complicated, and miscommunication at any point in the process can prolong a project—opening the door to a host of dilemmas. Information must be accurate, but it also needs to be collected and communicated efficiently. As they say, time is money, so enhancing productivity is gold when it comes to the opening specification process.
Precise, up-to-date information is crucial to any project, from door scheduling throughout the workflow. There is so much data available around every piece of a building that the architect needs during specification, the contractor needs during construction and the building owner need for maintenance. This is true for door hardware as well as any other component of the building. However, opening specifications and door schedules tend to be highly complex and confusing. Trying to find the right combination of security, function, code compliance and aesthetics is difficult if you aren’t an experienced specification consultant.
Getting the details correct early on is essential. Information during the design of a building is funneled to latter stages. If door data isn’t complete or current, the following processes become disjointed. With many stakeholders involved, it’s easy for information to be lost or misunderstood. This can lead to delays and wasted resources. During the design phase alone, there are many collaborators to consider—architects, specification writers, security integrators and other consultants. One cannot do their job without accurate and current details.
Everyone benefits when the process goes smoothly and efficiently, and a more productive process is possible when the right tools are in place. As tedious as door hardware might be, there are technologies that are available to simplify tasks and alleviate some of architects’ pain points. New innovations strive to make the entire design building process more efficient. In fact, big data and enhanced connectivity are changing the way the industry designs, constructs and manages buildings. The key is to find the solution that coordinates project data in a way that streamlines the entire process, improving productivity through enhanced collaboration and communication.
Additionally, utilizing a trained specification consultant is helpful as they are knowledgeable in varying project requirements and can get the job done correctly—and on time. In many cases, a specification consultant can complete the specification and door schedules in less time than an architect can alone. This is important since clients expect their facilities to be completed as soon as possible and within budget.
Miscommunication, transferring files back and forth and unclear revisions are common frustrations among those in the industry—issues that Allegion™ is determined to overcome. Because of the complexity of door schedules and hardware specifications, architects need resources they can trust, solutions that are proven to meet their needs. That’s why Allegion collaborated with architects and specifications consultant to create Overtur™, a cloud-based collaboration platform for the design and specification of door hardware. Overtur was designed by architects for architects.
While developing the solution, Allegion held a usability event to better understand the needs of specification writers and architects throughout the specification process for doors and door hardware. Eight groups participated, each of which included an architect or BIM manager from an architect firm, a hardware specification consultant and a developer.
“We discussed the overall process of hardware specification and the associated pain points,” says Allegion’s AEC platform manager David Fouché, LEED AP BD+C. “For specification writers, some of the biggest issues are the transfer of data back and forth to the architect and making sure that the architect always has the current version. For the architect, it is overall coordination of the specification and hardware sets with all stakeholders though out the life of the project.”
The group walked through every step of the specification process using the new software. According to Fouché, the developers recorded comprehensive notes about how the software needed to function and what changes needed to be made based on the feedback from the group.
After incorporating their feedback, Allegion introduced Overtur, which includes a suite of tools where architects and door hardware consultants can collaborate on specifications and the security design of doors and openings. These tools provide a centralized place to capture and maintain door hardware requirements and decisions, with easy options to push that information back to the design tools. Learn more about the outcome of the usability event.
The platform is designed to enhance productivity, shortening the specification cycle and reducing errors. Among the features of Overtur is the ability to track changes. Revisions to floor plans and door schedules can cause confusion when not communicated appropriately. Communication between the specification consultant and architect can be slowed if changes like the fire-rating of an opening aren’t shared and updated in the correct places. Overtur maintains a complete, easy-to-review record of all changes throughout the life of a project. Modifications are tracked graphically and can be filtered for easy review.