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CSI Acquires BSD


The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has acquired Building Systems Design, Inc. (BSD). The acquisition provides for BSD’s current management and employees to remain in place, and BSD will continue as a separate, for-profit enterprise.

CSI was founded more than 60 years ago by volunteers dedicated to the mission of improving communication between all members of the construction project team. CSI has been the driving force in the creation of industry standards and formats used in the production of building construction specifications and other construction documentation including: MasterFormat, SectionFormat, UniFormat, and OmniClass.

In recent years, to better address the needs of its members and the construction community, CSI has increased its focus on creating practice tools that improve communication and the development of construction documentation in day-to-day construction work. The acquisition of BSD is the next logical step in providing useful products that advance CSI’s mission and improve how construction is done by individual practitioners and in firms around the world.

BSD was founded in 1983 to produce cost estimating software for use on personal computers, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as its first client. In 1996, BSD launched the initial version of BSD SpecLink, an automated specification writing system that is now in its third generation as BSD SpecLink-E. The company recently introduced BSD LinkMan-E, a product that links SpecLink with the industry’s leading building information modeling (BIM) software, Autodesk’s Revit. Plans include extending LinkMan’s interoperability to BSD CostLink-E, a new generation cost estimating product that is now in development.

“Master specifications software has proven to be a valuable tool for firms and individual practitioners in improving their productivity and the quality of their construction documents,” CSI executive director and CEO Walter Marlowe, P.E., CSI, CAE, said. “As the industry increasingly moves to adopt software tools and electronic project communications, CSI needs to be involved in the creation of standards that enable greater efficiency in information transfer, data interoperability and improved construction documentation. CSI also must provide better access for our members to software that utilizes those standards.”

BSD CEO John R. Witherspoon said, “We are highly gratified that an organization as prestigious as CSI has recognized the value of BSD’s practice tools through its investment in our company. The relationship will also enable us to offer an exceptional array of benefits to CSI’s membership, including special discounts on BSD products and improved access to educational opportunities.”

CSI will continue to develop and maintain industry standards in an open and inclusive manner, using consensus-based processes. All interested industry organizations will continue to have access to CSI’s intellectual property, serve on CSI committees and task teams, and license CSI’s formats for use in their products.

CSI members will directly benefit through increased access to BSD’s master specifications software and additional building information management tools through special discounts on the purchase of BSD products and services. Special BIM and interoperability-related education sessions will also be available to CSI members as a result of the acquisition.




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