5 Ways to Increase Building Product Specifications

Posted On: 
Oct 16, 2017
5 Ways to Increase Building Product Specifications

Earlier this year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released a landmark study about the architect’s role in specification. The Architect’s Journey to Specification evaluates the cultural, technical, and informational influences in the choices made by building design professionals. The leading-edge research into the preferences and habits of architects in their roles as specifiers of building products indicates that transparency and knowledge sharing are critical to influencing specification choices.

What are the attitudes and behaviors of spec writers? What factors influence product specifications? The landmark study provided several insights into the specification process. Let’s explore the five main conclusions.


Architects prefer building product websites that are up-to-date and easy to navigate. Spec writers want easy access (no sign-up to view product information) and the ability to download information, including building information models and objects. Architects must be able to download CSI 3 part specifications, LEED product documentation, Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and other important resources.


Architects are mandated to take continuing education courses to maintain their state license, AIA membership, LEED credential, etc. Building product manufacturers can capitalize on this by developing free AIA online courses, webinars, and face-to-face lunch and learns. Free AIA architect courses provide a significant way to build relationships for building product manufacturers and increase product specification opportunities.

Subject Matter Experts

Architects want to talk to building product reps who know technical information about their products. Manufacturers should prepare their sales force to be highly knowledgeable about their products.

Be Proactive

Architects see building product manufacturers as important influence agents in the specification phase of a project. Architects have limited time, so manufacturers should prepare their sales teams to understand the customer’s pain points first. That can help lead to a larger discussion about new product lines.

Be Transparent

The more open a building product manufacturer can be about the specification for a product, the more loyalty and trust will be fostered with the architect. This will translate to greater market share, as architects start to look at the manufacturer as an extension of their project teams.

How does your company influence product specifications? How does your website, product documentation, and employee training stack up against your competitors?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank