Can a Computer Reduce Your Spec Writing Costs—

by Carter H. Harrison, Jr., (M.ASCE), Operations Asst.; Stevens, Thompson & Runyan, Inc., Portland, Ore.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 4, Pg. 80-81

Document Type: Feature article


The most important factors in evaluating use of a computer to write specifications are: the frequency with which a spec section is repeated; and the changes needed to go from master spec to project spec. If there are no special additions to the master spec (deletions are very inexpensive), a computer system may be the least costly way to produce the spec. Word processing equipment is slower than a line printer. But, if there are numerous additions to the master spec, it can produce the spec at a lower cost. Traditional typing is usually the most expensive approach up to the point where about half the material is unique. If an organization already has suitable terminals and is close to a computer, the cost of computer aided spec writing can be quite low. The greatest cost, though, is in the preparation of the master spec.

Subject Headings: Computing in civil engineering | Computer aided operations | Equipment and machinery | High-rise buildings | Organizations | Writing skills | Construction costs

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