Thursday, October 28, 2010

Employee Profile: Michael Hermes

Michael, our Director of Software Development, joined ARCOM in 2008 bringing with him 22 years of professional software development experience in several industries.

Prior to joining ARCOM, Mike was a Software Development and Project Manager at Ingenix in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as a Development Manager and Project Manager at Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation in Salt Lake City. Before coming to Utah, Mike worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Systems Research Laboratories in Dayton, Ohio.

Mike's experience includes developing and delivering software products that bring value to customers and meet company goals; managing and driving progress across multiple projects; collaborating with other departments, customers, and business partners; process and environment implementation and improvement; building and managing diverse teams including off-shore and on-shore contractors and multisite teams; and a range of technologies including current ones.

He holds a Master's of Science in Management Science - 1990, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; and a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science - 1986, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio.

Mike enjoys spending time with family and friends, photography, continuing to learn, and the beautiful outdoors in Utah.

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ARCOM’s staff of 40 professionals represents some of the most innovative and personable specification professionals, writers, editors, computer scientists, and service people in the industry. This occasional series provides brief biographical sketches of just a few of the people serving you at ARCOM.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Third Quarter Update: Now Available!

We're pleased to announce that the MasterSpec 3rd Quarter 2010 update is now available. If you're a MasterSpec subscriber, click here to access your files or look for an email soon with further information. You'll need to enter your username (email address) and password to access the download page.

We hope your update downloading process is a smooth one, but if you have any questions or run into any glitches, don't hesitate to contact us at or 800.424.5080.

We've been hard at work this updating cycle and have some exciting developments to tell you about:

  • Division 00. For the first time we're offering Division 00 documents. These documents are coordinated with AIA Contract Documents, and like the rest of MasterSpec, they are meant to serve as masters that will be edited to meet the requirements of your situation. You can read an extended article about our Division 00 documents in this quarter's SpecPress.
  • Section scoping. We have continued to narrow the scope of some of our large sections to simplify editing and reduce the size of previously long and complex sections. Here are some of the topics that have been reorganized or created this quarter:
    • Metal roof panels and metal wall panels
    • Snow guards
    • Imprinted asphalt, parking bumpers, pavement markings, and traffic-calming devices
    • Automatic entrances
    • Gas-fired radiant heaters
    • Lighting controls
    • Cabling
In the first quarter 2010 we released a beta version of an exciting new tool called SpecAgent. We have incorporated feedback from our users and are pleased to announce the following enhancements:
  • SpecAgent can now be minimized until a hyperlink is clicked.
  • User-selected product manufacturers and associated products can be imported back into MasterSpec with a one-click paste.
  • A new Evaluations tab provides more direct access to supporting document content. Comparison tables are available using flip-page formatting.

The SpecPress newsletter is available for download from our web site.

Have any questions or comments? Let us know in the comments of this post, send us a message on Twitter (@MasterSpec), email us, or call us at 800.424.5080.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reorganization of Architectural Woodwork Sections

One of the biggest changes to MasterSpec's recently updated architectural woodwork sections was to incorporate references to the Architectural Woodwork Standards issued jointly by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC), and the Woodwork Institute (WI). This new publication takes a major step forward by combining the requirements of previous standards issued by AWI and WI.

In addition, while updating the woodwork sections in light of the Architectural Woodwork Standards, we took the opportunity to reorganize these sections to simplify editing and to more closely follow CSI/ CSC’s MasterFormat. The new sections, listed below, allow the specifier to accomplish the first stage of editing by simply selecting the sections that are applicable to the project:
  • Wood-Veneer-Faced Architectural Cabinets
  • Plastic-Laminate-Faced Architectural Cabinets
  • Stile and Rail Wood Paneling
  • Flush Wood Paneling
  • Wood Stairs and Railings
  • Ornamental Woodwork
  • Wood Trim
  • Wood Frames
  • Exterior Wood Shutters
  • Wood Countertops
  • Plastic-Laminate-Clad Countertops

So, if wood-veneer-faced architectural cabinets or flush wood paneling is all that's required for a project, only the section that specifies that type of woodwork needs to be edited. This reorganization also groups together the sections for wood countertops and plastic-laminate-clad countertops with those for stone countertops and simulated stone countertops.