17 May 2018

Masterspec NextGen2 "a huge saving" for Universal homes.

Universal Homes are a major New Zealand building company and prepare over 200 sets of compliance documents for Building Consent every year, with that number projected to double in the next few years. This can take enormous amounts of time to complete, compounded by the increase in detail demanded by Building Consent Authorities and frequent changes in New Zealand Building Codes and Standards. 

Universal Homes were already using Masterspec Link, a Word-based tool, to ensure their specs had all the information the law requires. The introduction of the new Nextgen2 cloud-based operating platform was seen as a great opportunity to make the whole process easier.

“NextGen2 has new tools that allow us to prepare a specification to suit the general style of construction in a development” said Trish Merryweather, Universal’s Home’s Consent Administrator. “and then clone the spec. for each separate home’ individual design and construction details. Plus you can clone that spec as many times as you like”.

Trish Merryweather“We also love the Branded work sections,” says Trish “they really make our life easier, and with the new Q&A’s there’s less editing. It really streamlines the process, making specification writing even faster” she says.

Universal Homes are sensitive to legislation and their responsibilities under the Building Act. “It’s important to us to mitigate our risk, and Masterspec helps us do that. Everything’s tightened up a lot since leaky homes, and we now need to detail everything and reference the correct and up-to-date Codes and Standards. Masterspec helps a lot in that respect”.

For the future Universal are interested in the process of digital consenting. “We participated in a pilot programme with the old North Shore City Council with online consenting, and believe eventually that will be where the industry goes” said Trish. “Adopting Masterspec NextGen2 is part of our strategy to prepare for this and other digital information sharing, like linking BIM objects from designs to specifications.”

The new system has proved easy to use. “The new NextGen2 interface is very straightforward – it’s not hard at all” says Trish. “Everything is quite easy to find and use. We also think the automatic Update Manager is great, we can see what needs changing very easily, and changing it is even easier – just a one-click process. There’s now far less manual work”.

“Previously a full specification took about half a day to create” says Trish “however with Masterspec GextGen2 we have that down to around an hour and a half. That’s a huge saving for us”.

“We’re excited about the future for construction in New Zealand, and adopting Masterspec NextGen2 has been a highly successful part of our plan to respond to the increase in dwellings Universal Homes will be building”.

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