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30 Sep 2021

Masterspec "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 have used Masterspec for more than 10 years. Before using Masterspec’s intuitive cloud-based platform, they used Masterspec Link, a word-based version. Through the years they efficiently streamlined their workflow, by building quality specifications from Masterspec’s libraries of pre-written work sections.  

“Masterspec has the tools to 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 specification for each separate homes 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 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.  “We now use cavity systems with all our cladding,” Trish mentions, “and HomeRAB instead of building paper. HomeRAB allows the building to be closed in quicker which eliminates a lot of weather to the framing and allows faster construction. This is detailed on architectural plans and referenced in Masterspec along with the up-to-date Codes and Standards. Masterspec helps a lot in that respect.”

“Universal Homes are proud to be a qualified partner with Auckland City Council, and lodge and receive all building, resource and engineering consents digitally on the Auckland Council Portal,” said Trish. The business is also looking at using MasterKey to link their specification to their drawings. “Adopting Masterspec is part of our strategy of digital information sharing, like linking BIM objects from designs to specifications.” 

Masterspec’s online cloud system has proved easy to use. “The 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 far less manual work”.

“Before we used Masterspec, a full specification took about half a day to create” says Trish “however now 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 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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