Technical Content: What Design Professionals Need When Evaluating Building Products


Technical Content: What Design Professionals Need When Evaluating Building Products

Product selection is a key aspect of specification for design professionals. The decision-making process often involves sifting through a sea of information to identify the right products for specific construction needs. Technical content serves as the cornerstone of informed decision-making. This post dives into various types of technical content and how Concora Spec simplifies this journey for design professionals using the manufacturer’s website.


Why Technical Content Matters

While the aesthetic and functional aspects of building materials are important, it’s the technical specifications that often become the deciding factor. From durability to environmental impact, technical content equips design professionals with the data they need to make educated choices, thereby greatly affecting the success of the project.


Types of Technical Content

Data Sheets and Spec Documents

These foundational documents offer a comprehensive overview of a product’s attributes, from material composition to load-bearing capacities. A detailed data sheet not only answers immediate questions but also helps design professionals compare similar products. Data sheets come in many formats and functions – like the Safety Data Sheets (SDS or MSDS) that addresses the properties of chemical products. For building materials that may contain hazardous substances, these sheets offer guidelines on safe handling and emergency measures.

Spec documents contain many technical components the design professional needs to know like finish, sizes, engineering allowances, (e.g. load bearing) or IES files for lighting. Often each CSI category has separate specifications. Spec documents often get confused for a 3-part Spec (also known as a master spec).


3-Part CSI Spec

Having so many interpretations of specifications across the industry (e.g. lighting, plumbing, building envelope, etc.) gave way to some standardization from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) with the Master Format. Additionally, they provided a roadmap for manufacturers to create a 3-part specification. The 3-Part CSI Spec is a must-have document for every building product.


BIM and CAD Models

Digital models like BIM and CAD files provide a more dynamic form of technical content. They offer a 360-degree 2D or 3D view of a product, allowing design professionals to incorporate it into their virtual project environment. Hosted on Concora Spec, these files can be easily downloaded for use in various project software solutions.


Test Reports and Certifications

Compliance isn’t just a checkbox; it’s a requisite for safe and ethical construction practices that can often differ by state or municipality. Test reports and certifications like UL listings or LEED certifications confirm that a product meets industry-specific safety and performance standards. These documents help de-risk the product selection process for design professionals.


Installation, Operation, and Maintenance (IOM)

Understanding how to properly install, operate, and maintain a product is important for the project’s longevity. Detailed IOM documents provide step-by-step instructions, ensuring the product performs at its best.


Warranty Documents

While often overlooked, warranty documents are essential as they provide insights into the manufacturer’s confidence in the longevity and durability of their product. Understanding warranty terms can significantly influence the final product selection. Additionally, the specified product warranty remains in the project software for post construction use by the owner/facilities management team. (Pro Tip: Keep your warranty in pdf format for easy download).


Sustainability Documents

If you have products with sustainable attributes, invested in sustainable certifications, or have products that can affect our health, you may also have additional technical documents that are equally as important to the design professional that may be trying to achieve certain sustainable standards (e.g. LEED). These documents include: EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations), HPDs (Health Product Declarations). This article in Architect Magazine does a good job of differentiating the difference between EPD’s and HPD’s.


What Design Professionals Look For

Accuracy, comprehensiveness, and ease of access are the trifecta of effective technical content. In a fast-paced environment, design professionals need a streamlined way to find up-to-date information and data. Time saved in product evaluation can be allocated to other critical areas of project planning and execution. Make sure you have technical content available on your website.


How Concora Spec Streamlines Access to Technical Content

Concora Spec is a digital platform that plugs into the manufacturer’s website. It serves as a technical document library with best-in-class digital tools and content to make it easier for design professionals to get what they need, when they need it, quickly and effectively. With features like category filters, advanced search, product comparison, and submittal builders, Concora Spec addresses the multifaceted needs of today’s busy design professional.



The right technical content not only helps design professionals make informed decisions, but also influences the quality and success of their projects. With platforms like Concora Spec, accessing and evaluating this content has never been easier or more efficient.

If you’re a building product manufacturer, Concora Spec offers a centralized, intuitive platform for all your technical content needs in a cost-effective, subscription model. If you lack the expertise to create BIM or technical content like 3-part spec or sustainable documentation, let our Services team help. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a personalized demo.

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