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CROSSWALK Creates Greater Accuracy and Efficiency for Construction Industry

By Mark Dorsey, CAE, FASAE posted 06-11-2020 08:18

  

Crosswalk
CROSSWALK
SM Creates Greater Accuracy and Efficiency for Construction Industry  

This is the Digital Engine for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner (AECO) community 

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) today unveiled CROSSWALK, the first agile API that integrates fundamental construction industry organizational standards. This breakthrough technology connects CSI’s MasterFormat®UniFormat®, and OmniClass® for the first time, and accelerates the communication cycle from designers to specifiers to contractors and subcontractors, so that they can build with more accuracy, more safely, with significant savings in cost and time. 

 

CSI’s MasterFormat, a coding system for organizing construction documents, contracts, design specifications, and operational manualsUniFormat, the standard for classifying building specifications, cost estimating, and cost analysis, and OmniClass, a strategy for classifying the built environment, have been offered in discrete and disconnected analog formats or tables. CROSSWALK is the digital connection to these resources, as well as past and present versions.  

 

CROSSWALK lets software, products, and websites connect to CSI standards in an effective, efficient digital way. This is the digital engine for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner (AECO) community. 

 

“Traditionally, new updates to standards came about every two years, and that was moving quickly,” said Dorsey. “As technology accelerated the construction environment, we saw a need for standards to evolve more quickly, to link between earlier and current versions, and to connect between the standards electronically.” 

 

He added that, “Success in the built environment is about timely accurate communication. Any miscommunication in how something is classified or quantified could be a profitability, quality, or safety issue. CROSSWALK gets every participant on a project on common ground, so they don't worry about translations. It’a major leap forward to speak the same language about products, projects and protocols. 

 

With CROSSWALK, CSI digitally curates evolving standards from one version to the next. For software providers, it will eliminate a lot of frontend work as they bring new versions of the standards into their product. They will no longer have to worry about housing data or newer versions of products and standards as CROSSWALK will update all of that information for them in real-time so they can implement updates immediately. For more information on how CROSSWALK can have an immediate impact on the work you do, visit crosswalk.biz.  

www.crosswalk.biz

 

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I think I kind of get what this is about. However the language being used to introduce it to CSI members is full of jargon that does not speak to me and probably does not speak to many other CSI members.  The result is that I feel alienated from and confused by "my" Institute.

From what CSIresources.org says, I surmise this is a something that can be used in the back end of computer programs to "tag" and cross reference data according to CSI formats. That is a great tool for programmers and may ultimately lead to better software tools. However, I feel you are overselling Crosswalk when you say it, "accelerates the communication cycle from designers to specifiers to contractors and subcontractors, so that they can build with more accuracy, more safely, with significant savings in cost and time." If it is intended to perform these miracles, please explain how.

And please explain the program to CSI members in a way that typical CSI members can understand. For example,
What is "agile API" and why should CSI members care?


The definitions given in the press release are at odds with long-standing definitions. For example, you call MasterFormat, "
a coding system for organizing construction documents, contracts, design specifications, and operational manuals." This is at odds with the definition of organizing construction activities by "work results."

Who developed CROSSWALK? How has it been tested?