This tip continues our JobSpec series. Here, we show how you can preset your Assembly Group Options to match the specifications that are common throughout your project. Setting up default specifications ahead of time when laying out the job can really streamline your assembly takeoff. For large commercial jobs, the benefits are multiplied and can save hundreds of keystrokes and help to reduce the chance of errors in your estimates.
Consider a commercial project that uses all sizes of EMT from 1/2″ to 4″. As an example, the spec calls for steel set screw couplings and connectors throughout your project. These fittings are included in assemblies for pipe runs, fixtures, devices, distribution, systems and controls. By using the Master Group Collections from Job Spec you can pre-set your fitting type for ALL size EMT, and they will automatically be selected during assembly takeoff.
These Master Group Collections can also be used to set specs for other project wide components, such as : device plates, plaster ring depth, and whether or not to include a ground takeoff wire in all branch circuit conduits.
As seen in figure 1 below: In Phase Tree / Job Spec, the Assembly Groups tab is where you’ll find the Master Group Collections controls. With just a few simple clicks, you can preset a large number of Assembly Groups for all phases or specific phases of your project.
Figure 1 – Master Group Collections within the Assembly Group Tab of JobSpec
Here’s how to use it:
Lets assume the specs call for steel set screw fittings for all EMT pipe throughout the job. To set this option within all assemblies simply select “EMT Fittings” from the Collection pull-down, then select “Steel Set Screw” from the Option pull-down list and then press the Add to List button. The steps are outlined in figure 2 below.
Figure 2 – Master Group Collections Apply Selected Options to All Sizes
The Phase Group List at the top of the window will now be filled in with every size of EMT couplings and connectors with ALL of them pre-checked with the Option you selected.
To see this, just click the small “+” next to any of the added assembly groups to expand it. As you can see in figure 3, the couplings have been pre-selected as steel set-screw.
Figure 3 – Expanded view showing pre-checked options
As a final important step, be sure to press the button labeled ‘Apply to Selected Phases‘ at the bottom left corner of the Phase Group list box. (see Figure 4 below). This saves your settings for the current estimate.
Figure 4 – Remember to Apply your settings!
With these settings now in place, any assembly groups added to JobSpec will be pre-selected for any takeoffs for that estimate.
Note the ‘Update All New Jobs‘ check box just below the Apply button. Use this optional setting if a large percentage of your projects require the same specification components (steel set screw connectors & couplings, stainless device plates, etc). By selecting this option, all new jobs you create will default to these settings. If you have jobs that don’t use these preset specs, simply make adjustments in here JobSpec and apply them just to that job… for example uncheck the set screw steel fittings and instead check steel compression fittings, and then press the apply button for your selected phases. If you leave the “Update All New Jobs” box unchecked, your next job will go back to using steel set screw fittings.
As you can see, this can save many keystrokes throughout an estimate, produce less keystroke mistakes and help produce a faster more consistent estimate.
The Assembly Group feature also gives you the ability to set your choices to selected phases in your estimate. The word “selected ” is the key. For example, you may have two buildings setup as two phases in your estimate. The specifications call for EMT in both buildings but requires steel set screw fittings to be used in building 1 and steel compression fittings in building 2. To set these specs to the phase, first uncheck all the building 2 Phases in the Phase Tree. Then by selecting the ‘Apply to Selected Phases’, the steel set screw fittings would only be applied to all building 1 installations. To set the steel compression fittings for building 2, just repeat the process and make your Phase selections so that only building 2 Phases are selected. Then when you press the ‘Apply to Selected Phases’ button, you’ll be adding your Master Group selections for steel compression to meet the specifications for building 2.
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