Enterprise Specifications Tools Update

Enterprise Green Communities helps developers, investors, builders and policymakers to impact the sustainability and quality of the nation’s affordable housing options. In 2015, Enterprise launched an update to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, which offers a framework for affordable housing providers to improve the health, economic and environmental benefits of sustainable construction and operations practices to low-income families. The Criteria update received recognition within, and outside, the affordable housing sector for its progressive approach on many critical topics at this point in time, such as how to lead a holistic approach to new construction and project rehabs, and the importance of addressing operations and maintenance before the project is complete.

O’Brien & Company partnered with east-coast based Steven Winters Associates (SWA) to update and develop new practical implementation tools to help projects using the new Criteria. O’Brien & Company assisted Enterprise with the Criteria update, so were familiar the technical aspects of the Criteria. Our work, as well as SWA’s, in the affordable housing market and as technical providers for Enterprise brought real life perspective to how and why aspects of the new Criteria may be challenging for first time users.

The suite of implementation products developed will be publicly available for single and multifamily projects that apply to both new construction and renovations.

Single and Multifamily Specifications Template

The Specifications Templates for single and multifamily projects follow the commonly used MasterSpec format. The editable document contains appropriately located language recommendations about submittals, materials and execution requirements to ensure a project meets required and optional criterion. Helpful tips and clarifications about criterion nuances are embedded in the template as additional guidance for project teams. As specifications are the groundwork for contractual requirements of all sub-contractors engaged in a project, this template offers a solid starting point to define project expectations and build accountability across the whole team.

Single and Multifamily Specifications Matrix

The Specifications Matrices are editable spreadsheets that map out MasterSpec submittal, product and execution requirements to relevant criterion. The spreadsheet is a useful companion tool to the Specifications Templates, to help quickly identify the different MasterSpec divisions and sections that should be edited to capture criterion requirements, as well as a stand-alone tool to help communicate at a high level.

Single Family Scope of Work Templates

Recognizing that single family projects often use custom scopes of work to guide trades in lieu of specifications, the team developed a new set of scope of work templates for common trades and trade groupings involved in single family construction and renovation. The template also highlights key opportunities for trades and the general contractor to work together to minimize rework and achieve performance goals on commonly challenging aspects. The template contains content for Concrete, Framing/Insulation/Drywall/Air-sealing, Roofing/Siding/Weather Resistant Barrier, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Landscape/Irrigation trades or trade groupings.