An Internet-based interactive specification tool kit to assist architects, designers and other specifiers has been unveiled by Chicago-based United States Gypsum.

Titled Design Studio, the Web portal “provides architects and designers advanced capabilities and rich information resources needed to quickly and accurately design, compare, change, select and specify the right products and systems for interiors,” according to the company. It also includes a process to evaluate available building products for adherence to technical specifications and design requirements.

The program integrates existing design and specification tools and other pertinent product information, including Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and data, and allows for the comparison of products from other manufacturers.

“The new portal dramatically improves the building process by giving users the ability to efficiently and accurately specify the most effective products and assemblies,” said Robert Grupe, director of USG Architectural & Technical Solutions. “The site allows users with different requirements to arrive at the right solutions with literally a few clicks of a mouse.”

He said the program works well with BIM design software, specifically AutoDesk Revit, because design templates are included for Revit-specific system files to be used in creating, defining and manipulating interior designs.

Architectural specification modules assist users in customizing specifications for project requirements, with Microsoft Word templates that allow specifiers to incorporate these product specifications directly into building submittal sheets. Performance-rated system and product selectors allow for searching for systems, products and assemblies that match the designers’ specific performance criteria.