Frequently Asked Questions


What is CtrlSpecBuilder?

CtrlSpecBuilder is a free online productivity tool for preparing bid specifications for HVAC Control Systems. The specification format is based on ASHRAE Guideline 13 "Specifying Direct Digital Control Systems." CtrlSpecBuilder provides options for the use of multiple BACnet protocols using ethernet (CAT5/6) or serial (twisted pair) cabling.  CtrlSpecBuilder can also generate Sequences of Operation, Point Lists, and Schematics to control typical HVAC equipment. You can preview the spec online and download the text documents as Open Document Format (.odt) files and download the schematics as Drawing Exchange Format (.dxf) files or as Visio (.vdx) files. These files can then be imported into many popular word processors and CADD programs.


Are the specifications CtrlSpecBuilder prepares proprietary?

The user can select specifications that are open/non-proprietary with multiple bidders or select specifications with options that are more common to Automated Logic's WebCTRL user interface. The option between an open/non-proprietary and WebCTRL specification are clearly noted for the user.


If the specifications aren't proprietary, what's in it for Automated Logic?

We think that by making it easier for designers to prepare concise, enforceable HVAC control specifications, we will get more business. By providing designers with an option for open/non-proprietary specifications, we will earn the trust of our users and they will see Automated Logic as a trusted advisor. We pride ourselves on providing complete, high-quality HVAC control systems with completely configured graphics, trends, alarms, and more. Well-written specs, such as those that follow the ASHRAE guidelines, require these details and provide a level playing field for all bidders.


Who has access to my online files?

No one has access without your permission. If you are using the Try it button to create a specification, we don't save your specification after you leave CtrlSpecBuilder. If you've created an account with us and are keeping files online, we will not access your files and will apply all reasonable security measures to prevent others from doing so. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service for more details.

You may give other users access to your files by clicking Advanced beside the specification name, and then clicking Add User. Type in the user's CtrlSpecBuilder Login ID and click Edit or Read only to give them the required access. If a user already has access and you want to turn it off, click Remove access. Please note that only one person at a time can open a file for editing.


What are the system requirements?

CtrlSpecBuilder is a browser based application and is compatible with most modern browsers such as Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. We use cookies for user authentication and for saving configuration information, so your browser must be configured to accept cookies. We do not use cookies for marketing - see our Privacy Policy for details. CtrlSpecBuilder will open a new window for some actions and some browsers interpret this as a "pop-up," so you may need to allow pop-ups from CtrlSpecBuilder.


When I open my specification in Word, why is the Table of Contents incorrect?

CtrlSpecBuilder estimates the page numbers when it creates the Table of Contents, but the actual page breaks and page numbering is managed by whatever word processor you open the document with after it is downloaded. Word does not automatically rebuild the Table of Contents when you open the document, but you can tell it to rebuild the table by right clicking in the Table of Contents and selecting Update Field. This also turns the page numbers into hyperlinks, so ctrl-clicking on a page number in the Table of Contents will take you to that page.


How can I make changes to the schematics

CtrlSpecBuilder does not support editing the control schematics through its user interface. The schematics must be downloaded in either the DXF or Visio format and then modified with the appropriate application.


How do I know which control option to select?

On the screen where you select the control options for a specific piece of equipment, you can click the underlined name of the option to display the Sequence of Operation text for all available options. If you wish, you can edit the editable fields while reviewing these options and save the edits when you close the preview box.

Once you've selected the options, select the Sequence tab to see the sequence of operation for the entire piece of equipment.


How do I save my spec?

To save specifications, you must sign up for a CtrlSpecBuilder account. This allows you to save your specifications online. The Try It option gives you access to all the CtrlSpecBuilder tools and allows you to create and download a specification, but it will not be saved once you leave the website.

If you have a CtrlSpecBuilder account, changes are immediately written to the database whenever you create a new specification, edit text, or select an option. This means that even if your computer crashes or you lose your Internet connection in the middle of creating a specification, your changes are not lost and will be there the next time you open that specification.

Note: A few editing boxes and special features display a Save button. Changes made in these boxes are not saved until you click that button.


How can I share my project with another user?

You may give other users access to your files by clicking Advanced beside the specification name, and then clicking Add User. Type in the user's CtrlSpecBuilder Login ID and click Edit or Read only to give them the required access. If a user already has access and you want to turn it off, click Remove access. Please note that only one person at a time can open a file for editing.


Is there any way to keep track of changes made to my specification?

You can view or manage the project history log at any time by opening a project and clicking the Project History link in the left-hand column, then:

  • Click Start History to start recording every change made to the project, who made it, and when the change was made. CtrlSpecBuilder will continue recording changes for the project until the Stop History button is clicked, even through multiple editing sessions.
  • Click Stop History to stop recording changes to the project.
  • Click Clear to delete all log entries for the project, including the project creation date.
  • Click Refresh to display any new log entries that were made while the Project History window was open.

Note: Typically, you would leave this log turned off while you create the initial version of the project, and then activate it when you want to begin recording changes. This can be especially useful if multiple users have editing rights to the project.


Why is some text highlighted in light blue when I preview my specification?

The light blue highlighting in the on-line preview indicates text that has been affected by the options you selected on the Spec Options pages. If you move the cursor over the highlighted text and pause, a tool tip will tell you which page contains the question that inserted that text. If you wish to change the highlighted text, click on the text and it will take you back to that page so you can make a different selection. This highlighting only affects the on-line preview. No text will be highlighted in the downloaded specification file.


Why doesn't my password work?

When we transferred account information from the old CtrlSpecBuilder platform to the new, we couldn't transfer passwords because they were encrypted. Please click the Forgot your password? link and create a new password or re-create your old one, if you prefer.