Specifications Writer - NY

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Employer:
New York, NY, USLocation:
Wed, Nov 6 '19Posted on:

SOM, one of the most influential design firms in the world, is seeking innovative, creative, independent, and critical thinkers who aspire to the highest standards of excellence. Join our collaborative design practice as a Specifications Writer for the opportunity to build a strong and thriving career.

At SOM, we are a collective committed to shaping a better future for our clients, communities and planet. We aspire to create the most sustainable, impactful work through creative, interdisciplinary teams with all the resources and diversity of a global firm.  We value those who are passionate about excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusivity, and collaboration.  Together we can achieve great things.

Success at SOM Means

  • Ideas:  We believe in a meritocracy of ideas.  We look to everyone to actively contribute to the discourse in the firm.  
  • Knowledge:  We believe that expertise is the result of lifelong learning.  We are not expected to know everything, but rather to passionately pursue answers, develop new skills and deepen our knowledge.
  • Product:  We strive for excellence in the concept, quality, and delivery of our work.
  • Individual: We value individuals who bring the highest standards of professionalism and personal integrity in the way they work.  Each person can develop and contribute their wealth of attributes, skills and knowledge to support the overall health of the firm.
  • Team: We value the power of interdisciplinary integration.  A positive team culture in which everyone collaborates openly towards common goals is essential.
  • Firm: We have a history of making transformative contributions to the profession and our communities. We are constantly innovating and attempting to bring new approaches, solutions and processes to our work.

Position Responsibilities

  • Responsible for the development and preparation of written documents for architectural projects in all phases of the project through construction including, but not limited to the following:
    • Contracts/ Agreements
    • General Conditions
    • Bidding and Negotiation Documents
    • General Requirements Specifications
    • Technical Specifications
    • Early Phase Documents (Preliminary Project Descriptions and Outline Specifications)
  • Contributes to the maintenance and development of content of SOM Office Masters specifications database.
  • Contributes to office initiatives for training and education related to specifications.
  • Functions as technical resource for material and product evaluations and selections for the architectural studios.
  • Contributes to firm-wide efforts for knowledge sharing on best practices, technical research and content for specification via regularly-scheduled conference calls or meetings with other specifications writers of the firm.
  • Implements specifications Quality Management System for assigned projects.
  • Confers with clients, consultants, and others during various stages of project development for general conditions and specifications.
  • Advises team in selection and assessment of construction systems and determine the technical requirements for the project.
  • Reviews drawings and specification deliverables for accuracy and compliance with the project’s technical requirements.
  • Follows the HPD process and oversees tracking and submission of appropriate data for project milestones.
  • When applicable, manages the design team’s construction phase services scope regarding specifications including, but not limited to the following:
    • Review of substitution requests, RFIs, construction submittals
    • Reviews and prepares addenda and modifications to written documents.
    • Attends construction meeting, testing mock-ups, etc.
  • Participates in local and firm-wide Technical Design Committees and makes meaningful contribution to the advancement of activities led by these groups.
  • Participates in external industry associations as leading contributor and firm representative; stays current with product developments, new materials, code changes, and current industry trends.

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Directly trains and mentors team members.
  • Directly supervises staff and is committed to direct reports’ professional development.
  • Actively engages in internal and external professional development opportunities.
  • Develops and/or manages, in collaboration with team members, a clear and consistent work plan to achieve the project budget, deliverables, and schedule.
  • Demonstrates leadership in the implementation of sustainable strategies in all project assignments and the associated development of staff knowledge.
  • Coordinates and supports business development, public relations, and marketing opportunities.
  • Contributes to the development of standards, policies, and procedures.
  • Protects SOM from financial and legal risk.
  • Effective at communicating and promoting the work of the firm.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Professional degree in Architecture
  • 6 years of professional experience or equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities, with an emphasis on the preparation of construction specifications and material and product research on large scale projects
  • General understanding of sustainable strategies and principles including familiarity with LEED or other green building rating systems
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead project teams and manage project schedule, budget and program
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite
  • Familiarity with Revit and demonstrates practical understanding of the application of digital tools for specifications and BIM coordination
  • Proficiency in building construction techniques, building codes, construction systems, products, materials, and methods of writing specifications for large scale projects.

SOM offers opportunities to work on transformational projects, competitive salaries, health insurance, wellness, retirement and financial and other work/life plans.

At SOM, we welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace. We believe an inclusive environment benefits our employees, our firm, and our community, while also enriching and challenging our own thinking about design. We are proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Visit this page to learn more about SOM's employment policy and how to apply offline:

For more about SOM:


To Apply:

We ask that you complete an online application via the SOM Career Center:

Portfolios must be submitted for all design positions (Architecture, Interiors, Planning, etc). Applications without work samples will not be reviewed.  Portfolios should be one PDF attachment, 10-20 pages, maximum 5 MB. Submit portfolios as part of your application in the section where the application asks you for your Resume or CV.

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