Frequently Asked Questions

What is Speckel?

Speckel is a growing platform that aims to enable architects, engineers, planners, contractors and building surveyors to design and build better building envelopes. Through an intricate knowledge of legislation, design, constructability and products, we create applications that:

  • Drive awesome outcomes in building envelope design and construction.
  • Keep the industry ahead of the curve, removing barriers to knowledge via education and openness.
  • Encourage greater awareness and uptake of better envelope building products and techniques.

Where does the name Speckel come from?

Speckel gets its name from its primary goal…. to better specify building envelopes. So the ‘spec’ in Speckel simply relates to specification. The ‘kel’…well, that just makes it sound cool!

Who are Speckel?

The Speckel team are a group of self-proclaimed sustainable design-loving geeks, with toes in building science, mechanical engineering and software development.

Our purpose is simple, to create better opportunities for building design and construction teams to work together to improve outcomes for the built environment. In a world where building envelope design is increasing in complexity and aspiration, we believe we can help create a more coherent and simply approach by encouraging the use of easy to use design tools.

We believe that healthier, safer and more energy-efficient building envelope solutions create the basis for better buildings, with the Speckel platform uniquely placed to guide users through an often-bewildering maze of ideas and requirements.

Can I meet the National Construction Code requirements with Speckel?

The National Construction Code is a performance-based code containing all Performance Requirements for the construction of buildings. It is built around a hierarchy of guidance and code compliance levels, with the Performance Requirements being the minimum level that buildings and building elements must meet.

As there is no obligation to adopt any particular material, component, design factor or construction method, the NCC provides a choice of compliance pathways via either a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) or using a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution.

Speckel is a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) that allows building envelope design and construction to directly addresses NCC Performance Requirement. By using calculations and other methods which determine whether a proposed building complies with the relevant Performance Requirements, Speckel may be used if the appropriate authority is satisfied that it establishes compliance with the NCC.

Is Speckel tested and verified?

Speckel undertakes thermal, moisture and other assessments of building envelope designs using established International, regional and best practise building physic equations that have been tested and verified by others.

Within each specification, the approach and assumptions for each unique calculation is stated, including any sensitivities, redundancies and uncertainty observed.

Using these equations, calculations are presented to determine whether a proposed building envelope or whole building complies with the relevant Performance Requirements of the National Construction Code.

Can I specify building envelope design using Speckel?

100%. Speckel uses, as a minimum, all applicable direct, primary and secondary equations stipulated in the National Construction Code. As a Performance Solution, using tested product data directly provided and verified by building envelope product suppliers, Speckel outputs determine whether a proposed building complies with the relevant Performance Requirements.

Does Speckel replace typical consultancy?

The value of a good consultant will not be replaced by Speckel, as Speckel applications are limited. Our aim is to streamline the process of designing the building envelope through clearer specification workflows while maintaining the values brought by a good design team.

Does Speckel verify projects?

No… we are a software company only and are not involved with the verification of individual projects. We want to disrupt how we specify buildings, but not who verifies your projects.

Can I trust Speckel?

We hope so and know it’s important…we have put in 1000’s of hours to rigorously test out platform and are happy to work with you to illustrate the value of using Speckel. Many engineering firms are independently testing to verify the outcomes on Speckel.

Who is the Speckel target audience?

We have developed a platform that is super easy to use, doesn’t rely on engineering knowledge and thus is for the widest of audiences to understand and test building envelope designs against the National Construction Code and other Standards. From planners, architects, main contractors, subcontractors and engineers to building surveyors, certifiers and policymakers, we believe our pricing and value for money will open the door to as many professionals as possible.

What is the difference between the National Construction Code facade calculator and Speckel?

The Australian Building Codes Board have made available a downloadable façade spreadsheet at  https://www.abcb.gov.au/. Speckel maintains the same calculation methodology as per the National Construction Code 2016 and 2019, where applicable. However, Speckel goes onto provide far more advanced calculations and is not a direct Deemed-to-Satisfy Solution.

Speckel is a Performance Solution (Alternative Solution) that allows building envelope design and construction to directly addresses NCC Performance Requirement. By using calculations and other methods which determine whether a proposed building complies with the relevant Performance Requirements, Speckel may be used if the appropriate authority is satisfied that it establishes compliance with the NCC.

Is Speckel free to use?

We encourage you to enjoy our platform by making use of the dozens of free features for general use. We ask for your name and email address so we can register you as a user, but that’s about it. While you will get great value, certain features and capabilities are only available by using our paid projects feature.

How much does it cost to create a project on Speckel?

Once you activate a project on our platform, you have 30 days to use our premium features as much as you like. After 30 days it is automatically rendered inactive. Once inactive, we don’t charge you any further.

The monthly charges are based on how many projects you have activated in your billing cycle, rewarding you for more active projects. If you have only activated two projects in your billing cycle, you will be charged at $99 each but if you have activated three, you receive a discount and are charged at $83 each.

What is the difference between projects and active projects?

If you are using our platform and want to start using our premium features, you will want to create and activate a project. A project is defined by its name, climate zone, and building class.

Projects start as inactive until you choose to activate them. When you are ready, activate your project to begin your 30 days of premium features. Activating a project for the first time means committing to the project’s name, climate zone, and building class. If you make a mistake, don’t worry – we’re here to help.

After 30 days your activated project will be automatically rendered inactive. If you want to jump back on to the project and reactivate it, this will give you another 30 days of premium features at a charge based on the total number of projects you have activated in your billing cycle.

Where and when do i pay for projects?

Payments are all made on the Speckel platform. Once you are signed in, we collect your billing information and only charge for projects once they have been activated.

Am I charged every month, even when I am not using Speckel?

No, we understand construction and that projects have different stages of activity. Therefore, we only charge you for when a project is being used and call this an active project.

How does the Speckel discount system work?

The Speckel discount system rewards users when they register and activate more projects on the platform. Discounts are grouped in bundles, with 3 – 5 active projects receiving a 16% discount and 6 – 10 projects receiving a 24% discount from the base price of $99 per 30 days. Thereafter, if you have really got the Speckel bug, we can provide an Enterprise Access Level, where you pay a fixed cost and can create as many projects as you like.

If I am a heavy user, with more than 10 projects active, what are my options for further discounts?

Sure thing! We call this our Enterprise Access Level. It is the perfect solution if you are looking for significant savings, you want to create an unlimited number of projects and access to our project analytics tool.

What is an Enterprise Access Level and is it right for me?

Our Enterprise Access Level is designed for users that are consistently working on at least 10 active projects per billing cycle. Once you reach this level, for each number of projects above 10 activated, a discount is applied to every project, creating significant value for the high-end user.

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