IPIN Tip of the Month: Using SAM Search on One Project

Setting up a filter with a SAM Search is a great way to find projects that include specific trade names or products in the specifications on the Builders Exchange online plan room. However, if you already found a project your company is interested, Builders Exchange gives you the option to run the SAM Search on each project individually (to find out how to set up a SAM Search filter, click here).*

The SAM in SAM Search stands Spec and Addenda Mining. It allows members to search the entire spec book – not just the spec index. Trade names such as “honeywell”, “dupont”, “prosoco” and “trane” can be located quickly and easily within a spec. Other words that are difficult to find are readily available as well, such as “retaining wall”, “valve”, “crane” and all other specialty types of work.

SAM Search is possible because we scan all spec books and addenda using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. After the scanning process, the results are indexed and ready for searching. For an explanation of how to set up a filter using SAM Search, click here.

*Note: The SAM Search option is available only to members with upgraded memberships. Contact Builders Exchange if you would like to know more about the upgraded membership.

Every Builders Exchange project has a “Project Details” page which includes all the most important dates and information on each individual project. At the top of every project details page is a red search box marked SAM Search where members can run a SAM Search specific to that project:

Click for Larger View

Any word(s) or phrase(s) can be entered into this search field. Once “GO” is clicked, the search will run and the results will be displayed below the SAM Search field. A clickable link to a PDF of each spec section including the word or phrases entered into your search will appear:

Click for Expanded View

Clicking on one of the links underneath the search opens the spec section and automatically conducts a search for the keyword, jumping directly to the where it is located in the specification section.

NOTE: Depending on which version of Adobe Reader you are using, the initial search window in the PDF may not show any results for the phrase entered in the SAM Search. If this occurs, click on “New Search”, delete the apostrophes surrounding the search phrase, then click the “search” button again.

Click for Expanded View

SAM Search is the perfect way to find specific words and phrases within an individual section of a specification or the entire specification.


For more tips like this one, join us in Louisville on the third Friday of every month from 10-11:30 a.m. for free IPIN training at the Builders Exchange Center for Education & Training Excellence, 2300 Meadow Drive, Louisville, KY 40218 or at the same time on the fourth Friday of every month at our Lexington location, 1035 Strader Drive, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40505.

You can also join us for free online training on the fourth Thursday of every month from 10-11:30 a.m.

The next training sessions will be held on March 23, 2012 (Lexington) and April 20, 2012 (Louisville). 

Call me, Aaron Thomas, at (502) 459-9800 or e-mail athomas@bxkentucky.com to RSVP!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for IPIN Tip of the Month, comment below or e-mail me at the address listed above.

Aaron Thomas
Director of IT
Builders Exchange of Kentucky


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