ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 1 - Issue: 7 - 06/22/2012

Slew of New Numbers/Titles Added to MasterFormat

By Steve Rizer


The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) have added 76 new numbers/titles to MasterFormat, a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results or construction practices that is used to organize project manuals, detail cost information, and relate drawing notations to specifications. In addition, the organizations have changed 18 existing numbers/titles and deleted three that duplicated other existing numbers titles.


One of the most significant updates to MasterFormat involves the addition of several titles in Division 33 – Utilities, according to CSI and CSC. The additions expand coverage of sanitary sewerage and septic systems work: 

  • Utility Drainage Field (33 36 33) has been changed to Utility Septic Drainage Field (33 36 33), with Utility Septic Tank Tile Drainage Field (33 36 33.13) and Utility Septic Tank Shallow Pressurized Dispersal System (33 36 19.16) added as “children” under it.
  • Sanitary Sewerage Lagoons (33 47 23) is now Treatment Lagoons (33 38 00), with the following “children” added: Municipal Wastewater Treatment Lagoons (33 38 13), Industrial Waste Lagoons (33 38 16), Agricultural Waste Lagoons (33 38 23) and Residential Sewerage Lagoons (33 38 26).
  • Several new titles address septic tanks, filters, and pumps.

 CSI and CSC also made the following other refinements: 

  • The organizations added new titles to Division 09 – Finishes: Concrete Staining (09 61 19), Interior Wall Paneling (09 78 00), and Metal Interior Wall Paneling (09 78 13).
  • The groups amended Theater and Stage Equipment (11 61 00) to Broadcast, Theater, and Stage Equipment and added titles to address Lighting Rigging Systems (11 61 33.11), Scenery Rigging Systems (11 61 33.16), and Curtain Systems (11 61 33. 19).
  • CSI and CSC expanded operation and maintenance and plumbing, piping, and pumps (22 01 10) to include Video Piping Instructions (22 01 10.16), Plumbing Piping Cleaning (22 01 10.51), Plumbing Piping Repairs (22 01 10.61), and Plumbing Piping Refining (22.01 10.62).

The MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team conducts the annual revision cycle process. The team consists of volunteers appointed by CSI, CSC, and MasterFormat stakeholders ARCAT, ARCOM, Building Systems Design Inc., Specification Consultants in Independent Practice, Digicon, and Canadian National Master Specifications. The team’s next annual meeting will take place in August with meeting results expected to be reported early next year.


In an email interview with ConstructionPro Week (CPW), CSI spokesperson Christine Tanner provided the following additional details about the new version of MasterFormat:


CPW: What estimates, if any, can you provide regarding the number of professionals who are expected to use this newest version of MasterFormat, the number of projects it's expected to be used for, etc.? How do these numbers compare with those of previous years?


Tanner: Through our industry resources, we estimate that approximately 60 percent of commercial building projects in the U.S. using MasterFormat have switched to the 50 division format since its release in 2004. The estimate for adoption in Canada is at approximately 80 percent. As MasterFormat understanding, the need for data consistency and interoperability for BIM [building information modeling], and complexity of projects continues to increase, we believe the adoption will continue to climb as well.


CPW: Which candidate numbers/titles were rejected for inclusion in the new MasterFormat and why? Could those candidates be considered in the next version of MasterFormat?


Tanner: That information is viewed as confidential; however, if the same candidate(s) was(were) brought to light in future review cycles, they would be considered again.


CPW: What advantages does MasterFormat have over other ways to store and retrieve project information?


Tanner: MasterFormat is a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results or construction practices, used throughout the North American construction industry to organize project manuals, detailed cost information, and relate drawing notations to specifications. MasterFormat provides a standard filing and retrieval scheme that’s used throughout the construction industry and can be used throughout the project life cycle. Construction projects use many different kinds of delivery methods, products, and installation methods, but one thing is common to all -- the need for effective teamwork by the many parties involved to ensure the correct and timely completion of work. The successful completion of projects requires effective communication amongst the people involved, and that in turn requires easy access to essential project information. MasterFormat enables all of these things. Other than in-house filing systems, there is really nothing else similar to MasterFormat in the industry.


CPW: What results are expected to come out of the task team’s next annual meeting next year? When next year or afterward is the next version of MasterFormat expected to be released?


Tanner: The task team is on a bi-annual review process, so the update will be released in the spring of 2014.



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