CSI Releases Draft Three of MasterFormat

ALEXANDRIA, VA. The Construction Specifications Institute MasterFormat Expansion Task Team on Feb. 25 released Draft Three of a revised MasterFormat document and called on interested parties to provide comments on the latest version. CSI had released two different second drafts last fall, one a reworking of the existing MasterFormat, the other a radical rewrite into nine super divisions. The latest

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The Construction Specifications Institute MasterFormat Expansion Task Team on Feb. 25 released Draft Three of a revised MasterFormat document and called on interested parties to provide comments on the latest version.

CSI had released two different second drafts last fall, one a reworking of the existing MasterFormat, the other a radical rewrite into nine “super divisions.” The latest draft incorporates the nine groupings that can contain up to 10 divisions each.

CSI is doing the most comprehensive rewrite of MasterFormat in the product’s history to address existing topics more fully, add new topics, and expand coverage to include heavy civil engineering projects (roads and bridges) and industrial construction.

MasterFormat is the predominant standard in the United States for organizing written specifications for constructing nonresidential buildings.

Draft Three features a new numbering system that dramatically expands the capacity of the current MasterFormat. It replaces the 16-division format with nine “groupings,” each capable of holding up to 10 divisions. Section numbers now include six digits rather than five, providing a theoretical maximum of 10,000 sections per division at level three.

While the locations and names of divisions are subject to change, Draft Three of the new MasterFormat includes the following groupings (in italic) and divisions (with their numbers in parentheses):

  • Procurement and Contract Requirements: Introductory Information (01); Procurement Requirements (02); Contract Requirements (03).
  • Common Requirements: General Requirements (11); Existing Conditions (12); Performance Requirements (13).
  • Site Construction: Earthwork (21); Substructure (22); Pavements (23); Landscaping (24); Exterior Specialties (25).
  • Common Construction: Concrete (31); Masonry (32); Metalwork (33); Structural Wood (34); Structural Plastics (35); Structural Composites (36); Coatings (37); Facility Protection (38).
  • Facility Construction: Exterior Enclosure (41); Openings (42); Finishes (43); Facility Specialties (44); Furnishings (45); Special and Constructed Elements (46).
  • Equipment: Facility Equipment (51); Facility Conveying Equipment (52); Facility Material Equipment (53).
  • Facility Services Construction: Mechanical (61); Fire Suppression (63); Electrical (65); Communications (67); Electronic Safety and Security (68); Integrated Automation (69).
  • Infrastructure Construction: Utility Construction (71); Rail Transportation Construction (72); Airport Construction (73); Road and Highway Construction (74); Waterway and Marine Construction (75).
  • Process Construction: Process (80); Material Processing and Handling Equipment (81); Heating, Cooling and Drying Equipment (82); Gas and Liquid Handling, Purification and Storage Equipment (83); Pollution Control Equipment (84); Industry-Specific Manufacturing Equipment (85); Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Equipment (86).

“The current 16 divisions have served the construction industry well for the last 40 years, but we simply don’t have any more room to fit new information and technologies into the current format,” said Dennis Hall, task team chairman. “Draft Three represents a MasterFormat document for the next 40 years, one that will allow the industry to maximize efficiency, minimize confusion and duplication, and hold down the costs of construction well into the future.”

In addition to reflecting aspects of all the proposals that composed Draft Two, the new numbering system employed in Draft Three is consistent with OmniClass. Now under development, OmniClass is a standard for construction information management.

As with previous drafts, the third version of a new MasterFormat is based heavily on input and feedback from industry stakeholders who will use the new system. All told, the task team sought input from more than 500 AEC industry organizations.

Draft Three of MasterFormat Draft is on the Web at the official CSI Web site at www.csinet.org/technic/mfrevision.htm. The task team plans to publish a fourth draft for final commentary this spring, and the final version of the reorganized MasterFormat in Summer 2004.