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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 645
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 07:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

MasterFormat 1995: 04220 Concrete Masonry Units (CMU)

MasterFormat 2004: 04 22 00 Concrete Unit Masonry (CUM)
Helaine K. (Holly) Robinson CSI CCS CCCA
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 224
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 07:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 73
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 08:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Change in section title that represents work results (concrete unit masonry) versus products (concrete masonry units). Materials are still concrete masonry units (CMU) as indentified on drawings and listed in PART 2 Products.

Division 04 no longer has two separate means of classifying as illustrated by products (04200) and assemblies (04800) as in 1995. Now clasiifyied by types of masonry in 2004 that includes consideration for types of materials and how they are assembled.
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 68
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 01:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I checked the PCA and NCMA web sites. They both appear to use Concrete Masonry Unit. Thus the proper notation should be Concrete Masonry Unit.

Master Format should respect dommon practice with in the construction industry when naming things.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 122
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 06:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

MF04's change from “carpet” to “carpeting” has also alienated the carpet industry. Thirty years ago the carpet industry had a concentrated campaign to eliminate the use of the term “carpeting” when referring to “carpet.”

Another example, where MasterFormat lacked the respect for other industries in their zeal to change.

David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: davidcombs

Post Number: 118
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 06:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I don't see the conflict here, nor the disregard for industry-established terminology.

MasterFormat 2004 classifies work results, not products. Work results = labor applied to materials, or Part 2 + Part 3 (short definition; see MF '04 Applications Guide for the long definition).

Thus . . .

Carpet is the product; carpeting is the work result.

CMU is the product; masonry is the work result.

Lumber is the product; carpentry is the work result.

Mr. Johnson?
Robert E. Woodburn
Senior Member
Username: bwoodburn

Post Number: 107
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There's at least an apparent insensitivity here (presumably unintentional) to the potentially adverse effects of our tendency to acronymize phrases, and to the unsavory connotations that can sometimes result.

Plus an evident hangup on the term "units" (in addition to the more problematic one on so-called "work results.")

What's wrong with just "Concrete Masonry"? Isn't that just as (if not more) consistent with the term "concrete masonry units"? (Oh, yeah--"CM" was already taken, by Construction Management.)

Is there such a thing as "non-unit" concrete masonry?
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 74
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 11:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

David Combs has stated just what was intended in a clear and concise manner. MasterFormat over the years had become a mishmash of different types of terminology because of all the different uses that the format had been put to. The 2004 edition tries to clean that up (no one will try to say that a perfect job was accomplished).

The principle used to do this comes from the original purpose of the format as stated in the 1963 and 1964 original editions which was to organize construction specifications. There was also a statement realizing that the format would probably be used to relate to technical data and product literature; but the primary function was to organize specifications. What was the basic classification unit? A quotation from the 1964 edition: “In the CSI Format, the word section denotes the “trade section” or “technical section”; it denotes a basic unit of work.” The term “work result” is a similar term as defined in a current ISO standard. The titles in MasterFormat 2004 are intended to be appropriate titles for sections of basic units of work or work results. In some cases a work result title and a product title are the same such as happens in Division 08 frequently. In other cases the work results and the products involved have different names.

I will not go through the argument again to demonstrate that MasterFormat does not classify products in one location and that many products have multiple locations in MasterFormat dependent upon their use. If someone continues to look upon MasterFormat as a means to classify products as a manufacturer might do, they may be frustratred to see work result titles rather than product titles. Again, that is not the primary purpose of MasterFormat even though it is a very convenient way to associate products with the preparation of specifications that most of us use. OCCS has just published a products classification table for that purpose.

We should not confuse the titles in MasterFormat 2004 with the names of materials and products that we identify on the drawings and hopefully identify with the same name within the specifications. Changing the title of the specification section from a product (Concrete Masonry Units) to a work result (Concrete Unit Masonry) does not affect what you call the masonry units on the drawings, within the specification section, or what they are called within the industry in general. There was no intent in MasterFormat 2004 to try to change how the industry names products except in a few cases of trying to establish a preferred term when multiple terms were being used for the same product. A new listing of Products was also added to the Explanations to assist the user in determining the locations that products might be included in MasterFormat. A product word search of the PDF version of MasterFormat 2004 will now quickly show you the potential locations for various products in the format.

Robert Woodburn brings up a ligitimate debate on the exact term used – concrete masonry versus concrete unit masonry. One could work at the editing of all the listings in a format of this magnitude for a long time and I think never get to the end of it.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 123
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 12:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

So what happens if the section is a procurement specification? Is the non-procurement specification more important than the other forms of specifying? I always assumed that they were on an equal basis.

Architects respond to this by saying “We very seldom use a procurement specification.” But the truth is that procurement specifying is more dominate outside the domestic building industry. The domestic building industry, that portion of the construction industry “ruled by architects,” represents only a small fraction of the Gross National Product associated with construction. The tail is trying to wag the dog.

One of the primary reasons offered by CSI for the expansion of divisions in MF04 was to reach out to the rest of the construction industry. CSI needs to listen with both ears.

Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 75
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 01:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I assume by procurement specification you mean that you are only contacting for supply of the products and that a work result title for the section is confusing because it implies more than that.

If we take that argument to its rational conclusion then having Concrete Masonry Units for the title of a section as we had in 1995 that also includes mortar, joint reinforcement, and flashing is confusing because the title only includes one of the products and no indication that the installation is also required.

Are you proposing that we have multiple sets of titles for each subject depending upon the situation to eliminate such potential confusion?
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 501
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 01:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If you look at some of the Section Titles for some of the stuff that might be done under a procure-only basis, you will see that there still is no "confusion." To pick some randomly:

345416.13 Passenger Ticket Vending Machines
413313 Automatic Screw Machining Equipment
423229 Rotary-Kiln Dryers
481119 Fossil Fuel Electrical Power Plant Gas Turbines

Perhaps you do want to procure some CMU without installation. You could plausibly assign a new section number and title such as: 042200.10 Concrete Masonry Units

I'm not confused, are you?
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 124
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Correct. Procurement specification sections don’t even need a Part 3. Many years ago, I wrote a performance-procurement specification for a large pump. It was 3-stories high and cost around $3 million dollars. It was only to be delivered to the Job Site complete with installation and operating inspections [not in Chinese, of course].

If I was flipping through a spec and saw a section titled “Concrete Masonry Units” my first reaction would be that it covered the CMU material. My second reaction, because my “architectural mode” would kick in, I would assume that was intended to specify CMU Assemblies because architects normally seldom write procurement specifications.

Having multiple sets of titles sounds intriguing. We could expand to 90 divisions .....NOT!!! <g>

MasterFormat has to remain flexible. Force feeding the work results premise is restricting rather than reaching out to be flexible. With a flexible MasterFormat concept, specifiers will than respond based on their experience and wisdom on what is right for any given project. Hopefully, adding to our prestige and remuneration.

Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: bob_johnson

Post Number: 76
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 02:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"MasterFormat has to remain flexible. Force feeding the work results premise is restricting rather than reaching out to be flexible."

Ron, I don't understand this statement. Although I don't see much difference betweeen the flexibility of a "products" type title versus a "work results" type title, but it would seem that the "work results" title would be more flexible because it was more inclusive rather than exclusive. You seem to be flexible in your own mind by being able to envision the expanded subject of CMU assemblies from the term Concrete Masonry Units but think that others will be confused and not be able to envision CMUs within the term Concrete Unit Masonry. Your flexibility seems to go in only one direction.

MasterFormat remains as flexible as it always has been and even more so with the expanded numbering system. There are appropriate numbers available within the 04 22 00 to 04 23 00 range for the creation of a title for any particular product or portion of Concrete Unit Masonry to be segregated into a separate section with an appropriate title that you would want. I don't see a rational argument for how the 04 22 00 Concrete Unit Masonry work results type title is being restrictive and not flexible.

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