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Kevin O'Beirne (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 09:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am a member of an ad-hoc group of environmental engineering firms and others that, together, are struggling to use MF04's Division 44, Pollution Control Equipment, relative to water and wastewater projects. The current organization of Div 44 is not logical to me (and others) and seems difficult to use. More seriously, Div 44 omits quite a number of important proccess equipment items (example: where do influent screening systems go? where are flow control gates located?, and many others), while including many things that either border on the unimportant (example: "induced air flotation") or, worse, appear to be redundant with other things within the same division (example: just how many separate sections are required for oil-grease separators? how many sections with variations on the same theme are really necessary water-wastewater aeration systems?).

Our ad-hoc group includes a dozen large consulting engineering firms that regularly or exclusively engage in environmental engineering, and three large manufacturers of water-wastewater equipment.

Our goal is to develop recommendations to submit to CSI for future revisions of MasterFormat.

If you or your organization has faced similar challenges regarding Division 44 and related sections in other divisions (particularly Divisions 40 and 43), please contact the following:

Jim Brown, jbrown@pirnie.com
Kevin O'Beirne, kobeirne@pirnie.com

- Kevin O'Beirne
Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 201
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have observed similar issues regarding structural work. I believe the problem stems from the fact that certain diciplines were not well represenated when MasterFormat was updated.

A token represenative from an industry or input from a generic specification writer who has worked on waste water treatment plants does not solve the problem. What is needed is widespread input from the professionals specializing in this effort.

I recommend that CSI partner with other professional organizations and give them primary responsibility for organizing specific divisions with the MasterFormat committee providing an oversight/coordinating role.

If CSI wants to have more influence it needs to partner with other groups and embrace the part time specification writers who write many of the technical sections.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 225
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 11:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To be fair to the task team: My understanding is that they reached out to a VERY large number of organizations, and had a great deal of difficulty getting engineers to play.
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 202
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 12:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I do not dispute the good intentions of the task team.

Part of the problem is that various groups likely did not see that they had a problem at the time. I also believe that part of the problem is that engineers were asked to play the task teams game and did not believe that they were full partners in the process.
Christopher E. Grimm, CSI, CCS, LEEDŽ-AP, MAI, RLA
Senior Member
Username: tsugaguy

Post Number: 97
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 01:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There is a MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team (MFMTT) that is now looking at user proposed revisions at www.masterformat.com, and I believe they will be incorporating those resulting changes into that same body of searchable and browseable live data. It is well worth the free registration if you need to do even more than just a couple of searches, and it is required for proposing revisions there. You can also do an instant lookup of a 5-digit # to 6-digit matches even without registering.

But to effectively address a potentially large number of sections that might be needed by disciplines who were not present the first time around, that would require some interaction beyond a few electronic postings. You might want to contact Mike King of Arcom, or Greg Ceton of CSI to determine what approach will work best.
Michael J. King, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: mking

Post Number: 13
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 01:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

CSI in General and the MFMTT in particular can be faulted for lack of publicity for its inter workings. Having said that, it is not always possible to keep everyone fully informed on current events and specific tasks of the MFMTT.

What is not well know yet are the efforts by the MFMTT to reach out to corresponding groups. For example, there is a special subcommittee within ASHRAE's Technical Committee 7.1 - Integrated Building Design to provide focused input to the MFMTT on the content of Division 23 - HVAC and for UniFormat. Also, at the 2007 CSI Convention in Baltimore, the Chair, Consultant, and Staff Manager for the MFMTT met with eight of the representatives of a volunteer coalition of more than twelve of the largest environmental engineering companies in the world who have agreed to work together as a team with the guidance of the Chair, Consultant, and Staff manager for providing expert input to the MFMTT on matters relating to Division 44. I believe threads of that effort are communicated in Kevin's message above.

There are efforts afoot to create corresponding groups for historic treatment, firestopping, humidification/dehumidification, and cooling towers for starters. These efforts will include an education element to make sure these corresponding groups provide informed suggestions. This education includes the guiding principles for MF organization, the Task Team operating procedures and limits of authority, and other needed knowledge.

The MasterFormat Expansion Task Team, in its attempt to join the engineers in the expansion efforts, reached out to over 800 organizations. One must recognize, however, that the services engineers, structural engineers, civil engineers, environmental engineers, and others have always viewed MF as an architect's solution for the engineer's use; and they place less importance on the organization of the content that they do the content itself, therefore considering the debate over terminology and classification principles not worth their valuable time. So, as has been the experience in the past, once the document is set and the construction community raises its expectations for compliance, the engineers begin to discuss the shortcomings of the organization within which they must now work and offer suggestions for its improvement. This is normal and I submit happened also with the majority of architects in the U.S., as evidenced by the initial denial of the AIA for acceptance of MF04. The AIA has since come around to acceptance.
Kevin M. O'Beirne
New member
Username: kevin_obeirne

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 08:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Our environmental engineers coalition has been happy with the encourage we have received from CSI on our efforts regarding water-wastewater equipment and look forward to working with CSI on our efforts to optimize Div 44 and related divisions.

- Kevin O'Beirne
Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.

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