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John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 510
Registered: 04-2002

Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How are Level 4 Masterformat numbers (".13", ".16" etc.) numbers used in practice?
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1301
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have used them in only one instance is actual project manuals. We decided to nummber addenda using 009113.XX, where XX corresponds to the issued addendum number. This was a relatively new change, so I'm not sure how far my former firm has gone with this approach.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 432
Registered: 01-2008

Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 11:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


We avoid them entirely. MasterFormat provides sufficient user option space between 13 and 16 and 19 and 23 for alternative user defined Level 3 numbers.
David E Lorenzini
Senior Member
Username: deloren

Post Number: 115
Registered: 04-2000

Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 05:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A word of warning: We discovered that the use of a Level 3 number together with a Level 4 number based on that Level 3 number will sort incorrectly in a file list, at least in the PC world.

For example, on a recent project, we received mechanical Section 232113 Hydronic Piping which sorted incorrectly after Section 232113.13 Underground Hydronic Piping. It seems the ".13.doc" will sort before a ".doc". We had to recommend adding a ".00" to the end of 232113 in the first filename to correct the file order so that the sections would print and bind in proper order when they were sent to the printer.

We have personally avoided the use of Level 4, preferring instead to assign an available number in the series gap in the few times it occurs.
David Lorenzini, FCSI, CCS
Architectural Resources Co.
Richard Hird (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2011 - 09:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Level four is used extensively in cost estimating manuals.
Ellis C. Whitby, AIA, PE, CSI, LEEDŽ AP
Senior Member
Username: ecwhitby

Post Number: 97
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011 - 08:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

SpecsIntact has numerous sections with level 4. Fron the Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS)site(http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_org.php?o=70). See the TOC for examples (http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/DOD/UFGS/UFGS%20TOC.pdf)
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011 - 10:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have not had the problem that Dave has reported with sorting. I do, however, turn off the document type extension (.doc, .docx, .pdf, etc.) in displaying file names.
David E Lorenzini
Senior Member
Username: deloren

Post Number: 116
Registered: 04-2000

Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011 - 11:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

With regard to my sorting comment, the file extension does not have an affect on sorting if all the files used for sections have the same extension. If I receive a file with the .docx extension, I will convert it to a .doc so that it matches my extire libray of specification files.

Second, and this may be getting off the subject, but one that responds to Peter's comment about how he displays file formats. Most computer security consultants will recommend that you display the file extensions. The problem they are concerned about is that computer hackers will try to have a victim click on an innocent looking file with a .doc extension. In fact, it could be a file with a .exe extension that can run a rogue application and wipe out your disk or do other damage. The file will show the .doc as a part of the file name, but not the extension .exe that represents an executable file.

The problem is exacerbated by Microsoft turning off the file extension as a default in Windows. You can avoid this problem by unchecking the box for "Hide extensions for known file types" in Windows Explorer>Tools>Folder Options>View. It should work the same in all versions of Windows. It does't seem to be a big problem for Mac OS X users, but it is still nice to know what file type each file is.
David Lorenzini, FCSI, CCS
Architectural Resources Co.
Christopher Borcsok
Junior Member
Username: ckb

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2013
Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2013 - 10:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In Canada, the Federal Public Works (PWGSC) actually comments against use of the Level 4 numbers, specifically when using the NMS, or doing a project for them:


"Although MasterFormat allows for subsequent levels of numbering, the NMS recommends that section numbers in Project Manuals be limited to six digits."

However, when I have done specs for those type of projects, no one that I have been dealing with has been a stickler for this, but usually I've been doing work for project managers that work for PWGSC, not for PWGSC directly. They even use level 4's selectively in a bunch of their masters, and not in others, instead opting to renumber (example MF2012 - 26 05 33.13 Conduit for Electrical Systems, 26 05 33.16 Boxes for Electrical Systems, NMS - 26 05 32 - Outlet Boxes, Conduit Boxes and Fittings, 26 05 34 - Conduit, Conduit Fastenings and Conduit Fittings).
Paul Gerber
Senior Member
Username: paulgerber

Post Number: 165
Registered: 04-2010

Posted on Friday, August 09, 2013 - 10:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I personally do not use Level 4 numbers. I concur with Wayne Yancey's comment above (and not just because he is a Canadian ex-pat eh?).

Chris: NMS should really start practicing what they preach then! I have NMS that my firm purchased in October 2011 and received updates for until October 2012. In Division 7 alone 9 out of the 50 Sections included have a Level 4 identifier with them, all but 1 of the 9 do not have a corresponding Level 3 Section. It sometimes appears that the inmates are running the asylum at the NMSS!
Ride it like you stole it!!!
Lynn Javoroski FCSI CCS LEEDŽ AP SCIP Affiliate
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 1676
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Friday, August 09, 2013 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We use them pretty extensively in laboratory equipment, fittings, and fixtures. There just isn't enough space within that category to be as explicit as we must be. And I even had to suggest 11 5300 for lab equipment!
Richard L Matteo, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: rlmat

Post Number: 600
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, August 09, 2013 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have to side with Wayne & David. I avoid them and use an available number in the gap.

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