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

Post Number: 166
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 09:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In every specification section, is it good practie to refer back to Divsion 1 sections?

For example:
"Delivery Storage and Handling: Refer to Section 01651."

I would argue that since Section 01651 - Delivery, Storag, and Handling is included in the project manual, that you don't have to keep telling the contractor to look there. Say it once.

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

Post Number: 107
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 12:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


I think you are correct. Don't cross-reference back to Division 1.

Having said that, here's why I sometimes violate this concept. I make a judgment call about the significance of the issue. Sometimes I will call attention to a requirement in Division 1 and specify a cross-reference. Yes, the specs should have an even "voice" and not EMPHASIZE some requirements over other. In reality, emphasis is sometimes necessary and appropriate.

The key is: Who is the spec addressed? It's addressed to the Contractor. THE Contractor. Not subs and materials suppliers. Therefore, the Contractor is well-acquainted with the requirements specified in Division 1 and repetition is not necessary.

Still, I will repeat the reference to Section 01600 - Product Requirements and the "or equal" and substitution requirements specified there. It's technically erroneous but I think necessary because "or equal" and substitutions are such hot issues.

I don't repeat references to Section 01330 - Submittals Procedures and the delivery, handling and storage requirements I specify in Section 01600 - Product Requirements.
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: David_axt

Post Number: 167
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 09:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Allow me to play Devil's Advocate for the sake of discussion.

You know that in the real world the contractor rips the project manual apart and distributes sections to the corresponding trades. If we don't refer back to the Division 1 sections in each section, then subcontractors won't know to look in Division 1 for specific requirements. More so, we won't be able to enforce Division 1 requirements for that section of work because we did not mention them in that section.

Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: Sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 24
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 12:27 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Following that logic, we should reference in each section: several if not all Division 1 sections, every other section that might have anything to do with the section you're in (some already do almost that under "related sections"), each drawing, maybe specific drawing details and paragraphs in specifications, the general conditions and supplementary conditions, the IBC, state building code and local amendments, OSHA requirements, ADA, state requirements for driver's license and insurance, requirements for operating equipment...and looking at some public sector specs makes me wonder if someone really thinks that.

Adding references doesn't make the basic premise of the owner-contractor agreement - that the contractor is responsible for everything - any more enforceable. It sure isn't going to keep the contractor from ripping apart his bidding documents.

Despite what common practice is, you only encourage bad practice if you cater to it. The contractor first signs a bid form saying that the bidding documents have been read and understood; the contractor then agrees to perform according to the contract documents. It is the contractor's responsibility to get the right information, i.e., all of it, to each sub and supplier. If that isn't done - tough luck.

It's bad enough when contractors tear up the project manual; design professionals become partners in crime when they sell individual drawing sheets or specs by the page. Many firms distribute full sets of bidding documents only, placing all responsibility on the shoulders of the contractors. The amazing thing is that we aren't distributing bidding documents on CDs or on ftp sites. The cost would be a tiny fraction of hardcopy distribution, and it would eliminate the old argument, "I didn't get that sheet/section."

The MOP recommends inserting text in the supplementary conditions to avoid any disagreement about the relationship of Division 1 sections. We add one sentence to address the issue at hand: "Specification Sections of Division 1 - General Requirements govern the work of all Specifications. The Contractor shall ensure that subcontractors, sub-subcontractors, and suppliers are aware of and comply with the provisions of Division 1." (or something to that effect; I don't have the text handy)

If we claim to believe in and comply with certain standards and standard documents - CSI's Manual of Practice, MasterFormat, SectionFormat, the AIA or EJCDC conditions of the contract - why do we so easily back off? If the words we write mean anything, why are we afraid to enforce them?

I know that's easy to say, and I believe every specifier I know at least bends the rules at times. The bottom line is that we have to get a message across, and sometimes the best way is not exactly according to the book. And that is where professional judgment comes in.

We have to be careful though. If we ignore the very standards we espouse, why should we expect those who interpret what we write to do otherwise? How do you counter the contractor who says, "You referred to Section 01234 here, so I followed it, but you didn't refer to it anywhere else, so I thought it didn't apply."

Or, "You emphasized this part of the section, but you didn't emphasize that part, so I figured it wasn't really necessary." (If I recall correctly, I saw a summary of a court decision that agreed with a contractor who made that argument.)

If we really followed our own rules, wrote short sentences, said only what had to be said, and said it only in the right places, our specifications would be half or less as long as they are now. They would be clear and concise, and contractors and suppliers would be better able to read and understand them in the short time they have to prepare their bids.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: John_regener

Post Number: 108
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 01:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I preach the "don't emphasize" mantra too. Has anyone actually had this emphasis issue used against them?

I'm in basic agreement with the MOP. But there is also a responsibility for the writer to be clear about what the requirements are.

I think it's a matter of professional judgment, except that the spec writer won't win a national award if cross-refereences are or are not used?
Tom Heineman RA, FCSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: Tom_heineman

Post Number: 16
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 10:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wolfe and Regener are recommending what I see as the best of CSI's collective judgement on this issue.

I suspect they do not underline, boldface, or use exclamation marks either (nor do I) even though we want to scream a command sometimes: "Just READ what it says about substitutions!" or "Cover the damn walls!"

Part of prudent practice is not to undertake coordinating the job for the contractor by listing endless Related Sections. I use that heading sparingly, when there is a real chance that something out of the ordinary may be missed. Even then, I do not off-handedly tell the reader to go hunt through a whole section for who-knows-what; instead I come out and say in the affected sections, "05500: Rings for securing antenna guys."

Also, like others who follow CSI tradition, I bend the rules when it may head off a mistake. Once, when as owners, we experimented with extensive commissioning of systems, I urged the A/Es on the initial project to freely refer to the freshly minted section called Commissioning in Division 1.

Other than that, like Regener and Wolfe, I never refer to Division 1 procedures under "Related Sections".
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: David_axt

Post Number: 169
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 01:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Thanks guys! I agree that referring to a Div 1 section is just words for words sake. If the Division 1 sections are bound in the project manual, then they are part of the Contract Documents.

If the contractor can't find the Division 1 sections or does not read them, then it is not my fault or the Owner's fault. (Next time you run a stop sign, try telling the police officer that you did not just did not read the sign. The sign was there and you had to obey it whether you read it or not.)

We currently refer back to Div 1 in our specs and I am trying to eliminate that redundant language. This language can actually, as stated perviously, be dangerous especially since we have omitted it accidentally or had old MF '88 numbers.

Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 03:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Wait a minute, a technical point; because Division 1 is bound in the project manual doesn't make it part of the contract documents. Division 1 is currently defined as a(administrative and procedural)specification division. According to AIA and ECJDC general conditions and agreements, the written specifications are part of the contract documents.

This brings up another question that maybe belongs in a new thread or perhaps under the revised MasterFormat thread. MasterFormat 04 proposes drastic changes in Divisions and the content of the Divisions. We have documents that should not be included in the contract documents that will be included in the new MasterFormat 04 Divisions and mixed with specification sections that should be part of the contract documents. I foresee a nightmare in defining the technical specifications in the general conditions and the agreements and even the new MOP. We will no longer have the ease or luxury of defining specifications, regardless if administrative or technical specifications, as Divisions 1 through 16. With items/documents such as geotechnical data mixed into the Divisions with the specification sections, the practice of identifying and defining entire divisions as part of the contract documents becomes an issue with potential legal implications. AIA and EJCDC and other documents will have to be changed as well as countless reference books and text books and all those owner provided general conditions and agreements.

We already experience confusion with the part of the industry that doesn't use or know about Masterformat or understands what portion of the project manual is or isn't considered a contract document. This will just add to it.

Inconsistency will prevail in the construction industry. I can see the lawsuits now.
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: Sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 26
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 04:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Anon: I'm not sure what the point of the first paragraph is; Division 1 sections *are* specifications, and therefore part of the contract documents.

I admit I haven't read all of MF04 yet, but it still has something like "available information" where we put things that are not supposed to be part of the contract documents. The "specifications group" contains the same things we already call specifications.

AIA and EJCDC general conditions don't refer to specific Divisions or sections, nor do any of the owner conditions I have used. Are there AIA or EJCDC documents that do?

What change in MF would be legitimate grounds for a lawsuit? The change itself?

AIA and other organizations seem to think nothing of changing their documents every few years, which affects other books and references far more than a change in MasterFormat. It's almost impossible to keep up with just ASTM updates, let alone ACI, SDI, AWI, and on and on...

Is a reorganization of MasterFormat really going to be that much of a problem? Remember, it's only a way to organize information, unlike the standards just mentioned, which actually affect how work is done and tested.
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: David_axt

Post Number: 171
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 04:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


You are correct. Just because a document is bound into the project manual does not make it a contract document. I refer you to the previous thread on binding soils reports into the project manual.

What I meant to say is that the Div 1 sections are part of the contract documents and must be followed wether they are referred to or not.

No where in my "technical" sections do I refer to the conditions of the contract for construction, yet the subcontractor must follow that document.

John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: Bunzick

Post Number: 133
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 05:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

A careful review of AIA A101 (yes, 101 not 201), the Agreement, will show you that all of the contract documents must be listed. There are numerous ways that this can be accomplished. The point is, if it's in that list, it's a contract document - as the sections of Division 1 would be.
Ronald L. Geren, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 41
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I hate to bring up an old thread, but I have an Owner's rep, who's an architect, that has marked up several of my Division 1 Sections during his review requesting that I reference A201.

It's second nature for me "not" to reference the General Conditions because it's frowned upon by the MOP. However, to add ammunition to my response, I would like to reference a specific area of the MOP that addresses this very issue, but I can't seem to locate it.

Can anybody point me to the right location?
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 96
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 02:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

not to beat a dead horse too badly, but I do make an exception to the Division 1 references in two instances:
1) for Alternates/Alternatives: if the work in a technical section is also part of an alternate, I will reference that section because of the impact to bidding and the procedural requirements.

2) and then also for mockups: we specify a lot of mockups in this office and often the mockup requires input from multiple trades (and spec sections); in that case, every section that is affected will have a cross reference to the mockup section in Division 1.

I do agree with the general consensus that we address the project manual to the General Contractor only and not cater to the idea that we "know" it will be torn up and distributed and I think that most subcontractors are aware that various procedural requirements are in Division 1. However, I feel that in the instances of alternate pricing, or the additional cost/delivery schedule for mockup production, there is too much margin for error and cost impact if the existence of the mockup or alternate isn't adequately communicated to the subcontractor. I figure both of those references save a question or three during construction and bidding.
Shedd Glass, CSI, CCS (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 08:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Not necessary to reference Division 1 in each spec section.

This practice is redundent and in coflict with CSI recommended practice to say it once.

I make reference to Division 1 sections 1 time in 1.1 SUMMARY. Yes, this too is redundent, but, I believe appropriate to address those users who may not be educated in use of contract documents.
Tom Heineman RA, FCSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: tom_heineman

Post Number: 26
Registered: 06-2002
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 09:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Just to put this in another perspective: The 1963 CSI Format was developed to remedy several snowballing bad practices in spec writing. Among them was the tendency to lump everything together on the 6 onionskins and 5 carbons that were often the sole "publication" (xerography not being in wide use yet). Since the boss often stayed up at the office Smith-Corona until 2 in the morning typing the darn thing, the contractor might get a half-dozen paragraphs - sum total - that tried to cover everything: like a "Mechanical-Electrical" paragraph.
CSI Format tried to loosen up the process, and get pararaphs (and tnen sections) "bite size". I.e. modular and locatable.
Now, with MasterFormat, we have some 10,000+ modules to work with, and we put them together quite well, as needed. Contractors seem to find their way around too.
Now, do we have to create long indexes to tell the contractor how to surf our modular masterpieces?
No. The contractor has been helped for years by the modular spec system. He puts it together in biddable, buildable chunks quite well himself, as encouraged by AIA A201 1.2.2.
Let's not race to assemble his work chunks for him.
General Conditions and Division 1 sections go with every chunk. If the contractor ignores this, he is ignoring both the promise of and the procedure for getting paid. Now he's not likely to ignore anything like that, is he?
Yes, we have a duty when we put something in an unusual place to tip off the contractor, and in every dozen sections or so there may be justification for using a Related Sections aid.
Other than that, adding indexes only slows down the specifier, adds useless data to what the contractor must scan, and generally gums the works.
What will the lawyers say? Well, the court rules of evidence insist, "First, read the contract as a whole."
The fewer mindless clerical exercises we invent for ourselves the better off everybody is.

Margaret G. Chewning CSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: presbspec

Post Number: 22
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 10:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Tom, Well said! Can I use it?

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