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(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 06:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Just got off the telephone with an MEP consultant who went on and on about why his firm has decided it necessary to write specifications under Divisions 20 and 24 - unnamed as yet by MF.

His firm's made-up Div 20 sections have mechanical and plumbing content, Div 24 sections electrical.

He was not persuasive in his argument about why this is necessary. In fact, his reason for why his firm did this actually results in the SAME PROBLEM.

Has anyone else had to deal with this nonsense? I am insisting that the sections be located in their proper place(s) within MF2010.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 411
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 07:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

did your company hire them? - tell them if they want to get paid they will do it your way.

or if you are being nice, tell them that most all of the division 20 stuff can be placed in plumbing or hvac and crossed referenced with VERY little effort or problem and the subs will just have to learn to read. which I know they can do as I have done this and they get all the info everytime.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 273
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 07:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The nonsense I get is where CAD jockies have mis-labeled dozens of drawings and details with the wrong spec Section references and the Project Director or even PIC asks me to change my specs to coordinate with the error "because it is easier".
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 454
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 07:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

At least your MEP consultants is using and taking advantage of MF04 to it's fullest potential. My MEP is using 5-digit MF95 and has created Divisions 17 and 18 and placed their louvers in Division 10.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 274
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011 - 08:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have been known to tell someone when they ask about the unused numbers in MF2004 that 36 is for "Orbital Construction", 37 "Lunar Construction", 38 "Martian Construction" and 39 "Deep Space Construction".
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What I don't see very much in print is that MasterFormat 2004 was developed to be one of a number of data tables in OmniClass (UniFormat is another). MasterFormat is the data table for "work results"; there will be another data table for materials.

OmniClass is beginning to get more traction as the focus shifts to BIM because it can potentially offer the database structure that has been lacking in CAD software. This should reduce the cost of developing this part of BIM and offer a standard that can be used across software platforms.

Let me emphasize that I do not see this happening overnight, but development may accelerate because of the interest in BIM.

Those who invent their own systems because it "makes more sense" or "is easier" may well be shooting themselves in the foot in the long run. This is also a good reason when trying to assign a number to a new section that may be required to really try to understand the concept of "work results" not "products". Where do we specify galvanized steel pipe? Depends on the work result; could be Division 05, Division 22, Division 24, Division 32, etc.

Robert Johnson, a frequent contribution to this discussion group, has been involved with OmniClass and may be able to offer more specific information.
Tony Wolf, AIA, CCS, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: tony_wolf

Post Number: 27
Registered: 11-2007


Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 11:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Can someone point me to a discussion to help people [who are not necessarily specifiers] understand "work results" versus "products" as a concept in naming sections?
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 150
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 12:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

ISO Formal Definition of Work Result:

Construction result achieved in the production stage or by subsequent alteration, maintenance, or demolition processes and identified by one or more of the following: the particular skill or trade involved; the construction resources used; the part of the construction entity which results; the temporary work or other preparatory or completion work which results.

Go to OmniClass website, Table 22 for a discussion of the concept.

Basically we don't specify products in isolation except when it is a purchase contract. We specify the resulting construction using the product(s) in place within the construction. We usually specify multiple products in a section: CMU, mortar, joint reinforcement, anchors, etc. Even if a specification section centers on just one product like a window, it almost always includes supplementary or accessory products that are needed for its installation. Although specifications include product specifications; they also include what is required to have those products in place in the completed construction. That is a work result.

MasterFormat has always classified work results; we just never analyzed it deeply until we were working on the OmniClass tables and the 2004 edition of MasterFormat at the same time. It was then that we realized that MasterFormat was not a system to classify products even though many have used it for that - there is not one location for many products in MasterFormat. Many products can be used in multiple work results. Peter gives one example of galvanized steel pipe.

Another case in point - vapor barrier at SOG. We are not specifying the sheet material as a product. We are specifying a barrier in place to restrict the tranmission of vapor from the substrate below. We may specify it separately in Div 07, with the concrete slab in Div 03, or with the earthwork in Div 31. Also there are other applications of vapor barriers - exterior walls, climate controlled rooms, roofing. The vapor barrier products for the different locations will likely be different and may be specified in different locations.

We took the opportunity of working on OmniClass and MasterFormat 2004 at the same time to explain and promote this concept.
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 591
Registered: 11-2004


Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 12:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Someone (it may have been Bob Johnson?) once described this way, and I still use this example in my class:

The bricks, mortar, ties, reinforcing and so forth stacked on the jobsite are materials - the brick wall is the work result.
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS CCCA
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies
St. Louis, MO
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 151
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 12:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ken Guthrie is the father of what became the OmniClass tables. He had the vision to see the value of a system to classify everything in the built environment and promoted that idea for several years in the late 90’s. It resulted in the formulation of a group to try to do that a few years later. The group included many CSI people but it was not a CSI committee or task team but did receive CSI staff support. People came on their own dime.

The group ended up using some international ISO standards that had been working on the came concept. The concept was based on looking at the built environment from many different views – you could classify things different depending upon how you were looking at them – do you classify a constructed facility by its form or it function? Obviously you can do either so you will see a table for each view in OmniClass. It is easy to see how our two existing classification systems (MasterFormat and UniFormat) fit into the system viewing construction on the materials and methods used (MasterFormat – work results) and the function of the construction element (UniFormat – functional elements). These two systems are included in OmniClass but not completely – MasterFormat Divisions 00 and 01 and UniFormat Introduction and Element Z are not included because they relate to uses of the formats rather than specific construction.

It is always interesting to see how some visions have later results not envisioned at their birth. OmniClass was envisioned to have many uses by many different participants in the design/construction industry. BIM was just coming on the horizon at the time and was not seen as one of those uses – much different looking at it a few years later as BIM is becoming an ever larger force in the industry. OmniClass has been and is currently being expanded and revised in the last few years to improve its use in the BIM process for the classification and exchange of information.

Put yourself back in the early 60’s – people preparing specifications organized them in many different ways to suit their personal fancy. Some CSI leaders had the vision to have them organized in a common manner for the benefit of all the participants that have to deal with specifications from many different sources – product reps and manufacturers, subcontracts, contractors, consultants, etc., etc. Think where we would be today if those leaders didn’t have that vision – we would still be in chaos!

Now think how communication has changed from those days with all the electronic exchange of information – much more information accessible in ever increasing speeds. The more this information is organized in a common manner, the more benefit. The more it is organized differently by the originators, the less benefit – spend more time trying to find and understand what you need. Peter’s point about across software platforms is especially pertinent. Again think about all the people who deal with that information from multiple sources on multiple projects – what a benefit a common organizational structure is.

Now we all like to organize information in our own favorite ways – if only I was the “God” of all organization of design/construction information what a great world it would be! The more we organize information differently, the more difficult we make it for others who receive and use the information we produce. Conforming to a common organizational structure for design/construction information will be a great benefit to the total industry especially in the emerging world of BIM and the ever increasing electronic exchange of information.

Sometimes we get to caught up in the little things like how we think a particular subject should be classified - we make a big deal out of one item in a total system (that doesn’t mean that classification systems should not be reviewed, revised and expanded to meet the user’s needs). We need to look at the total big picture as the most important. Conformance to a classification standard is very important to all the other people we communicate with. If you think the standard should be revised, get yourself involved the next time it is being reviewed and revised.

I have always liked the Canadian’s reaction to MasterFormat 2004 – “It’s just numbers!”
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wayne_yancey

Post Number: 455
Registered: 01-2008


Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 01:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Bob,

Being a Canadian, your quote should be "It's just numbers, EH!"

As I am told by my American friends on numerous occassians Canada is spelled C EH N EH D EH.

My license plate on my Road King is EHTEAM as in the A TEAM. Canadian Customs at the WA and ID border crossing enjoy the humor.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 152
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 01:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Having been the manager of a Denver office of a Canadian contractor back around 1970, I had a relatively early exposure to those north of the border. The "language barrier" was always a source of some fun.

I remember the early days of the SPECTEXT review committee dealing with Wayne Watson on a regular basis. I remember him submitting a new section for review - my response as chairman was "This looks pretty good as soon as we get the "Canadianese" out of it!
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 02:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have some favorite products that I like to use to talk about products vs. work results. I have already mentioned galvanized steel pipe. We use it in 05 50 00 "Metal Fabrications" 05 52 13 "Pipe and Tube Railings", 22 11 00 "Facility Water Distribution", 23 21 00 "Hydronic Piping and Pumps", 32 31 13 "Chain Link Fences and Gates", and 32 84 23 "Underground Sprinklers". Plastic laminate is specified in each section where it is used as a finish on a "work result" like cabinets (Div 06), paneling (Div 06), toilet partitions (Div 10), or countertops (Div 12). Stone is used for different types of Div 04 stone masonry; stone tiles, flooring, and facing in Div 09; stone countertops in Div 12, and stone paving in Div 32. Bullet-resistant composite glass fiber panels are used in cabinets in Div 06; hollow metal, wood, and aluminum doors in Div 08; and drywall partitioning in Div 09.

In think about MasterFormat in terms of work results, it helps to clear up why we have a Division 05 Metals, but steel and aluminum doors and frames are specified in Division 08 Openings. I very clearly remember trying to puzzle this through when I was reorganize a product library in the mid 1960s in one of my first summer jobs working for an Architect.

We also have "metal" items in almost every other division (steel reinforcing in Div 03 and 04, flashing in Div 07, partition framing in Div 09, you get the idea); however, the "work result" is different.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 153
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 03:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Very good examples Peter.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 275
Registered: 12-2006


Posted on Friday, May 06, 2011 - 03:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes Indeed.

Why subject a poor splash block that sits beneath a drain pipe from a penthouse roof to a main roof to a lonely life as the only precast concrete on a project in DIVISION 03 when it really wants to be with its friends in DIVISION 07 Roof Accessories; or a concrete wheel stop for a parking garage that just wants to be a Parking Accessory.

The real light bulb moment is when they want to substitute wheel stops made out recycled rubbery stuff. So much wasted effort to get it out of Concrete.
Steve Taylor
Senior Member
Username: steveatwi

Post Number: 37
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 07, 2011 - 02:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

So division six is a mess. Finish Carpentry and Paneling should be in Division Nine, Finishes. We have Cabinets and Counter tops in Division 12, but they are almost always specified in division 6. I would argue that they belong in division 10 under storage. Division 12 shouldn't include permanent parts of the building.

I could go on, but the point is that division 6 isn't about work results at all. If you want to organize around work result there shouldn't be a section titled "Wood, Plastics, and Composites."
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have noted similar discrepancies throughout my career (I started using CSI's UCI in 1968). The kitchen cabinets in my 9-year old home were site-built by a carpenter (and finished using about the highest VOC paint around) so I am comfortable with them being specified in Div 06. Much of this stuff used to be produced on site using skilled craftsmen. As we have recognized the benefits of shop-built work (better quality control, greater quantities, economies of scale), such items begin to look more like applied finishes (or installed furnishing) than site craft work.

Althoug one can make a case for metal fabrications and pipe and tube railings being "Metals", "finish items" such as decorative railings (sometimes with almost no metal components), formed column covers, and decorative metal cladding for doors and windows, would seem to belong more in Div 09. I personally believe that "polished concrete" is a finish process done by people who don't have anything to do with placing concrete and deserves a section in Div 09. (I have been over rulled.)

As a practical matter, however, Div 09 is already packed full of stuff that probably should belong somewhere else. What does a shaft wall system have in common with a high performance coating? One would think that formed metal column covers really had more to do with other types of applied finishes (like stone and wall covering).

At the end of the day, dispite the best efforts of everyone involved over the now approaching 60-year history of MasterFormat to be rational and consistent, there are some items that carry the residual of the past. As one of my Jesuit mentors used to say, "Sometimes, you just have to sit back and adore the mystery." unless you want a committee or task team assignment from CSI.

As we lurch toward a standard database structure for BIM projects, we can tweak a particular component standard, but it seems to be that we really have to keep our eyes on the overall goal.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, May 09, 2011 - 09:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Why should a non engineer care how a MEP consultant chooses to do his specs? If you are so obsessed with "work results" let the man do his work and be responsible for his results.
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

So if you are drawing on 30 by 40 inch sheets, the MEP consultant can use 24 by 30? and use Spanish instead of English (because the MEP subs in his areas all speak Spanish).

Adherence to standards is an indication of professional competence.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 12:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Oh, gee, I don't know - maybe because the MEP's Agreement with the Architect REQUIRES him to produce documents in the manner required by the Architect?

Because maybe, just MAYBE, bidders know to go to Division 26 for Electrical and Division 23 for HVAC but would likely regard made up Divisions 20 and 24 as mistakes/not applicable to them/confusing/Change Order treasure troves?
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1151
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 05:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

well, you could also say that the contract with the Owner requires the consultants to follow "industry standards" and making up your own numbers doesn't meet that criteria. I swear, I've had times with consultants (and contractors) where I wanted to say "I'm not paying you to think! just do the job!". clearly I want them to think, but sometimes more effort goes into "thinking" about things that don't need additional effort, such as making up new numbers -- and not enough time goes into thinking about how to coordinate with the rest of the design team. I generally like to require that the consultant use some word processing format that is at least minimally conversant with whatever system I'm using, but I find that no matter what, all the formatting gets lost anyway.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 06:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

No building has ever failed to perform because the designers failed to
conform to CSI standards. No Change Order ever occurred because the
specifications did not conform to CSI standards. Designs fail because
someone miscalculates; change orders occur because someone does not
coordinate, and vice versa.

Micro managing process rather than focusing on goals leads to failures,
Conforming to industry standards is just a convenient excuse for such
failures.
Richard A. Rosen, CSI, CCS, AIA
Senior Member
Username: rarosen

Post Number: 100
Registered: 08-2006


Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 08:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Unregistered Guest is correct "No building has ever failed to perform because the designers failed to conform to CSI standards." However, I recently read a post on Linkedin (?) about the plumbing contract bidder who called the Client to let him know that since there was no Division 15 in the project manual he couldn't bid the job. The Client then passed on his displeasure to the Architect.

Conforming to industry standards (and knowing what they are) is not just a convenience. Try being involved in a lawsuit and sitting on the stand and explaining to the Judge or Jury why your specs don't conform to industry standards (a prudent standard of care). The fact that conforming to industry standards is a non-issue is totally lost on non-professionals in these situations. They see it as you didn't do it the way everyone else does it ergo you are wrong.
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 10:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

AIA A 201 says that (and I am paraphrasing here ) the division of the Specifications into Divisions and Sections is for the convenience of the Architect in ensuring that the Specifications are complete. Furthermore, the Contractor is responsible for the division of the Work and the assignment of subcontractors' responsibility, This is why the organization of the Specifications (and the Drawings) has much more to do with a standard of professional care than it does with with convenience to the Contractor. As a practical matter, most Architects and specifiers will do everything they can to make sure that the Contractor (and his subs) can find the information; however, no one that I know of does a single Division 03 section for all cast-in-place concrete for a project (slabs on grade, structural frame, paving, utility work, etc.) regardless of whether or not there will be a single concrete sub on the job.

I would suggest that design professionals must "micromanage" the organization of construction requirements on the Drawings and in the Specifications to make sure everything is covered which should be one of the primary goals in generating Construction Docuemnts. I would further suggest that the failure to do so has probably caused more than its share of project failures.
Robert W. Johnson
Senior Member
Username: robert_w_johnson

Post Number: 154
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 12:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Quote from 1964 CSI Format for Construction Specifications:

"There is a pressing need for a national format for consturction specifications. A consistent, national format would prove beneficial to the writer of specifications, to the contractor, and to the material supplier, by makeing it simpler for each to carry out his part of the building process. Suppliers and contractors would find it easier to estimate accurately and to prepare bids competitively. Contractors would also find it easier to control the work during construction. Architects and engineers would have greter assurance that they were properly describing all that they should specify."
The 1964 commentary goes on to discuss the value of industry-wide consistent organization versus everyone doing their own thing.

Unregistered Guest (Don't you love unregistered guests expressing opinions of this nature): "No Change Order ever occurred because the specifications did not conform to CSI standards." Obviously not true. There have been many change orders on many projects because of not following the industry standards (CSI formats). Not following the standards without good reason leads to confusion in communication which leads to change orders.

Following standards does not constrain one from focusing on the goals. It is really just speaking in the language of the listeners rather then speaking in your own language. The more we all communicate within the same organizational structure, the easier it is on everyone involved. There will be fewer miscommunications, fewer problems, and better projects.
Paul Gerber
Senior Member
Username: paulgerber

Post Number: 74
Registered: 04-2010


Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 05:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think we've all dealt with Contractors or Subcontractors where we're AMAZED they can find the Project Manual on the site, let alone actually find something in the PM!!

I have to agree, that if had not been for a "consensus" standard like MasterFormat being developed, I can not imagine the chaos with finding information within the industry, let alone within a project!

What I am amazed at is this is coming from an Engineer and not an up & coming "starchitect" trying to make a name for himself by reinventing the AEC industry at a "grassroots" level!!
Ride it like you stole it!!!
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1160
Registered: 07-2002


Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 06:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

believe me, the "starchitects" really don't care about how their projects are organized -- but they DO care that the contractor can figure out where everything is.
As someone who has done some expert witnessing regarding documents, I can say that in my experience "following industry standards" is seen as a basic level of competence in terms of preparing the documents. Attorneys (and mediators) don't know much about construction, but they can read lists of numbers and they can easily recognize if you're using numbers that are "non-standard". I would say that would be the first thing that someone is going to get nailed for -- you don't need to be an expert to see "reserved for later use" as part of the Masterformat numbers.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1319
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 04:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

One reason that Division 06 is still a "mess," and that other anomolies remain in the new(ish) MasterFormat is because of lack of acceptance of an early draft that went much further to fix these things. CSI got blasted for being over-reaching. So they minimized significant changes to Divisions where they could be left alone without creating more egregious conflicts. This is politics, "the art of compromise."

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