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Dan Helphrey
Senior Member
Username: dbhelphrey

Post Number: 44
Registered: 12-2018
Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 03:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Anyone else have a client (like, maybe a major public agency that shall remain unnamed) require you to use their master guide specs, then what they give you is trash?

I'm talking a jumbled-up mess of sections grabbed from UFGS, Masterspec, Arcat, and others, with formatting all messed up, inconsistent or nonexistent use of styles, some proprietary sections (despite being a PUBLIC agency), and generally just a bear to work with.

Marc Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 535
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 04:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dante Alighieri wrote about that....let me think 6th level... Heresy....Canto IX at the very end.

The Owner's always have perfect masters and we price ourselves accordingly and if we mention that perhaps their masters are copyrighted by others or 15 years out of date, or just tragically bad....HERESY!

Upon entering the Gates of Dis....
"Master, Who are these people that are shut ensepulchred within these coffers of stone, making their sounds of anguish from inside?" He answered, "Here, specifiers who doubt their owner's masters lie and groan..."

really a direct quote from Inferno
George A. Everding, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 905
Registered: 11-2004

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 04:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

[and to continue]...lie and groan

Along with all the converts that they made,
The followers of every sect, with like
Entombed with like. A greater multitude

Crowds into these graves than you may think they take.
Some sepulchers grow hotter, and some less."

[NB - the Pinsky translation. John Ciardi says "Like lies with like in every HERESY."]
Marc Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 536
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 05:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

right on George.....you know a couple of years ago I picked up Inferno as Dan Brown was coming out with a mystery of the same title. I was amazed that a book written in italian in 1309 to 1314+/- and then translated to english (I have the same translation you do) was still... after 700 years!... a pretty good read. It held my interest,(mostly) for the whole thing. THAT is saying something....I wonder if any of my specs will still be read 700 years from now...or simply recycled as fire lighters. PS I never finished the Dan Brown book
George A. Everding, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, AIA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 906
Registered: 11-2004

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 06:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dante's 700 year old Italian is probably closer to modern-day Italian than Shakespeare's 500 year old English is to modern-day English. Still, we understand Shakespeare fairly well; Dante probably moreso to Italian speakers.

I spoke a bit about how language changes during my presentation at Construct last month. Our specs will suffer only from the inevitable changes in language usage. Since we are good specifiers and our specs follow sound writing principles, they will probably be surprisingly comprehensible in 700 years.

And we can leave it up to architectural historians and archeologists to figure out what kind of archaic materials we were talking about.
Marc Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 537
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 07:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

have you read the translation of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney? looking at (and trying to pronounce) the old english is interesting...but the magic is that his work simply asks that it be read aloud...as was in the original...I re-read it every once and a while....along with a child's christmas in wales by Dylan Thomas...I specify them both to all for great reading (or oral presentation)
Ed Storer
Senior Member
Username: ed_storer

Post Number: 53
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 08:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I don's know where Dan is located, but I've dealt with "masters" from our local state university that were obviously done by an "administrative assistant" that hadn't really graduated from typewriter to word processing to Word. When you see 10 carriage returns to accomplish a page break, you will know immediately.

You will know that the spec is not up-to-date and wonder if you should let the client know.

I've reformatted many a client's master spec and never gotten any negative (or positive) feedback. They hadn't read their own "masters" for a decade. Usually I did it without pointing out what I'd done, because I knew what needed fixing and didn't want to place the client's PM into a defensive position.
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP, EDAC
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 673
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Friday, November 01, 2019 - 08:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I try to gently explain that their client master for a carpet spec that actually lists one acceptable manufacturer, one style and one color, and has a subscript in the footer saying last edited in 1997 may not be ideal for the upcoming project.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 649
Registered: 12-2002

Posted on Sunday, November 03, 2019 - 03:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Perhaps share with the client a copy of the applicable architect licensing statute. It likely says that the drawings and specifications must be prepared under the responsible direction of the design professional who is sealing the documents. I'm sure the architect's insurer would have some choice things to say as well. It isn't just about the formatting.
Dan Helphrey
Senior Member
Username: dbhelphrey

Post Number: 46
Registered: 12-2018
Posted on Monday, November 04, 2019 - 03:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

And then, after completing the project manual, I'm told that the Div 01 I downloaded from the secure server is not the right set...sigh.
Guest (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, November 04, 2019 - 03:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There is one, somewhat local, institution that still requires the MEP to use 15 and 16. ARRRRRGH!
Jerome J. Lazar, CCS, CDT, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 2068
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Monday, November 04, 2019 - 04:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

50% OF MY CLIENTS insist on 16 division format and won't budge on using 50 divisions.
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 920
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Monday, November 04, 2019 - 05:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Some how this reminds me of some of the structural master specifications that I received from architects and was expected to use on the project.

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