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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1227
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Cincinnati, OH

“….. MasterFormat is organized by project type rather than work results. If it's for an industrial or processing project, it goes in the 40s. If it's part of an "architectural" project, it goes in Divisions 02-33. So for hoists, we would now have "architectural hoists" in Div 14 and we would have "processing hoists" in Div 41 (would have to put some adjective in front of hoists if we are going to have them in two places)……We can reverse the logic. We have a processing plant that includes some elevators to move people. Are we now going to put those elevators in the 40s instead of Division 14 because we don't want to use any conveying equipment out of an "architectural" division for our processing project? ……….I would propose what is really going on is that we have that old way of thinking continuing to linger - these are my divisions and those are your divisions and we shall not ever cross over those lines…….The logic to locate hoists in Division 41 of course relates to the fact that material handling is a category of work results in which there are many different types of devices and equipment that can be used. They have been located in a separate division to allocate an adequate amount of space. It doesn't matter what type of project they are being used in…….Why locate handling equipment in the 40's? They probably relate most strongly to other subjects in the 40s, but that doesn't mean that they are not used in all types of projects just as elevators are used in all types of projects……To accept this logic, one has to get over the old time thinking that divisions are organized by professions or project types. It's time to get over it and use the designated location for any work result we have in our project, no matter what project type it is or what division it is in……..”

What is most important in specifications-- strict, unwavering adherence to a prescribed format, or a litany of provisions that generally relate to each other in the whole of the project? I pick no fight, but I do wonder how many times each day, someone locates some information, in a spec, that does NOT adhere to MF04. My guess would be, many times. Some do this routinely, confident in their experience and receiving no repercussions; others, unsure, ask for help and usually recent something in the order of the quote above.

Are reasonable, and flexibility dead or dying? What is “wrong” with using a simple, seemingly reasonable change that seems utterly appropriate? Are those naughty “specs police” out again on the “motors”? Or is this all about absolute right and wrong, simply for the fact of being right or wrong because that is the way it is written in some voluntary pamphlet? Correctly, it IS the advisable method, but there are other solutions and no great unchanging axiom is violated.

Seems the primary point is that the correct information be conveyed, in clear and understandable terms, fully usable by the trade personnel, and adapted to the exact project conditions! The need for communication of a sort that is unparalleled in other work and professions. Perhaps not instantly life saving or threatening [like medical information], but such has an impact on what is done, properly well, and in a timely manner. It is a measure of excellence that starts with us-- spec writers-- in the professional office. It is our dedication, knowledge, innovative and knowledge that demands that we keep faith with what we are doing, and how well we do it. We may well exceed the effort of our drafting/CAD/BIM personnel, in that our products contain much more information, often times, than the drawings-- and importantly so!

Too often sniffed at by principals, ignored, disregard by juniors, and treated off-handedly by managers, our mission still involves [in part] merely updating and mentoring our staff colleagues, not to justify our existence, but for their realization that what we do-- and what they NEED!-- is 1], required in one fashion, 2] necessary to another group, and vital to the project works overall. Our specs do what no other devices, instruments or documents do-- so how can we, in good conscious, short-change, minimize, gloss-over or poorly construct such essential contributions to the project work? And much more, WHY?

BUT for a few days, relax, and enjoy the holidays-- with your family and friends in the warmth of a fire, some eggnog, fancy foods, gifts, and just the love in the room.

Our Sincere Best Wishes to you and yours this Holiday season [in your chosen holiday]; good cheer, happiness, family warmth and joyful times. Along with fulfillment of good prospects next year, high success, good health, a goodly backlog, new adventures. friends and clients [and new family members!] and accomplishments beyond your dreams!

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