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Colin Gilboy
Username: Colin

Post Number: 49
Registered: 05-2000
Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 02:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Copyright 2001 by Herman R. Hoyer, PE, FCSI, CCS

One of the main complaints I heard from the people who attended my Seminars on Short-Form Specifications was the fact that CSI did not concern itself enough with the problems of small offices as related to specifications. One reason why I was so warmly received and had such great attendance at my seminars was because I was teaching a subject which was sorely needed by small offices--short-form specificaitons. And, better yet, Specifications as Drawing Notes.

My students all lauded CSI's 16-Division Format (MasterFormat) as a godsend for organizing specifications by Division and Section, but that kind of enthusiasm did not extend itself to the Section Format and Page Format, mainly because these documents were considered as unnecessary roadblocks to specification simplicity. Of course, I support use of these formats for longer specifications, but they have no place in establishing standards for Drawing Notes.


So, when we talk about Drawing Notes, what exactly are we talking about? For now, let's just say that drawing notes are an abbreviated form of short-form specifications as illustrated in the following example:


Section 04220 - Concrete Unit Masonry

1.Comply with UBC, Chapter 21, Masonry.

2.Concrete Masonry Units: ASTM C90, hollow load-bearing units, Grade N, Type I - Moisture Controlled Units.

3.Reinforcing Bars (rebar): ASTM A615 or ASTM A706, Grade 60.

4.Mortar: ASTM C270 or UBC Standard 21-15, Type S.

5.Grout: ASTM C476 or UBC Standard 21-19, Coarse Grout. Fill all cells with 2,000 psi coarse grout.

So there you have a typical Drawing-Notes Section in a nut shell, nice and simple. Remember, as I explained before in my previous columns, especially column No. 11, Paragraph 1 above is all-encompassing. UBC Chapter 21 has more than enough specifications to do the job. In this case, you need only differentiate the type and grade of masonry units you want, the rebar, the type of mortar, the type and strength of grout, and the filling of all cells with grout.

Personally, I like to locate each Section on the sheet indicating the Work being specified. For example, Division 3 - Concrete could be located on the sheet of the Foundation Plan; Section 06100 - Rough Carpentry on the sheet of the Framing Plan; Section 07311 - Asphalt Shingles on the sheet of the Roof Plan; Division 8 - Doors and Windows on the sheet of the Door and Window Schedule; Division 9 - Finishes on the sheet containing the Finish Schedule; etc.

Or, the Specifications may be a separate sheet of the Drawings.

Or, the Specifications may be a separate book (Project Manual) in the conventional manner, along with the Agreement/General Conditions and Division 1 Sections.

Drawing Notes or Specifications on the Drawings presupposes that the Agreement and General Conditions will be AIA Document A107, entitled the "Abbreviated Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor," and that the Division 1 Sections are a separate document. In my case, I have a standard eleven-page set of abbreviated Division 1 Sections for use with Drawing Notes.

My next column will feature something interesting and provocative in the world of short-form specifications. So stay with me.

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