Architectural Record BE - Building Enclosure

Unveiling The New MasterFormat 2004 Edition

Expanded and Reorganized, the New MasterFormat Provides Architects and Owners with Tools that Save Time and Money
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Advertorial course provided by Building Systems Design, Inc., Ellison Bronze, HySecurity, National Gypsum, ThyssenKrupp Elevator
Continuing Education

Learning Objectives - After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Knowledge and awareness of the form and contents of MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition and how they differ from the previous edition of MasterForma.
  2. Awareness of the benefits gained by stakeholders who use MasterFormat throughout the project life cycle.
  3. Awareness of the tools and resources available to learn about MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition and to help make the transition to the new edition.



Released last November, MasterFormatâ„¢ 2004 Edition is the most significant revision in the 40-year history of the publication. For the first time it addresses all elements in the project life cycle; offers a comprehensive means for operating and managing facilities; provides a powerful tool to reduce the many billions of dollars lost from poor data communication; and, is built to accommodate technologies of the future. Already, leading public and private organizations are committed to making the transition to the new edition, while others are being persuaded-some albeit reluctantly, like the architect who remarked, "I hate MasterFormat, but I'm using it now because my largest financial client requires it." Clearly, MasterFormat 2004 is here to stay.

So, what is MasterFormat? MasterFormatâ„¢ is a master list of numbers and titles classified by work results or construction practices, primarily used to organize project manuals, organize detailed cost information, and relate drawing notations to specifications. It is the most widely used standard for organizing specifications and other written information for commercial and institutional building projects in the U.S. and Canada. Users follow a master list of divisions, and section numbers and titles within each division, to organize information about a facility's construction requirements and associated activities into a standard sequence. The 2004 edition of MasterFormat is produced jointly by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) and replaces the 1995 edition and all previous editions. Over the past forty years, its system of organizing construction information into Procurement and Contracting Requirements, and technical Divisions of activities and work practices has been applied in every information resource used in design and construction in North America.

As the Dewey Decimal system for project information, it organizes information around ‘work results,' rather than products.


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Originally published in Architectural Record.