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Specifications — CSI Format (16-Division)

CSI 49-Division Format, The Construction Specifications Institute
The conversion from the old, 16-DIvision Format to the new 49-Division Format is overdue given the tremendous changes in the industry, perticularly in telecommunications needs. But it is also complex, for specifiers, for you, and for a major end use: contractors and sub-contractors bidding on divisions, or particular sections, and their on-the-job workers. So it may not be as easy as professed in CSI's publication Conversion to MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition Now Begins.

One way of looking at this is to consider:

  1. UniFormat™ organizes construction systems and assemblies
  2. MasterFormat™ organizes materials/procucts and work
  3. MasterSpec™ provides "boilerplate" specifications to fit into the MasterFormat™ division, sections.


  • Project Resource Manual - CSI Manual of Practice, 2004. Review this description to see how the 49-Divsions are not stand alone, but considered as part of the planning to maintenance process.
  • The new, 2004 MasterFormat™, which has 49 Divisions, can be previewed in MasterFormat in 10 Easy Steps (Download as PDF File.)
  • MasterFormat™ 2004 Edition: Numbers & Titles, revised November 2004 (This file totals 170 pages, with a list of all sections. Download as PDF File.)


  • UNIFORMAT™ Lite An abbreviated version of CSI's Uniformat™ 1998 edition. Here, the format is arranged by function, not (as are the 16, now 49, MasterFormat Divisons) products and work. We will review the difference between UniFormat™ and MasterFormat™ in class. Understand the UniFormat™ as it is explained here.



Frequently, new, propietory products are organized using the MasterFormat divisions, sections, so specifiers and find products for specific sections of a specification. Notice: theer are few historic, traditional, archaeic materials found in these resources.

GSA provided examples of specificatiosn for conservation work. Keep in mind, while "boilerplate" specs may be used for new construction (in part as the building does not exist. . . until is its built) varying existingconditions of historical structuresd rerquires details, project-specific specifications based on detailed assessment, analysis, testing, mock-ups, and evaluation. So these, below,are to be considered only guides.