The inside scoop on MasterFormat 2016

Division 23−HVAC
Numerous items were added, including various common work results, direct-digital controls (15 listings, and sequence of operation for HVAC DDC), various additional listings for pumps and tanks for storage of liquefied petroleum gas and other fuels, makeup water filtration equipment, listed kitchen ventilation system exhaust ducts, draft control fans, and packaged variable refrigerant-flow air-conditioning systems. Other additions include listings for various types of additional water chillers, cooling towers, packaged outdoor HVAC equipment, terminal through-wall air-conditioning equipment, computer-room air-conditioning equipment, air coils; and ground-source unitary heat pumps.

Division 26−Electrical
Various types of electrical studies were added. Also added were new listings for common work results, various types of lighting controls, power factor correction equipment, various items for secondary unit substations, electrically powered circuit-breaker panelboards, electric vehicle recharging stations, wind turbines for a single facility, central battery equipment, and various changes in work results for lighting. Various new titles were also added for low- and medium-voltage busways, bus assemblies, and cablebuses, along with operation and maintenance of lightning protection systems.

Division 27−Communications
Numerous changes were made in this division, including modifications of existing listings and additions of many new numbers and titles.

Division 28−Electronic Safety and Security
Division 28 encompasses work results for the electronic and ‘intelligent’ elements related to facility security, fire detection and alarms, and other life safety systems. From its introduction in 2004 until 2014, Division 28 experienced very few changes, while the security industry evolved extensively due to both technological innovations and the realities of the post-9/11 world.

An in-depth feature on the various changes—from access control and video surveillance to life safety and security detection—will appear in the May 2016 issue of CSI’s The Construction Specifier. The article is by Ray Coulombe of SecuritySpecifiers—the group that spearheaded the process of updating Division 28.

Division 32−Exterior Improvements
Additions included manufactured fire pits, plastic paving, permeable paving, exterior planting support structures, and equestrian surfacing.

Division 33−Utilities
This division underwent a comprehensive, top-to-bottom revision, which addresses all types of ‘outside-the-fence’ utilities, including water, wastewater, stormwater, hydrocarbons (e.g. petroleum and natural gas), hydronic and steam energy, high- and extra-high voltage electrical, and communications. These revisions (as well as those to Divisions 35 and 41 mentioned later in this article) are the culmination of a nine-year process undertaken by an ad-hoc working group, the Environmental Engineers Coalition. (It comprises representatives of 10 major firms with significant practice in the fields of environmental, process, utilities, and waster/wastewater construction.) For more on the changes, read the online feature on The Construction Specifier website.

Division 35−Waterway and Marine Construction
Significant revisions under 35 20 00−Waterway and Marine Construction and Equipment were made, covering general fabrications such as bulkheads, penstocks, and debris cages, along with large hydraulic gates (e.g. tainter, miter, and spillway crest) and various types of dredging.

Division 41−Materials Processing and Handling Equipment
Revisions under 41 01 00 and 41 20 00 expanded and enhanced the work results listings for silos, hoppers, and storage bins used for granular bulk materials such as fly ash, dry chemicals, agricultural products, and other materials.

Division 45− Industry-specific Manufacturing Equipment
A new Level 2 for biopharmaceutical manufacturing equipment was added.

Division 46−Water and Wastewater Equipment
Vapour compression distillation units were added.

Division 48−Electrical Power Generation
Maintenance of substation equipment and various listings for combined heat-and-power systems were added to this division.

Don’t live in the past
MasterFormat’s 2016 edition is the latest, greatest resource for organizing project manuals, specifications, and other construction-related data.

Holdouts still using the grossly outdated 16-division MasterFormat must now switch to the 50-division version. It has become increasingly difficult to find industry resources organized in the old format, which has been out of date for a dozen years. The 50-division format is considerably better than its 20th century predecessors and, as this article demonstrates, continues to further improve every two years.

The new resource is expected to be available shortly from CSC and CSIlook for announcements soon.

O'Beirne - 2013-07Kevin O’Beirne, PE, CSI, CCS, CCCA, is a manager of standard construction documents in the Buffalo, New York, office of Arcadis—a global engineering firm. A professional engineer licensed in New York and Pennsylvania, he is an active member and past-chair of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee, and a member of CSI’s MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team. He can be reached at


mark kalinMark Kalin, FAIA, FCSI, CCS, is president of specifications writing and consulting firm Kalin Associates in Newton, Massachusetts, and the chair of CSI’s MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team. A past-chair of CSI’s Technical Committee and American Institute of Architects’ (AIA’s) MasterSpec Review Committee, he has previously served as president of both CSI’s Boston Chapter, and the Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice (SCIP). Kalin can be reached at

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