MasterFormat (The Sequel)

Feb. 10, 2005
Specification numbers as you once knew them are gone. Last month, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), released the newly expanded MasterFormat™. Thanks to the forward thinking leadership at CSI, the new edition will help you deliver a technology-rich project on time and on budget. Its improved structure will help you better organize project manuals and develop scope-of-work documents that result in far better coordination between the trades.In any given commercial project, technology should now be no more risky than bricks and mortar. What was once categorized under divisions 11, 15, 16 and an occasional division 17, may now be found within the Facility Services Subgroup. When coordinating intelligent building materials, your plans should include integrated automation (25) communications (27) and electronic safety and security (28).As client expectations skyrocket, technology is becoming as vital as lighting, HVAC, plumbing and other facility services. And it’s expensive. Technology represents the fastest growing piece of the resource-allocation pie, so capitalize on the opportunity early. Control, communications and, of course, security are very important in today’s new-builds. Sadly, though, they aren’t often considered by the owner until late in the project. You can provide real value  by getting your clients to consider these issues before the walls are going up – not after they have cut holes into them.Building technology is also a practical and effective way to improve repeat business.  Even if the technology is furnished by the owner, you can make provisions that will be useful when the technology is purchased at a later date. Comprehensive technology plans increase a facility’s life cycle, a sure way to enhance client satisfaction. Technology strategies – whether they come at the onset or as retrofits –
 are valuable. Without ample consideration, no one wins – not the owner, the architectural firm nor the systems integrator.
MasterFormat and it’s implementation will be the topic of several sessions at the NSCA Systems Integration Expo®, March 10-12 in Orlando, FL’s OrangeCountyConvention Center. Experts from CSI and NSCA will lead discussions on how this new document has changed the face of commercial construction. This and hundreds of other classes will surround more than 600 exhibits of today’s latest electronic systems technology. Noteworthy for 2005, four Technology Pavilions will showcase electronic systems, including security/life safety sponsored by the PSA Security Network, digital signage, live sound and network integration. Products may be stand-alone audio, video or security – or they can be integrated into a single system. This is where NSCA members come into play.Finding the right technology consultant, contractor or systems integrator may be the best thing architects can do to improve client relationships and make the most of the client’s money on the next project.  Certainly, building and then remodeling isn’t the answer.  Look to NSCA and it’s members whenever you need a qualified technology partner. One of the best places to interact with NSCA members – and learn from the expert-led classes – is the Systems Integration Expo®. Find out more about both at

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