CSI MasterFormat Division Overlapping?



  • Avatar
    Rebekka O'Melia (Edited )

    Yes, you should memorize the basic outline, # 1-15.

    There is no overlap.  And the Division # proceed from the beginning of the project demo & site work, through close-out.

    This is an acceptable CSI MasterFormat outline.  https://www.arcat.com/divs/building_products.shtml

    I cannot seem to locate CSI's online easily.

    As you've noticed, most (but not all) metals are 05.  Metal roof flashing is 07 in the roofing section.

    Get familiar with specs at work and it will make more sense.

    Hope this helps!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP,  Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Matthew Bowers (Edited )

    Teng -

    The most fundamental way to think about specification divisions is to visualize the construction sequence. For the exam, you really only need to know Divisions 00-14. Below is an excerpt pasted from my notes regarding the numbering and sequence:

    • CSI Division Sequencing
      • Architectural design typically involves Divisions 02 to 14 of the Facilities Construction subgroup - used on basically all projects
      • The first several divisions may be deduced by visualizing the sequence of operations required in constructing a simple building. Below is an illustration of a simple load-bearing masonry wall building with steel joists and plywood decking:

    00) Procurement & Contracting Requirements: this division / group comes into effect when the project is ready for soliciting bids for construction - i.e., during the pre-construction phase

    • In addition to bidding and contract information, it also includes available project information, like surveying, seismicity, and geotechnical reports

    01) General Requirements: Before beginning with the coverage of individual material and products, MasterFormat covers General information that applies to the whole project

    • Describes administrative and procedural requirements of the project
    • Includes information related to owner and contractor, like price and payment procedure, product substitution procedure, contract modification procedure, waste management, and general commissioning requirements
    • Division 01 comes into effect during the construction phase (in contrast to Division 00), but all parties involved in the project (owner & contractor) must be aware of their respective roles and obligations, detailed in this provision, before signing the construction contract

    02) Existing Conditions: The first operation is to deal with Existing Conditions by preparing site for foundations (Earthwork, Division 31, falls under Site & Infrastructure subgroup)

    • Includes demolition of existing structures, site remediation, contaminated material removal, and water remediation

    03) Concrete: The next operation is to construct the foundations, which are poured in Concrete

    • Includes reinforcement (like rebar) and formwork
    • Note that this also includes grouting

    04) Masonry: After foundations have been completed Masonry work for the walls can begin

    • Includes both manufactured and natural (stone) masonry
    • Note that this also includes mortar

    05) Metals: After the walls are completed, Steel roof joists can be placed

    • Structural framing, metal joists, metal decking, etc.

    06) Wood, Plastics, & Composites: After the joists are placed, the Wood roof decking can be installed

    • Rough/finish carpentry, structural plastics/composites, etc.

    07) Thermal & Moisture Protection: After the roof deck is erected, it must be Insulated and protected from Moisture - this includes roofing & waterproofing, as well as insulating materials (incl. cladding, like EIFS) & joint sealants

    • Weather barriers, membranes, metal flashing, etc.

    08) Openings: The next step is to protect the rest of the envelope - this includes all doors and windows, regardless of whether they are made from steel, aluminum, or wood

    • Includes curtainwalls, storefronts, windows, louvers, etc.

    09) Finishes: With the envelope protected, interior drywall, flooring, and ceiling Finishes can be installed

    • Includes tiling, acoustic treatment, painting, etc.

    10) Specialties: Additional Specialty finishes, like toilet partitions, storage shelving, and movable partitions can be installed

    • This includes prefabricated materials that do not fall under previous divisions

    11) Equipment: The building must now receive all the necessary office, kitchen, laboratory, or other Equipment

    12) Furnishings: The building may finally be Furnished with window treatments, casework, furniture, etc.

    13) Special Construction: Includes items that are generally fabricated on-site, but not covered in other divisions

    14) Conveying Equipment: Includes elevators, escalators, etc.

    (I apologize for formatting, as all I did was copy/paste)


    In your wood flooring example, think about this: Would you be installing wood flooring at the same point in the construction sequence as you'd be sheathing the facade and installing roof decking? No. Before installing flooring, you'd need to dry in that exterior sheathing and decking (Division 06) with thermal and moisture protection (Division 07), followed by sealing all remaining openings (Division 08). At that point, you'd be able to install your flooring finish (Division 09). This is the same point at which you'd be hanging your ceiling finish and installing drywall.

    In your metal flashing example, think about it like this: Are you going to be installing flashing at the same time as your structural columns and joists? No. After hanging your joists (Division 05), you'll need to install your plywood decking (Division 06). Once that is complete, you're ready to dry in the building and insulate the building with thermal and moisture protection (Division 07). In addition to your vapor barrier and roofing membrane, this step would also include your metal flashing and sealant. Note that rebar would be another example of this exception - although it's a metal, it's used when pouring concrete (Division 03), and therefore falls under that division.

    Do you have Building Construction Illustrated? If so, refer to A.19 & A.20 for for a concise list of what falls under each division. Navigating the complete division and title lists can otherwise be overwhelming.

    Also, take advantage of YouTube. Below are a couple resources that may be helpful:

    I hope you find this useful. This sequencing concept is what made everything 'click' for me.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Gang Chen

    If you have work experience, it will help you to answer questions like these:

    You will find wood flooring on the finish schedule of a set of construction documents, so it goes to 09-Finishes.

    Metal flashing’s main function is to keep water out, so it goes to 07-Thermal and Moisture Protection. 05-Metal is mainly for structural steel.

    I think if you get a complete set of construction documents and read it from beginning to end, or flip through it a few times, this will definitely help you to pass the ARE exams. After all, the ARE exams aim to help you become a qualified architect.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Teng Long

    Rebecca and Matt thank you both for answering my question!

    Matt - The explanation you shared is AMAZING. The sequencing totally makes sense and it makes everything "click" for me now. Many many thanks again.

    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk