MasterFormat is a coding system for organizing construction documents, contracts, design specifications, and operational manuals. It uses specific numbers and associated titles that make up a universal indexing system. MasterFormat is also a publication created and maintained by the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC). It is widely used in the construction and operation of buildings and systems in a variety of industries and projects, from hospitals and public infrastructure to schools and residential construction.
One of the most important benefits of MasterFormat is improved communication between project groups, most notably between the design and construction teams. It allows all team members to refer to specific sections of any document using the universal coding system. This facilitates coordination and communication between project owners, architects, contractors, and suppliers, minimizing the time spent organizing documents.
For industries with complex operations, such as health care, MasterFormat helps communicate and organize critical operational information among designers, builders, operations managers, and facility owners. In addition, as these and many other industries are increasingly using building information modeling, or BIM, MasterFormat can be used by modeling software to enhance data interoperability and improve BIM adoption.
The MasterFormat system can be used to organize many types of project documents, including: