Hi-Tech Housing’s Specifications

Historically, companies that build homes in factories have evolved their own unique way to write specifications.  Most organize their specifications according to the order in which things are assembled in their factories.  Since every factory is a little different, there are a lot of languages.  At its inception, Hi-Tech did the same.  As our business evolved, we encountered more and more projects for which the specifications were developed by professional home designers, architects, engineers and major general contractors.  We found ourselves spending considerable effort translating specifications in the MasterFormat® developed and regularly improved by the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”) into our specification format and back.  Ultimately, we decided to convert all of our systems, from bidding to shop-floor information, into the six-digit MasterFormat®   The sections which typically involve our work are in a bold font on the linked chart.  (Link: MasterFormat® ) 

Hi-Tech Housing has a “standard” set of specifications for multi-family and commercial projects.  It’s just a way to organize and provide a beginning point for the actual specifications.  You can download copies of the IBC and NBCC versions in the resources section of this web site.  This basic specification covers the structural and thermal envelopes with some basic starting points for mechanicals.  Roofing, siding, flooring and lighting are completely optional.

If you have already established specifications, whether embedded in the plans or in a separate document, we will match them as closely as possible, thoroughly discussing any instances of materials that are incompatible with off-site construction or which are unavailable.  We’ll also suggest substitutions that we think might be more cost-effective.

Hi-Tech Housing works regularly with five building codes.

  • International Building Code (“IBC”)
    Applies to most of our permanent multi-family and commercial project in the US.  Relocatable commercial modules with permanent steel chasses, such as some drill-site structures and office modules can be built under this code.
  • International Residential Code
    Applies to some projects, including some drill-site barracks.
  • National Building Code of Canada/CSA-A277) (“NBCC”)
    Applies to most of our multi-family and commercial projects in Canada.  Section 9 applies those projects that are the equivalent of the IRC in the US.  The application of the NBCC to off-site construction has been codified in the Canadian Standards Association (“CSA”) A277 code.
  • Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Code (US)
    This code never applies to multi-family structures, but has some use in government-purchased emergency housing.
  • Canadian Relocatable Homes/CSA-Z240, Z241 and A277 on-frame
    This code may also be invoked for structures intended to be permanent, but need an independent support structure for placement in perma-frost areas.
  • Other Codes
    Our company exports some homes outside the US and Canada, and is then subject to other codes.  Our company also builds multi-family and commercial structures in the US and Canada under the applicable codes.