How to Read Specifications

Writing and reading specifications is like a language.  You need to know the vocabulary (the words) and the rules for combining words into sentences and paragraphs.  Most 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.  We have taken a different path, to help us communicate precisely with professional home designers, architects, engineers and capable contractors.  We follow the most widely used language in North America, the MasterFormat® developed and regularly improved by the Construction Specifications Institute (“CSI”).  Everything is organized in 49 sections, summarized below (the most common for our products in bold print):

  • Division 01 General Requirements (general description of building, building code, quality standards, engineering loads (snow, wind, seismic).
  • Division 02 Existing Conditions (applies to work on site by others)
  • Division 03 Concrete (generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
  • Division 04 Masonry (stone, brick and concrete block, generally done on site by others and rarely involves our products)
  • Division 05 Metals (Involves our products with steel transportation frames or embedded steel beams)
  • Division 06 Wood, Plastics and Composites (floor, wall and roof framing, sheathing and decking, moldings and other millwork)
  • Division 07 Thermal and moisture protection (insulation, building wraps and vapor barriers, roofing, siding and sealants)
  • Division 08 Openings (doors, door hardware, openings without doors, access panels, windows)
  • Division 09 Finishes (drywall and other wall and ceiling finishes, flooring, paint)
  • Division 10 Specialties (bathroom accessories, shelving, exterior trim like shutters)
  • Division 11 Equipment (appliances)
  • Division 12 Furnishings (window treatments, cabinets and countertops, occasionally furniture)
  • Division 13 Special Construction (unique aspects of factory-built housing such as transportation method, materials shipped loose by us for installation by others and installation services by our own modular setup crews – US only)
  • Division 14 Conveying equipment (elevators, escalators, etc.)
  • Divisions 15-20 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 21 Fire Suppression (sprinkler systems)
  • Division 22 Plumbing (piping and fixtures)
  • Division 23 Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning  (furnaces and other heating equipment, air conditioners, ductwork, ventilation fans)
  • Division 24 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 25 Integrated Automation (electronic control systems rarely used in homes)
  • Division 26 Electrical (wiring and lighting)
  • Division 27 Communications (wiring and fixtures for phone, TV and data)
  • Division 28 Electronic Safety and Security (smoke and CO detectors and alarm systems)
  • Divisions 29-30 (Reserved by CSI for future use)
  • Division 31 Earthwork (on-site work by others)
  • Division 32 Exterior Improvements (on-site work by others)
  • Division 33 Utilities (bringing water, sewer, fuel and power to your home – on-site work by others)
  • Divisions 34-49 are for public, commercial and industrial construction

In our specifications we describe the materials and assembly methods we use.  The specifications also provide guidance to your builder on the boundaries between the work we do in the factory and the work that must be completed at your home site.