Division 00 is the last division to be incorporated into MasterSpec, because specifiers and attorneys typically consider Division 00 documents as belonging to the owner rather than the architect or the engineer responsible for preparing the specifications. Most sizable facility owners or their construction managers have their own versions of Division 00 documents, likely assembled and modified over the years based on their bidding and construction experiences. These owner documents reflect an array of document drafting quality and coordination with the other documents contained in the procurement documents.
Why Division 00 Masters?
Specifiers are often faced with extensive coordination issues when incorporating owner-furnished documents, having to modify Division 01 and other documents to ensure that the final document package is clear, complete, concise, and correct. Or, specifiers may have to devote extensive effort working with owners to modify owner documents to bring them in line with the industry's best practices.
Division 00 project documents are often incorporated at the last minute when provided by owners or construction managers, which increases bidder uncertainty and results in requests for information requiring administrative time to resolve. Just as frequently, bidders/proposers avoid asking questions and adjust their markups to reflect the uncertainty represented by uncoordinated documents.
However, the most frequent and extensive effort faced by design professionals using owner-furnished Division 00 documents is resolution of confusion and conflict during construction contract administration. By this point in the project, problems have become more difficult and expensive to solve. Procurement requirements documents with undefined terms may now be incorporated into the contract documents at the request of the owner's attorneys, with unforeseen consequences. Nonstandard General Conditions clauses may generate more extensive claims and disputes, thus increasing costs to contractors, owners, and design professionals.
Coordination of Division 00 with Other Documents and Standards
It is in light of these circumstances that ARCOM has produced this initial group of 32 Division 00 documents and forms, coordinated with and incorporating the AIA Contract Documents, including the AIA's associated administrative forms. Like the rest of MasterSpec, the Division 00 documents are meant to serve as masters that will be edited and supplemented to reflect design firm and owner practices and project requirements. They are documents organized according to MasterFormat 2004. Where AIA Contract Documents exist, they are incorporated by reference. Practices recommended by the U.S. National CAD Standard (USNCS) have also been incorporated. Key forms incorporated into project manuals and meant to be edited by the bidder/proposer or contractor may readily be converted to PDF forms to support electronic submittal. The documents are formatted to enable use of ARCOM's SpecWare software.
Key to successful construction contract administration is coordination between Division 00 documents and Division 01 sections. MasterSpec Division 00 documents reflect this coordination effort.
If you'd like to learn more or see which Division 00 documents we've included, read the third quarter SpecPress newsletter or see the MasterSpec Consolidated Table of Contents.
Phil Kabza, FCSI, CCS, AIA, is Partner and Director of Technical Services for SpecGuy, a MasterSpec Strategic Partner.