The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is proposing that the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) revise its standard specification format to include a new division on Integrated Building Systems. Brooke Stauffer, NECA's director of codes and standards, made the announcement during a panel discussion on specification issues at the recent Electric East 2001 show in Orlando.

“CSI's MasterFormat system has proved its value to our industry over nearly 40 years of use,” Stauffer told the audience. “Now it needs to be updated to reflect the rapid evolution in electrical power, communications and computerized control systems. NECA intends its revision to help bring the construction industry's leading spec system into the 21st century. In particular, we think MasterFormat should reflect the reality of today's fully integrated, fully networked buildings.”

NECA proposes consolidating all the electrical power, communications and control systems, currently scattered throughout various parts of the MasterFormat system, into a brand-new division entitled “Integrated Building Systems.” This approach is said to provide these major benefits to those who specify, construct, own and occupy new buildings.

  • Improved construction efficiency and scheduling;

  • Better integration of all building electrical and electronic systems including telecommunications, life safety, security access control and local area networks (LANs);

  • One-point responsibility for the installation and proper functioning of interrelated power, communications and control subsystems;

  • Improved compliance with National Electrical Code (NEC) safety requirements for grounding and firestopping, which are critical to the safety of building occupants.