In 2004, CSI introduced the new 50 division masterspec system to replace the previous 16 division system that had been in use for decades before. We have been using the 28 xx xx section numbers on our security/surveillance specifications since at least 2006.
Regardless of numbering, many architects, engineers and general contractors still consider security/surveillance and other low voltage systems to be a subset of the electrical trades, and their first instinct is to funnel this type of work through the project electrical contractor.
This issue goes far beyond how specifications are numbered and simply renumbering specification sections won't solve the problem.
It's really up to the general contractor to decide who does the work of each specification section, as he assumes legal responsibility for the final outcome of the project. Most owners and architects give the general contractor wide latitude in choosing how he wishes to divide up the work and who he chooses to issue subcontracts to. The thinking is, the more specifically you tell the contactor how to do his job, the less ability you have to hold him responsible for the outcome.
I have lost many a battle with architects and owners trying to control who does the security/surveillance work on a project. In some cases, with the owner's backing, I have been successful, but in many more cases, the general contractor pretty much does as he pleases once he is awarded the contract. I have been fighting this problem for 29 years now and still don't have the answer.
Novice specification writers think that they can insert a laundry list of requirements into a specification ("must be specialty contractor in business for at least 10 years", "must have done at least 15 jobs of a similar type","must be factory certified by ABC and XYZ", must maintain local spare parts inventory", etc.), but in most cases these clauses are unenforceable and will simply be ignored by the general contractor.
Most general contractors prefer to deal with as few subcontractors on a project as possible, and for this reason alone, prefer to give the security/surveillance and other low voltage work to the electrical contractor rather than hiring 3 or 4 additional specialty subcontractors.
I have used the CSI format for years and believe its the best thing out there. It’s easy to understand, well known by design pros and most contractors and subs and it’s layout simply makes sense. That said, the format may be a bit unfamiliar to many integrators ... perhaps because most jobs they do are not designed by a professional security designer/consultant or even (yes even) a professional engineer (PE). Here is a link to the CSI Masterformate complete with a description of the three level numbering systems CSI introduced in 04. Division 28 (the first level) is assigned to “Electronic Safety and Security” and it is this division where all your specs for security systems should be found. Prior to 2004, I would put security systems in Div 16 (Electrical) as that was the most logical place. Typically Electronic Access Controls and Intrusion Detection are now found in section 28 10 00 and Electronic Surveillance in 28 20 00.
It is noted that a number of other sections are/may be relevant to security systems—Division 08 (Openings) being the most obvious. My preference is Section 08 74 00 (Access Control Hardware), but you can also find electrical door hardware in the Finish Hardware Section (Section 08 71 00). Other divisions (i.e. Division 26 Electrical, Division 27 Communications, Division 14 Conveying Equipment) are also often involved.
Check out the link. I think you will find more answers. You can also purchase a number of explanatory publications from www.CSInet.org .
IPVMU Certified | 03/11/16 06:19pm
I have seen Access information under div 10 Locks. I see with frequency Division 28 on bid sets everyday
I don't have any problem or confusion with my specs in Div 28. In fact, it works for me by separating all safety stuff. Often the integrator is capable of bidding all the Div 28 items which sweetens the deal for the integrator. I also coordinate my work closely with Div 8 using an independent hardware consultant who works for me or the architect. We have a way of specifying all the hardware under Div 8, while segregating each hardware set into categories if we want the Integrator to bid the electrical hardware. Its really the best way to do it and make sure new doors are properly templated.
I recall reading one study that said door hardware was the top coordination problem listed by architects. To ease the burden, the project architect will assign hardware scheduling to a manufacturer. Pretty sweet deal for the manufacturer. I have an Independent Hardware Consultant who tries to save cost for the owner by specifying needed hardware for the project (i.e. maybe only one leaf of a door pair needs to be electrified, or he specifies a retrofit kit for $200 instead of two new exit devices ($4000 or more).
IPVMU Certified | 03/11/16 09:37pm
"To ease the burden, the project architect will assign hardware scheduling to a manufacturer. Pretty sweet deal for the manufacturer."
Indeed. See: Should Manufacturers Write A&E Specs?
We use Div 28 for every spec we write. 280500 for General/ Common Work Results, then all of the subsections where applicable, though I do tend to pull wiring into General for simple projects.
No one mentioning how Union and NECA trades are all fighting to secure low voltage work underneath their scope of work. Although many installers in the Union are being factory certified, the certifications are too easy to pass, do not really give a core understanding of the application and theory. Very few diamonds in the rough among a bunch of knucklehead electricians.
Smithee Solutions LLC
Commenting in 2020 on a 2014 post. Consultants do know about Div 28. IIRC it even includes cyber stuff. At least some people who create A&E specs know about it as far as I can tell. Glad to hear that it works out for at least some folks.
Now, could someone help get customers to stop pulling their 2002 A&E specs when they go back for a new system? "Must work with a coal bin holding at least 2 cubic yards of West Virginia's finest", "must use knob-and-tube wiring with black and white wires and green beads", "must work with <insert dead card vendor's name here> using <insert dead reader vendor's name here>", stuff like that.