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MasterSpec is a master guide building and construction specification system for use by architects, engineers, landscape architects and other design professionals. MasterSpec is published by Architectural Computer Services (ARCOM) for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). It was developed in 1969 by the AIA to provide architects a means to create technical specifications without spending a lot of time researching products and writing the technical specifications from scratch.


Today, MasterSpec consists of over 600 sections packaged in practice-specific libraries, following the MasterFormat 2012 organization standard:

  • Architectural/Structural/Civil
  • Interiors
  • Roofing/Waterproofing
  • Security and Detention
  • Structural/Civil/Landscape
  • Structural
  • Site Civil
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Mechanical/Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Communications
  • Fire Protection
  • Procurement and General Requirements
  • Comprehensive (all sections)

Each MasterSpec section consists of 5 components:

  • Cover–Overview of section scope and content
  • Evaluations—Qualitative overview of products and discussion of recent technologies, including:
  • Testing procedures and applicable codes
  • Application and implementation suggestions
  • Environmental considerations, green building, or LEED information
  • References and standards
  • Links to the manufacturer and standards organizations
  • Master guide technical specifications in three-part CSI format along with editor's notes (instructions) and cross-references to Evaluations.
  • Drawing Coordination Checklist: -- Checklist of items to coordinate this section with the drawings.
  • Specification Coordination Checklist—Checklist of items to coordinate this section with other sections.


The MasterSpec technical specifications are available in three distinct formats or type:

  • Full Length —For moderate- to large-scale, complex projects and varied bidding and contracting situations
  • Short Form—Abridged versions of the most common specifications.
  • Outline—Corresponding outline specifications for use during design development and schematic phases


External links[edit]