What is CSI format?

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CSI format is the short term for Master Format, a standard for organizing various specifications as created by CSI or the Construction Specifications Institute of the US and the Construction Specifications Canada.  Master Format or the CSI format is considered the most comprehensive tool in terms of organizing several specifications involved in a building project.  Through the CSI format, people can easily locate the necessary information and detail regarding various specifications in a project including building design, requirements, and cost management among others.

Building project specifications were organized using 16 different divisions until 2004 wherein the divisions are expanded to a total of 50. Each of these divisions contains various sections which are then divided into several parts.  Through this organizational standard, the location of information can easily be retrieved as the divisions and sections are presented in an outline form.  Aside from easy information retrieval, the CSI format also helps improve or enhance the communication between all members of a particular building or construction project.  If a team manager for examples requires his members to constantly deliver updates regarding budgets and timelines, retrieving relevant information can be easily done through the organization feature of the CSI format.  With valuable information such as the construction timeline easily and readily retrieved, building projects can easily be monitored each step of the way.  With easy monitoring through the CSI format, various concerns like budget management can also be managed more efficiently each step in the process.

The use of Mater Format or the CSI format is not limited to a select group of industries.  Various government and private organizations in the US take advantage of this organization standard in order to help with the building design and construction process.  The CSI format is also widely accepted among engineers, project managers, architects, and contractors including those that come from big organizations such as NASA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the NAVFAC or the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

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