MasterFormat Expands Definition of Plaster Cement

CYPRESS, CA - A major construction industry organization has decided that "cement plaster" can be made with other materials besides ordinary portland cement. Its action clears the path for architects who want to specify plaster made with new types of cements.

MasterFormat, the system design professionals use to organize building product information, will have new names for the section numbers that deal with plaster cement. Section 09 24 00, formerly titled Portland Cement Plaster, is now simply Cement Plaster. Similarly, "portland" is no longer in the titles of Section 09 24 23 Cement Stucco and Section 09 24 33 Cement Parging. By making the change, MasterFormat's publishers, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC), are keeping pace with recent advances in the industry, such as the growing popularity of plasters made with rapid-setting calcium sulfo-aluminate (CSA) cement.

The change was proposed by Creighton Maher, a 32-year industry veteran and sales manager for CTS Cement Manufacturing Corporation's Rapid Set Eisenwall rapid-setting plaster products. He recognized that his customers were having difficulty specifying specialty cement plasters because they did not fit into the exact definitions of the existing section numbers.

"The technology of cement is expanding, and the design community wants access to the benefits of the new materials," comments Maher. "Portland cement has been around for over 150 years, other kinds of cement have also been developed. Materials scientists and engineers are advancing the industry and, happily, design professionals are ready to take advantage of these improvements. We applaud CSI and CSC for acknowledging the wide range of available options."

MasterFormat is used by designers and builders for organizing specifications, cost estimates, and other construction information. The current version of MasterFormat was published in 2004, and is revised on an annual basis to keep it current with industry practices.

"MasterFormat's revision of the plaster section names demonstrates the design community's interest in improving building performance," explains Michael Chusid, RA, FCSI, a member of CSI's MasterFormat Implementation Task Team. "By taking this initiative, CTS Cement, an innovator in cement technology, has shown leadership that will benefit the entire industry."

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