The importance of concrete polishing in construction has been given official recognition with the creation of a new section in the MasterFormat system published by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC). The new section number and name, 03 35 43 - Polished Concrete Finishing, underscores the burgeoning use of polished concrete, and gives design professionals a unique category for specifying appropriate materials- and performance-requirements.
The new section was created in response to a proposal initiated by David Loe, a veteran concrete polisher and president of Lythic Solutions, Inc., Vancouver, WA, makers of colloidal silica-based densifiers for concrete polishing and maintenance. Loe perceived a significant omission in the MasterFormat concrete finishing sections, which previously had section numbers for techniques such as colored concrete, stamped concrete, and grooved concrete, but gave no consistent way to refer to polished concrete.
"Concrete polishing has become a standard tool in the design professional's toolkit," relates David Loe. "We believe designers need a standard means of specifying it, so they can get the results they envision. We are gratified that MasterFormat has taken this important step, giving the design community a precise means to work with polished concrete to achieve aesthetic, practical, and sustainability goals. It is our hope that it will benefit the polishing industry, too, by helping us achieve more consistent professional standards."
The creation of a unique section number in MasterFormat is indicative of the maturation of the concrete polishing industry during the past 10 years. MasterFormat is the system used by design professionals throughout North America for organizing construction information. The current version of MasterFormat was published in 2004, but as of 2009, it has instituted an annual revision process to keep it current with industry needs and practices. Proposals submitted by April 30 are reviewed at a meeting of the MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team (MMTT) in July, and posted to the masterformat.com website in September. MMTT is a group of CSI and CSC members appointed annually by the presidents of CSI and CSC.
"The creation of this new section is a coming-of-age milestone for polished concrete," explains Michael Chusid, RA, FCSI, a member of CSI's MasterFormat Implementation Task Team. "It means that the design community now regards polished concrete as an essential construction option. Lythic's initiative in proposing this change is indicative of the company's leadership position in advancing concrete polishing as an art and a science."