Construction Specifications Institute Master Format™ 2004 & Divisions of Work: How They Are Used In CDCNews’ Lead Manager™

Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Master Format™ 2004 (MF 2004) is the specifications-writing standard for most commercial building design and construction projects in North America and is what CDCNews (CDC) uses to enter Divisions of Work (DOW) in project listings in Lead Manager™ (LM).

The highest levels of organization are +GROUPS, SUBGROUPS, & *DIVISIONS as shown in the table below. MF 2004 increased the quantity of divisions from 16 (CSI MF 1995) to 50 numbered 00 – 49 with 35 active *Divisions and 15 Reserved for Future Expansion


NOTE: To view the entire CSI MF 2004 Numbers & Titles manual visit


Section Numbers and Titles: numbers and titles are assigned for thousands of trade specific items. MF 2004 numbers generally have three pairs of numbers organized as 6-digits (00 00 00) with each pair defining a level of specificity.


For a better understanding of MF 2004 divisions and levels and how they are posted into project listings in LM, “painting” which is in Division 09 Finishes will be used for comparison.


Within Leads, the data entry application CDC’s editorial staff uses to enter DOW into project details, DOW’s are organized into four levels, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 and only given a Level 1 number, i.e. Div09 for all 4 Level Titles:

As compared to CSI MF 2004’s 6-digit numbering system, i.e. 09 00 00:


*NOTE: Actual project listings in LM may have additional division 9 titles and may not have all 4 level titles posted in the project details.


  1. 1 Level Title: Div9 gypsum board assemblies, metal furring, non-structural metal framing, portland cement plastering, ceramic tiling, acoustical panel ceilings, resilient flooring, carpeting, exterior painting, interior painting

  2. 2 Level Titles: Div9
    finishes, gypsum board, tiling, acoustical tile ceilings, resilient base and accessories, resilient sheet flooring, resilient tile flooring, sheet carpeting, exterior painting, interior painting

  3. 3 Level Titles: Div9 finishes, tiling, ceilings, flooring, carpeting, wall finishes, painting and coating, painting, exterior painting, interior painting

  4. 4 Level Titles: Div9 finishes, plaster and gypsum board, plaster and gypsum board assemblies, gypsum board assemblies, tiling, ceilings, acoustical ceilings, flooring, resilient flooring, carpeting, painting and coating, painting, exterior painting, interior painting


In order to assure all projects listed in LM are consistent in all coverage areas, CDC Editorial Reporters have a style manual and guidelines to follow with regard to DOW. The list below is a brief summary.

  • All projects should have DOW listed when available. This includes Heavy & Highway, Sewer & Water, Specialty Trades and Material & Maintenance jobs.
  • If there are no specific trades, a more generic code should be used.
  • If the trade is in the title, it should definitely be in the DOW.
  • Specialty Trade jobs should have the appropriate division listed at the initial entry.
  • If there are any trades listed in generic details, they should also be listed in the corresponding Divisions field in Leads.
  • If the project has separate bid packages or multiple prime bidding contracts, then the corresponding DOW items should be selected.
  • On private sector projects contracting to subcontractors, it is necessary to report as many items in the Divisions section as possible, regardless of those trades that are being identified and solicited for bid. Once these division items have been identified, they should not be removed from the project.
  • When adding DOW, select the appropriate Level 1 category and the Level 2 categories will populate in the second column. When selecting the appropriate Level 2 category, in most instances, the Level 3 trades will populate in the third column, and so forth.

NOTE: When adding Level 2, 3 and 4 trades, the corresponding Level 1 category should be added to the report as well to make the report easier to find using keyword searching by our online subscribers.


  • New Construction: Ground up construction of a general building project involving multiple trades.
  • Addition: Either the ground up construction adjacent and connected to an existing structure involving multiple trades (e.g., the addition of a wing to a hospital), or the adding on of space to an existing structure involving multiple trades (e.g., a third floor addition to an existing two-story building).
  • Renovation: As defined by CDC, general building trades-type construction in or to an existing structure requiring more than three trades.
  • Alteration: As defined by CDC, general building trades-type construction in or to an existing structure requiring three or fewer trades and all Engineering projects.


In LM, after selecting the required fields of State, County, Time Frame (All 90-Days default), Section and Stage, the remaining selections are all optional. The more selections made beyond the required fields, the fewer projects obtained in the search results.

NOTE: In order to choose all selections for Construction Type, Bid Type and Divisions, leave boxes un-checked to select all.

If after determining trade specific Division(s) are needed for a particular Sub-Contractor, check the appropriate box(es).

NOTE: When selecting one or more Divisions AND adding keyword(s), a project MUST have the selected Division(s) listed AND one of the keyword(s) entered in the project’s details in order to post in the search results. Refer to the results below to see how adding more search criteria decreases the actual search results obtained. In the example below the following search criteria was initially used:

All States>All Counties>All 90-Days>General Building>Planning / Bidding / Sub Bids>New Construction

RESULTS: 7187 Projects

After checking the Div 09 – Finishes checkbox

RESULTS: 6491 Projects

NOTE: The decrease in the number of projects was due to new construction projects such as parking garages, pre-manufactured structures, etc. that did not require painting.

However, the search results are drastically reduced when adding Level 2, 3 and 4 titles.

NOTE: While there may be the need to use keyword searches in order to locate specialized products, trades or services, think about all the components that are needed in building new construction, as well as, addition, alteration and renovation projects before you commit to relying on keyword searches to find the types of projects you are seeking.

EXAMPLES: Site Work, Landscaping, Irrigation, Paving, Curbs and Sidewalks, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Doors, Windows, Drywall, Painting, Roofing, to name just a few.

For additional information or assistance with searching for projects in Lead Manager™ using DOW’s and keywords, please call us at (800)652-0008 to speak to your Account Manager, or to have a Product Specialist walk you through Lead Manager™.

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