Division 12: The Architects News

The Construction Specification Institute, known as CSI, creates for the Architectural community the specification codes known as the MasterFormat. MasterFormat is the master list of titles and numbers used to organize specifications and other project information for most commercial building design and construction projects in North America. While this is a very helpful tool for Specifiers, the codes for Window Treatments 12 20 00 are literally obsolete.

Here is a list of the division codes for 12 20 00 Window Treatments:


Looking at these categories there are several that are no longer relevant in the industry. Some of the products listed above had their best days 20-30 years ago. I can’t remember the last time I installed Metal Vertical Louver Blinds 12 21 16.13. No wonder the specifications for Window Treatments are typically lacking when I do take offs.

I would like to propose a rewriting of these categories into three groups: Blinds, Shades and Draperies. The Blind group would consist of any window covering product that has a horizontal or vertical louver. These would include: Aluminum Horizontal Blinds, Wood Horizontal Blinds, Faux Wood Horizontal Blinds, Vertical Blinds, and Shutters.

The Shade group is a collection of products that is a panel of fabrics that roll, pleat, fold or slide. This would include: Roller Shades, Blackout Roller Shades, Exterior Shades, Panel Track, Skylight Shades, Woven Shades, Roman Shades and Cellular Shades. Currently Exterior Shades is in Division 10 Specialties.

The last group is Draperies. Draperies would consolidate Cubicle and Stage Curtains from Division 10 into this group which includes: Operable Draperies, Fixed Draperies, Stage Curtains, Cubicle Curtains and Drapery Hardware.

My goal is for Architects to consider Window Coverings as Engineered Shading Solutions. This can only be done by taking the first baby step of giving proper names to the current product categories. Today’s Window Coverings are an integral part of the Dynamic Façade, just as important as HVAC and Lighting. Today’s most sustainable buildings include Engineered Shading Solutions in its design. Understanding the current mix of what’s in the toolbox is just the beginning.

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