Frequently asked questions

Question 1:

Who owns the National Master Specification (NMS)?

Answer to question 1:

The NMS is owned by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). However everybody in the Canadian construction industry has a vested interest in ensuring that the NMS is kept current and accurate since the NMS plays a major role in construction specifications in Canada.

Question 2:

Where can I get a copy of the NMS?

Answer to question 2:

The NMS is sold by private sector organizations on behalf of NRC. Visit the NMS Publishers page.

Question 3:

Do I have to purchase a complete set if I only work with a single discipline within the construction industry?

Answer to question 3:

No. In addition to being sold as a complete set, the NMS is available in packages tailored for specific industry need. NMS packages currently available are:

  • Air Transportation Package
  • Building Services Package
  • Conservation Package
  • Electrical Package
  • Heavy Civil Engineering Package
  • Interior Design Package
  • Landscape Architectural Package
  • Mechanical Package
  • Performance-based Package
  • Structural Engineering Package

Each package includes a copy of Division 01 of the NMS. The NMS is also sold by individual divisions and individual sections.

Question 4:

Who updates the NMS Sections?

Answer to question 4:

Although the responsibility for ensuring that the NMS is current lies with NRC, the research and review of each section is carried out by discipline specialists from both the public and private sectors. Since the NMS is used in all regions of the country, reviewers are asked to ensure that regional differences are taken into account and included in the NMS.

Question 5:

How does the NMS address environmental responsibility and sustainability?

Answer to question 5:

The NMS includes SPEC NOTES specifically dealing with this subject, which assist the specification writer in making appropriate environmental and sustainable choices. In addition NRC is continually updating individual sections to accommodate projects that might be seeking LEED requirements and accreditation.

Question 6:

What software do I need to be able to work with the NMS?

Answer to question 6:

All publishers offer NMS sections for use with commercially available software and word processor packages. Depending on your requirements, you can select from various packages available from the NMS publishers. Some offer straight text with few enhancements and others offer specification-editing systems with macros that work with the word processing software to help you more easily manage your specification projects.

Two of our publishers offer proprietary software specifically designed for editing master specification systems.

For further information on NMS-Edit Professional, contact Innovative Technology Inc.

For further information about Specnique, contact Digicon Information Inc. or Spex.ca.

Question 7:

Who should I contact if I need to talk to someone about sections in a specific division of the NMS?

Answer to question 7:

Contact NRC directly.

Question 8:

Who should I contact for general inquiries about the NMS?

Answer to question 8:

Contact NRC with your inquiry.

Question 9:

How can I get involved in the review of NMS sections?

Answer to question 9:

Contact NRC directly to get involved in the review of NMS sections.

Question 10:

How can I get my product listed in the NMS?

Answer to question 10:

The NMS is a generic master specification system. It does not list manufacturer's names or product and trade names. However, NRC takes every opportunity to ensure that the characteristics, physical properties and criteria for each manufacturer's products are incorporated into the appropriate sections of the NMS.

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