The National Master Specification (NMS) is the most comprehensive master specification in Canada serving as an easy-to-use framework for writing construction project specifications. To maintain their relevance, NRC publishes a series of updates on a quarterly basis. The following represents the latest set of updates.
NMS summary of updates 2019-01
The 2019-01 NMS publication includes:
- The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations as they were published in Canada Gazette, Part II, on October 17, 2018. Reference to this regulation was added to NMS sections in DIV01, DIV02, DIV07, DIV23 and DIV33.
- Revised Section 01 35 21 – LEED REQUIREMENTS, reflecting current sustainability requirements for renewable energy and regionally manufactured materials, recycled content and low-emitting materials.
- The addition of new NMS Section 07 08 13 – BUILDING ENCLOSURE PERFORMANCE TESTING, which includes general commissioning and verification procedures to support quality assurance for delivering high-performance building envelopes and for performing whole building air tightness testing.
- Updating technical content in DIV31 and DIV32, adding references to the new requirements of the Canadian Landscape Standard (CLS) and the Canadian Nursery Stock Standard (CNSS).
NMS summary of updates 2018-10
The 2018-10 NMS publication includes updates across several construction industry sectors. References to the most current codes, standards and the Canadian Construction Documents Committee (CCDC) documents were modified. These updates are highlighted below:
- DIV01: updating three NMS section to consistently communicate sustainability goals and requirements.
- DIV03: adding a new NMS sections; Pressure Grouting Rock. Adopting the new certification requirements for precast concrete manufacturers to enhance quality assurance for climate resilient commercial buildings.
- DIV05, DIV07, DIV08 and DIV09: modifying the requirements for ECOLOGO® certified building materials, chemicals and plastics to reduce environmental impact due to construction activities.
NMS summary of updates 2018-07
- Development of New Section 00 01 15 – List of Drawings Sheets; where the project’s “Drawing Sheets” are to be listed in a unique manner that maintains contract documentation consistency throughout the Project Manual.
- Development of New Section 02 22 10 – Existing Building Conditions Assessment; this new section underscores the importance of evaluating the existing building conditions before beginning retrofit work to improve energy efficiency or climate resiliency.
- Sustainability Requirements: A number of NMS sections in DIV02, DIV04, DIV05, DIV06, DIV07, DIV08, DIV09 and DIV22, were updated to consistently communicate sustainability goals and requirements.
NMS summary of updates 2018-04
The 2018-04 NMS publication includes major updates to meet construction industry demands and incorporated current codes and standards. Highlights include:
- DIV01 and 02: adopting new regulations of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 2015 for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for hazardous products sold, distributed or imported into Canada which replace the Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) format of previous WHMIS 1988 regulation. References across all NMS sections now reflect this change.
- DIV03: adding two new NMS sections; Concrete Restoration and Precast Concrete Cleaning: Water Pressure Method. Adoption of new certification requirements for precast concrete manufacturers to enhance quality assurance for climate resilient commercial and residential buildings, and to produce materials that are durable and can increase lifespan of structures.
- DIV04, 05, 06, 08, 09 and 33: updating technical standards and some editorial changes, such as reference standard names and Section reference numbers.
- DIV07: developing new technical content of section 07 84 00 – Fire Stopping, and updating requirements across several dozen related NMS sections. Developed with the Firestop Contractors International Association (FCIA) to capture industry best practices, offer options for quality assurance and align terminology with industry and National Building Code of Canada 2015 (NBC). Includes industry recommended practices for certification, use of design listings and alternative solutions, fire stop inspection/validation and identification/documentation procedures of fire stop systems in construction projects. Technical updates of the renumbered section 07 21 26.16 – Blown Insulation -Mineral Fibre, , adding new administrative requirements and updating products and procedures in order to better capture industry best practices.
- Implementing unit soft conversion of imperial units to metric units for dimensions related to spacing of framing elements.
NMS summary of updates 2018-01
The 2018-01 NMS publication includes two new sections, on designated substances reporting, as well as epoxy injection and chemical grouting.
Technical content in Divisions 01, 02, 03, 08, 22, 23, 25 and 26 were updated, and editorial changes were made to other Sections listed.
NMS summary of updates 2017-10
The 2017–10 NMS publication includes updates to technical content in Divisions 21, 22, 23, 33 and 42. Extensive editorial changes were made to all Sections listed as well as renumbering and renaming a large number of Sections in alignment with MasterFormat® 2016.
NMS summary of updates 2017-07
The 2017–07 NMS update releases adjustments for 41 NMS Sections as follows:
Updating 34 Sections to incorporate comments received from a range of stakeholders including Public Services and Procurement Canada, and the Department of National Defence
Adding two new NMS Sections to Division 02 to specify selective demolition only for exterior and interior building elements, considering sustainability requirements
Renumbering and changing titles of 19 NMS Sections to align with MasterFormat® 2016
NMS summary of updates 2017-04
The 2017–04 NMS update features updates to several material categories such as concrete and steel as well as updates to sections on transportation and disposal of hazardous materials and regulatory requirements. In addition to updates on selective demolition, this publication introduces new sections related to selective demolition for electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
NMS summary of updates 2017-01
The 2017–01 NMS includes a new section that focuses on removal and salvage of construction materials and forming a preliminary component to other selective demolition activities. It also covers updated sections related to deconstruction of structures, removal of construction materials, removal of underground storage tanks, conservation treatment of period masonry and stone, as well as sections for cast-in-place concrete, wood treatment and rough carpentry. As a significant enhancement to the data set, descriptions are now provided for each NMS section. The descriptions will help users find appropriate sections, and will be searchable on NRC’s website, and within some of the third party software tools.
NMS summary of updates 2016-10
The 2016–10 NMS Update focuses on changes to sections related to conservation treatment of period construction, with four new sections on topics such as copper sheet roofing and period doors and windows. The domestic water piping section was expanded to include Crosslinked Polyethylene (PEX) tubing. The section on wastewater utility storage tanks now includes fibreglass reinforced polyester polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride in addition to precast concrete septic tanks.
NMS summary of updates 2016-07
The 2016–07 NMS Update focuses on changes to sections in Divisions 26 and 34. Revisions were based on Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices TP312 5th edition. New airfield lighting systems and LED lighting systems were introduced and the obstruction light sections were updated.
Input for these updates was received from a range of stakeholders including manufacturers, the Canadian Airport Electrical Association, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Transport Canada and the Department of National Defence.
NMS summary of updates 2016-01
A series of corrections were made as part a of a general quality assurance review. Thousands of punctuation and spelling changes were made to improve consistency and ensure Canadian spelling throughout, for example 'colour' rather than 'color', 'fibre' rather than 'fiber'.
Enhancements were also made to align with SectionFormat™, such as listing standards under a heading of Reference standards. For consistency in tab levels, Abbreviations, Definitions and Referemce standards were all promoted to top-level article titles. Other changes were made to reflect specification writing language such as changing the requirement to submit (rather than provide) engineer sealed drawings.
There are over one hundred references to Codes Canada 2015 throughout. Each was reviewed and updated to the 2015 editions. There are a few exceptions related to seismic design that require additional review before updating code references are updated.
A few sections were renumbered or re-titled to align with MasterFormat® and a more extensive adjustment will be released on the next NMS publication.
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