What is the Construction Specialties Industry?

What is Division 10 in the MasterFormat?

Generally, you need to follow the guidelines of division 10 when you opt to design, specify, and install accessories. For instance, this includes display boards, toilet room accessories, signage, and storage items, etc. In today’s article, we will tell you about division 10 and its sub-divisions. Read on!

Division 10 focuses on the provision of layouts for all specialties such as determining the space and functional use of the construction project. You need outlines for all submittals in the professional agreement.

In addition, you must define your responsibilities, which are relative to receiving accessories, storing them, and installing all of the accessories or items – that are categorized in division 10.

You must locate and coordinate blockings, support, and other services required to install accessories in division 10.

Visual Display Surfaces (101100)

You need a lifetime warranty for all chalkboards and marker boards. This means that under normal use and maintenance, you should use porcelain enamel chalkboards, which provide a good guarantee for the building’s life.

You will specify and install chalkboards with specialized characteristics such as accessory items, colors, and finishes. You will also review and approve applications and details by the contractor before you develop the construction document.

Chalkboards must be porcelain enamel steel, which must be manufactured according to the specifications of the porcelain enamel institute.

The finish will be fusion bonded to a 24-gauge substrate made of steel at required temperatures to decreases stresses associated with steel and porcelain. The purpose is to achieve a greater bond and hardness.

In addition, you will specify and install markerboards with specific characteristics, which include product specifications, colors, finishes, and other details. In public lobbies and corridors – for example, you will provide tack board and display areas – because they are required for the project.

The display areas and tack boards must be integrated into the building’s architectural design. Usually, division 10 recommends small tack boards, which you must locate outside each residential apartment or if it is a commercial project, then it should be located outside each apartment or office. Likewise, you will use large displays and tack boards in public areas with high traffic.

Display Cases (101200)

In public lobbies and corridors, you will provide display cases, which are an essential requirement for your construction project. You will integrate the display areas into the building’s architectural design.

Display and trophy cases are specifically designed for customization, which can fit your space according to your project needs.

They are available in a wide variety of materials, styles, and finishes. You can choose from wall-mount, free-standing, and recessed designs made of either aluminum or wood.

Signage (101400)

Division 10 offers a standardized system for all construction projects with specialized numbering and signage. It is an important sub-division in division 10 of the MasterFormat. Using this, you will follow the outlined requirements, which are mentioned in both architectural and engineering construction documents.

Your proposals will require approval before you finalize the construction document. You need to develop memorial information, special plaques, and/or donor recognition on a case-by-case basis. This must be suitable for the location and the display of information. 

When you utilize a building memorial plaque in a renovated or new buildings, you should provide a wall area in the main lobby to install the memorial plaque. It is important to design the wall area architecturally so that the plaque has an aesthetic setting with adequate lighting.

Toilet Compartments (102100)

You will specify and install toilet partitions with accessory items, colors, finishes, and other details, which must be approved or reviewed by the contractor before you develop the final construction document.

The materials of toilet partitions can vary and this depends on the factors of location and use. Nonetheless, division 10 recommends metal toilet partitions – which in general have baked enamel finish.

You can also use stainless steel partitions. However, you need to ensure they are warranted for both location, high-traffic, and abuse. Division 10 does not recommend installing plastic laminate partitions.

When it comes to fasteners and anchors, division 10 prefers toggle bolts, vandal type screw anchors, and/or hollow wall anchors. These must also be approved so that they suit your construction and allow for hanging the items.

You must not use plastic, lead, or wood plugs – as they are prohibited by division 10 in the MasterFormat. In addition, you will need to specify door latches and pulls.

You should go for ceiling hung toilet partition mounting style as they can fasten securely to the structure of the ceiling. If possible, you can provide anti-hang bars.

Toilet, Bath, and Laundry Accessories (102800)

All accessories must match the current equipment and manage the appropriate paper products – for instance, trash bags. For this, the contractor must review or approve all toilet accessories. The contractor must approve or review all specifications of the toilet accessories, which include items, colors, and finishes.

You must also determine the manufacture and style of toiler tissue holders – they must be verified with both buildings and grounds. Make sure you determine the manufacturer and style of the paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, sanitary napkin dispensers, sanitary napkin receptacles, garment hooks, etc.

Each toilet must have a garment hook, which you shall mount on the partition. The partition must also contain hooks in the stalls, which can be used by people with disabilities. Make sure they are easily accessible to the people from the water closet. This should be 54 inches above the floor.

All toilet rooms must have shelves for people’s belongings such as purses, books, smartphones, etc. You must also specify framed mirrors and there is no need for shelves. The mirrors should be located on the walls just opposite the toilets.

Another important thing to take care of in this subdivision is long mirrors – for instance, to be used by people with disabilities. This must be 2 feet above the floor. It is important to check the locations of the mirrors in order to prevent image reflection through the entrances of the room.

Safety (104000)

Safety devices such as eyewashes and emergency showers must be within 50 feet of a biological or chemical substance that can be hazardous or harmful to the health of people. You should specify a standard for these safety devices – division 10 of the MasterFormat recommends using the latest ANSI Z358 standard.

According to ANSI standard, the water must be tempered or tepid and you must not locate or install the devices near panels, electrical outlets, or any other areas that could pose threats. Division 10 requires you to install fully furnished first aid cabinets. These must be approved by the OSHA and perfectly sized to be used by the people using the space.

The selection, quantity, and locations of these cabinets must be approved by the general contractor and other designated project personnel. Moreover, all non-valve cabinets and portable fire extinguishers must be furnished – and you should install them according to guidelines provided in the division 10 document.

The fire extinguishers and related components must be according to the rules and regulations of the “National Fire Protection Association” (NFPA).

The Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) must review and approve each portable fire extinguisher before beginning the process of installation.

You must also provide fire equipment cabinets, which must be locked as well as should have a knocker to break the glass in case of an emergency. It is important to mount the knocker properly so that it allows glass breaking without removing it.

Division 10 of the MasterFormat requires you to install carbon dioxide extinguishers. This equipment must be made of either aluminum or red enameled-steel. CO2 extinguishers should come with a valve, discharge hose/horn, mounting bracket, and squeeze-grip lever. 

Postal Specialties (105500)

If required by the size and duration of the construction project, you must coordinate with the United States Postal Service to find out the postal delivery location. You should use this for the delivery of materials. This is your responsibility – as a general contractor – to pay for these temporary elements.

In case the postal specialties are includes in the project scope, it is your duty to provide a room for the U.S Mail delivery, which should be adjacent to the entrance of the building. This is applicable to both renovated and new buildings.

The size of the room must be applicable to the number of building apartments and the volume of delivery. MasterFormat Division 10 recommends 100 sqft room size.

Wardrobe and Closet Specialties (105700)

Wardrobe and Closet Specialties is a sub-division of the MasterFormat Division 10, which requires you to include door and wall mounted coat hooks as well as blockings in the documents.

You must also create a list of all furnished items the purpose of which is to establish an appropriate construction document coordination of placement or blocking. The placement of all the accessories showed by rough layouts should be submitted with proper graphical or diagram-based designs.

Grills and Screens (108200)

You would need an HVAC contractor for the process of furnishing and installation of all interior vents and louvers.

In case, if these items are required in the building’s exterior design and not directly connected to the air distribution system, you should specify the purchase and installation of these items.

Exterior Specialties (107000)

You would need to provide increased security by installation noise reduction devices and automated weather protection. The purpose is to enhance the overall comfort of the building.

In addition, this subdivision specifies the installation of motorized rolling shutters for the optimization of energy savings. The primary purpose is to prevent heat and cold from entering the building.

To meet the design and span requirements of the project design, you must provide aluminum sunscreens, which can be assembled from different shapes such as tubes, bars, channels, and angles. You can also provide fully customized sunscreens with blades, fins, airfoils or any other shape.

Protective Covers (107300)

Protective Covers is the subdivision of MasterFormat Division 10, which requires the contractor to provide for railing systems, balustrades, windscreens, glass walls, and curtains walls, etc.

If you are working on retail or any other commercial project such as the construction of an educational institution, you need to focus on canopies, walkway covers, and sunshades. They must be cost-effective and aesthetically appealing. You must work closely with your architects and engineers to achieve the required look or effect.

The canopy system must be impact resistant, lightweight, and provide protection from the UV rays of the sun. This can be achieved by installing multiwall polycarbonate panels. Make sure they are available in different configurations and colors so that they go in line with the specification document of the project.

Cubicles and Curtains (102150)

As a professional contractor, if you are running a hospital construction project, you need to follow the guidelines of the “Cubicles and Curtains” Subdivision of the MasterFormat. Make sure you choose the cubicles and curtains in accordance with the industrial regulations.

You must also install products such as laser safety curtains, panels, and windows. This subdivision requires you to include sound attenuators, silencers, and acoustical housings, sound dampening, sound curtains, plenums, and other materials – as per the needs or requirements of the project.

Moreover, the insulated curtain walls are useful in containing or balancing heat/cold as well as controlling humidity and moisture levels in the interior of the building. You can install strip-doors, customized dock seals, and other types of curtain partition systems.


MasterFormat is a specialized standard widely used in construction projects throughout the U.S and Canada. The purpose of using this standard and its guidelines or specifications is to organize information for an institutional or commercial building project.

When it comes to the advantages of MasterFormat, you – as a professional construction contractor – can use it to promote or improve communication between your project teams such as the design group and construction personnel.

For instance, the division 10 of MasterFormat – like other divisions – uses a universal coding system to facilitate communication and coordination between suppliers, contractors, architects, and engineers – while focusing on building specialties as explained above.

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