Building Specifications

MasterSpec®, a product of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is the ultimate resource for producing specifications your way. With master guide specifications, delete what doesn’t apply, add your own customizations, and rest assured that your specs are current and complete.
Reduce specification writing time without sacrificing the quality your clients count on with:

  • Comprehensive technical specifications — Three-part, CSI-format specification text, editor’s notes, and section-by-section access to Supporting Documents.
  • Practice-specific and specialized libraries — Over 900 sections organized into 17 practice-specific libraries.
  • Formats and packages for the way you work — Premium, Professional, and Outline specification format options that let you choose the format that best fits your practice; Basic and Expanded packages that offer you everything you need, yet only what you need.
  • Companion productivity toolsMasterWorks and SpecBuilder Desktop editing and production software that help you complete your specifications faster.
  • Extensive background research — Unique Supporting Documents that provide in-depth analyses of product characteristics, application considerations, and sustainability discussions for every specification section.
With MasterSpec, you can write the specs your client needs with the turnaround your project timeline demands.
  • Comprehensive Specifications — Get all the information you need to produce quality specs: More sections, more research, more guidance, more unbiased product info.
  • Cost-effective Solutions — Choose options that give you everything you need and only what you need in one site license.
  • Accurate Information — Trust your specs: Researched and written by expert spec writers and editors; regularly reviewed by independent peer committees.
  • Industry Recognized — Count on the reliability of a specification system endorsed or recommended by industry leaders for over 45 years.
  • Timesaving Tools — Produce spec documents faster and efficiently with easy-to-use software tools and timely background research.
  • FREE Background Research — Find answers to product, manufacturer, sustainability, and other questions while you write your specs.
  • FREE Training and Support — Access ARCOM’s no-charge, e-learning and independent study opportunities (CE credit available).
  • Cloud-based Resources — Check out the latest information on reference standards, products, manufacturers, sustainable design, and more  — at any time, from anywhere.
With MasterSpec, enjoy a “Whatever-Works-for-You” approach with a full range of specification solutions for the way you do business.
  • Libraries — 17 specialized libraries for your practice
  • Packages — Basic and Expanded packages that fit your typical projects
  • Formats — Premium, Professional, and Outline formats for your different project complexities and contractual requirements
  • Software — Productivity tools to match your work style
Table of Contents
Download tables of contents to get an overview of which libraries and packages include the sections you need.

Tables of Contents for each library are provided in the specific library information page.

Consolidated Table of Contents
Small Project A/E Table of Contents
View comparative list of available libraries with tables of contents and sample sections.
Expert Guidance
Rely on expert guidance for decision-making with these comprehensive resources:
  • Summary — Section scope overview
  • Evaluations — Industry recognized “Green Sheets” with comprehensive information on section topics
  • Technical Specifications — Three-part specifications with extensive editor’s notes
  • Checklists — Drawing and specification coordination checklists
ARCOM offers you training opportunities to enhance your MasterSpec experience.
  • Getting Started Webinars — Learn from your desk or from a conference room via one-hour webinars on MasterSpec, MasterWorks, and SpecBuilder Desktop.
  • Software Independent Study — Learn about software on your own time, from wherever you are via video tutorials and user guides.
  • MasterSpec Independent Study — Earn while you learn about products, standards, and pertinent information on section topics.
  • Classroom Training — Learn with your peers in cities nearby or right in your office via hands-on workshops and custom, on-site training.


"I cannot imagine specification production without MasterSpec; we have used it for over twenty years. It is up-to-date with changes in the construction industry and even reduces our professional liability premiums."

Lisa Dailey
Kingscott Associates
Kalamazoo, MI
MasterSpec client since 1989

"I have used MasterSpec my entire career. It is the best resource for specifications and a necessary part of my practice. It has great information, built-in options, and keeps me up-to-date. I save time because MasterSpec has done the research for me. MasterSpec has the tools that make it easy for me to put my specifications together."

Ramond Rebilas, AIA, Senior Associate
Kitchen & Associates Architectural Services
Collingwood, NJ
MasterSpec client since 1998

"Being one of the partners of a small firm, Propel Studio, I appreciate the tools that MasterSpec provides. We can’t afford specification consultants on most of our projects so I rely on MasterSpec to supplement our knowledge and manage our projects' specifications. I also appreciate the resources and the fact that it has everything in one place, and that it is an affordable package."

Lucas Gray, Assoc. AIA
Propel Studio Architecture, LLC
Portland, OR
MasterSpec client since 2015

"As a multidisciplinary A/E firm, we love the completeness of the MasterSpec content and the tools such as Linx (now Altarix) and MasterWorks which help us tailor the depth of content to each project. As a landscape architect and technical resource librarian, I find the Supporting Documents an invaluable tool. They are the first place I go when I want to learn about technical sections that are new to me. I highly recommend to everyone in our office who edits specs to start with Supporting Documents each time."

Chris E. Grimm, RLA, CSI, Technical Resources Coordinator
Schmidt Associates
Indianapolis, IN
MasterSpec client since 1996

"The Supporting Documents allow me to better understand specific construction materials and methods that I may have limited knowledge of. This allows me to write a tighter specification, minimizing construction phase conflicts."

John C. Anderson, ASLA
Anderson Design, Inc.
Lawrenceville, GA
MasterSpec client since 2001

"We are a multi-office, multi-national firm, and we rely on MasterSpec for our specifications. It is an important and useful tool. I have looked at competing specification programs and have found MasterSpec's content to be more fully formed and thorough. The best part, that we find invaluable, is the supporting documents, especially the evaluation sheets."

Linton Stable
Perkins Eastman Architects PC
New York, NY
MasterSpec client since 1998