CIL honours directors


Russell Hawken and John Sinclair have been honoured in appreciation for their huge contribution to, and continued involvement in the success of Construction Information Ltd (CIL) since its inception 11 years ago.


Gordon Moller was on hand to present certificates to the men on behalf of the current board and management.


CIL is New Zealand’s market leader in providing specification systems for the construction industry. Formed in 1995, CIL provides MasterSpec specification systems, on subscription, to architects, engineers, designers, utility companies and tertiary institutions.


The Registered Master Builders Federation holds a third shareholding in the company. The strength of CIL’s product range is enhanced by the broad spread of industry ownership — New Zealand Institute of Architects, Building Research Association of New Zealand and the Registered Master Builders Federation.


Current directors include Gordon Moller (NZIA chairman), Beverly McRae (NZIA), Sunil Vather (Building Research of NZ Ltd), Dean Quickenden (Building Research of NZ Ltd), Pieter Burghout (RMBF), Ashley Hartley (RMBF), Don Bunting (CIL chief executive) and Rolf Huber (CIL general manager).


CIL maintains four specification systems:

MasterSpec STANDARD for commercial, industrial and large residential projects,

MasterSpec ENGINEERING for commercial, industrial and large residential projects,

MasterSpec BASIC for all residential and smaller commercial projects, and 

MasterSpec MINOR for minor residential alterations.


At the end of June 2007 there were 1055 subscribers to MasterSpec, representing more than 2555 registered technical designer people, (an increase of 174 and 253 respectively from a year ago), and 66 branded sections (major product manufacturers), an increase of 20.


A continuing challenge for CIL is to ensure MasterSpec users customise their specifications to suit the project being specified by removing irrelevant information and adding project-specific information and selections.


This, I must say, is the major gripe of contractors when tendering using this or any specification system.



The RMBF continues to seek improvement in the way subscribers prepare specifications, to make our job in tendering and constructing buildings that much easier. This can only be done by ensuring the best level of representation at the annual training seminars that CIL runs. These include topics on:

responding to ongoing changes in Microsoft operating systems and software,

more sophisticated approaches to data manipulation and management, ie BIM (building information model),

increasing focus on sustainability and amenity — better access to sustainable products,

the increasing focused attention to quality documentation,

researching and analysing barriers to connecting with engineers,

the possibility of specific products for builders, and


Co-ordinated Building Information (CBI)


CIL also manages and maintains the CBI classification and coding system on behalf of the construction industry.


It is a classification system designed by and for members of the industry, to co-ordinate the five main information sources: drawings, specifications, quantities, technical and research information, and trade information and publications.


CBI is based on the European CAWS system (developed to replace CI/SfB) and the ISO-sponsored Uniclass project. However CBI also:

takes account of the local construction industry’s principles and practices,

uses numeric (as against the CAWS alpha-numeric) coding, and

provides a simple entry level (Level 1 – Classes) comprising only eight main groupings of data:


Level 1: Classes










These eight represent the fundamental subdivisions of the construction industry. Below are three further levels:

Level 2: Groups 

Each class contains up to nine groups. Currently there are 53, each classified under their appropriate classes, such as:

42 Cladding

74 Plumbing and drainage


Level 3: Sub-groups

These are categories of similar types of work and are identified by a 3-digit code:

424 Profiled sheet cladding

742 Sanitary plumbing


Level 4: Work sections

Each work section is a defined amount of building work, generally representing a subcontract “package.” For example:

4242 Profiled plastic sheet cladding

7422 Sanitary fixtures


Finding your way

Finding your way through the CBI system is as logical as 1, 2, 3. For example:

3 Structure

31 Concrete

311 Formwork and reinforcement for concrete

3111 Formwork for insitu concrete