Master Plan Sheet – Product Evaluation – TER Explained

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A master plan, also known as a product evaluation or TER (Technical Evaluation Report) is a set of general instructions describing how to assemble a building component to a given performance limit without regard to a specific installation. Unlike an address-specific (or site-specific) plan, Master Plans are typically used by manufacturers to describe general installation conditions of a product they sell  which is then adapted or modified by a design professional for a permitted site-specific installation.  They typically contain a number of installation combinations that the user is to select to determine their installation condition. Chapter 16 of the FBC/IBC describes the design parameters to which the master plan is compared to or modified from.


The Master Plans Sheets & Product Evaluations can be related to instructions of how to assemble a bicycle.  The instructions don’t say how to assemble a bicycle just for you, but how they all go together and how the seat, handlebars, and gears can be set to your liking.  A site-specific plan is tied to an address and would be similar to saying how that specific bicycle is to be set for your exact needs.

Other terms to describe Master Plan Sheets include product evaluations/approvals and technical evaluation reports (or TER’s, see more on that in the links below).  Those all describe the general nature and limitations of use for the component in question, but not how it applies to your specific need.

Governing engineering statutes in many states contain language regarding the development and use of product evaluation documents.  As an example, Florida Administrative Code 61G15-36 defines Product Evaluation Documents as:

(2) Product Evaluation Documents. Engineering documents that define procedures, materials, devices, fabrication, and methods of construction and installation of a product, or standardized group of products, through product evaluation or rational analysis, with the objective of obtaining approval from the authority having jurisdiction of that product for installation. Product evaluation documents shall be generic and do not include documents prepared for a site specific project.

Also from  FAC,

61G15-36.003 Common Requirements to all Product Evaluation Documents.

(1) The product evaluation for various sizes and design capacities shall be specific for each size and design capacity listed.

(2) The documents shall include engineering data presented in a manner that facilitates the application of the product at the project site. The documents shall be annotated to the effect that alterations or additions to the document are not permitted.

(3) The documents shall state under which conditions the product evaluation is suitable to be applied by the Contractor, or under which conditions the product evaluation is only for use by a licensed engineer or architect acting as a Delegated Engineer. The requirements for submission of delegated engineering documents found in subsection 61G15-30.005(2), F.A.C., may be waived at the option of the engineer who prepares the product evaluation documents.

(4) The documents shall comply with Chapter 61G15-23, F.A.C., regarding seals, and shall bear the original seal, signature and date, or shall meet the procedure for signing and sealing electronically transmitted plans, specifications, reports or other documents.

Manufacturers typically request Master Plan Sheets for the building components they produce while contractors and end users typically want a site specific plan for their installation condition but could also use a certified master plan sheet (sealed by an engineer) to submit for permit. Absent of a site-specific plan, a design professional or permitte is responsible for verifying the applicability of the site-specific loading conditions.  Building Departments typically require the Master Plan Sheet to be marked up with the spans, detail conditions, and options selected for a project.  Engineering Express specilizes in the adaptation of Master Plans to site specific projects.  Contact us to discuss your needs.

Engineering Express provides hundreds of TER’s and Master Plans in our Online Plan Store.
We typically design these for the manufacturers so their installers can quickly and easily obtain sealed copies to obtain their building permit. 

Contact your local building official BEFORE ordering any engineering to determine what exactly is needed for permit.  We can assist in providing documentation to building officials to substantiate our reports and provide site-specific loading conditions to verify the appliciblity of the document.

Manufacturers: Contact Us to discuss your need.


Product Approvals Are Not Always Required – Here’s Why

When is a Miami Dade Product Approval Required? 

What is a Master Plan Sheet?

How do I Quickly Get a Certified TER or Master Plan?

Can a Plan Reviewer or Building Inspector Deny The Use of a TER or Master Plan?

What do I do if a TER isn’t enough for a permit?

What Doesn’t a TER Do?

What is a TER and how is it used for permitting?

What Information Do We Need To Start An Evaluation?



Last Update: January 13, 2022  

February 26, 2019  General  
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