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The Rochester Chapter of CSI is pleased to bring you the May edition of its monthly newsletter, The Punchlist. We hope you enjoy it! 


As always, we appreciate your feedback regarding our newsletter.  Also, if you have any suggestions for educational sessions and programs that you would like to see - feel free to tell us! 

Don't forget to check our website regularly for the latest Chapter news and industry job opportunities in our area, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We look forward to seeing you at all of our upcoming events!
A Message from the President

Dear CSI Members & Friends,
Thank you so much for attending our annual awards ceremony last month at the Perkins Mansion. A great time was had by all and what a great venue. The food was also amazing and a special thank you goes out to Bill Devos, our Awards Chair, for putting together another evening to remember. 

As we finally have some good weather to enjoy over the long weekend, we are heading into the final stretch of our events on the calendar. To end our event  season, is our Annual Golf Tournament to be held at Ridgemont Country Club on June 11th.  All registration and sponsorship information can be found on our chapter website, and in our Punchlist below.  It is always a great time and we have a lot of fun. Paul Mahoney our golf chair promises to have an efficient event and have you all home at a reasonable time. The shotgun start is 12:10pm with Registration & lunch from 11:00am-12:15pm. This way we can all e get a little work in prior to the event, assuming you choose to.
I have had a great time in my 1st year as President and feel the Board brought various exciting options to our event calendar with presenters and venues. I promise to maintain that momentum into next year and look forward to our golf tournament. 

Have a great start to your spring/ summer!
Lee Curtis, CSI
CSI Rochester Accepting Submissions for 2018 Thomas Wurzer Memorial Scholarship 
The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize a deserving student in an architectural, engineering, or constructional technology program, based on Merit and by intent to aspire to a career in the design or construction profession.

To apply for this scholarship, or to nominate a deserving student, click here:
Construction Documents:  Are they worse than ever?

One of the presentations at the 2017 convention in Providence was a panel discussion titled \ Hot Topics and Emerging Trends , which included comments about the decline in the quality of construction documents. I found this to be an interesting subject, as I had seen many attacks on document quality over the years. Not only that, but I had made presentations on the subject.

In 1997, Michael Chambers and I presented "Document Coordination" for the Minnesota chapter of AIA. We discussed the roles of drawings and specifications, document quality, coordination techniques, short-form specifications, and MasterFormat 1995. Our handout included reprints of several articles about document quality; some, with scary titles, tried to prove that construction documents were atrocious and getting worse, while others how quality depended on coordination of construction documents.*
The frequency of problems in construction documents makes it easy to accept claims that they are getting worse. In 1997 I believed those claims, but I now believe the opposite. I would argue that overall, construction documents are better than ever before.

Since the presentation Michael and I made in 1997, I have continued to collect articles about the quality of construction documents. Most of the articles address current document quality, but a few discuss a change in quality. The main difference is, while the first group of articles describe specific problems, the articles that talk about changes of quality lack specificity. Rather than explain how documents have changed, they rely vague expressions of individual perception.

For example, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) has published several annual reports, often in conjunction with the Facility Management Institute (FMI). These reports frequently refer to a decline in the quality of documents, with conclusions based on comments obtained by surveying facility owners, but they do not include supporting information. I have seen thirteen of these reports, going back to 2000.

The reports consistently claim that quality of construction is a major concern, and sometimes say there has been a decline in the quality of documents. The 2003 survey report was the first to assert that "there is a general decline in document quality," along with declining skill levels. There is no support for the claim, but the report does include an interesting exploration of reasons for that decline.

The 2004 survey asked, "Have you experienced a decline in the quality of design documents?" More than 70% of responders said yes. Even so, it's worth noting that about 30% said documents at the beginning of construction were adequate or excellent.

From then until the 2010 survey, survey reports mentioned document quality only tangentially, noting that quality is always a concern, but making no specific reference to a change in quality.
The 2010 report states about 30% of owners report that the quality of design documents worsened in the previous two years. That sounds bad, but the graph provides additional information.

Even though about 30% of owners said document quality had declined, more than 35% said there had been no change in quality, and 25% said they were better!

CDT as Certification Transition

Supporting professional success is CSI's primary reason for being, and the CDT credential is an important professional accomplishment. We are writing about some changes to the CDT that will increase the value of this credential to holders and to the industry. CSI has embarked upon a strategy to transition the CDT to a certification. This transition has been in the works for at least three years, prompted by CSI volunteer leadership serving on the Certification committee and the CSI Board of Directors.
Careful thought and planning has gone into this initiative to ensure that the CDT certification will be held up as a "gold" standard of certification. It is worth noting that while some perceive the CDT as a certification, it is not. The main change to the program is adding modest prerequisites and a continuing education requirement. As we look toward promoting certifications, we must be able to represent them as certifications. This need has long been acknowledged and expressed by our membership.
While the change to the CDT will take effect on
  • No action is required at this time.
  • For current CDT certificate holders, the credential is still valid.
  • Renewal of any CSI credential is fully voluntary.
  • Renewal of the CDT certification is not required until June 30, 2021. Candidates for renewal have at minimum, three years to prepare for this change. Renewal of the CDT certification is only necessary if you wish to continue use of the CDT as a professional certification.
Professionals holding upper level certification (CCS, CCPR, and CCCA) are not required to maintain the CDT.

CSI is actively engaged in creating a learning development plan which will include opportunities for future professional development directed to current and aspiring CDT certificants.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out directly to Aaron Robbins Wiseman, M.S. by phone (703-706-4746) or email at
Registration now Open for the 36th Annual CSI Golf Tournament


The CSI Rochester Chapter will host its 36th annual golf tournament on Monday, June 11th, 2018, to raise money for the Thomas W. Wurzer Scholarship.  The event will be held at Ridgemont Country Club in Rochester, NY.  

Organized by the CSI Rochester Golf Committee, the tournament is part of the annual campaign to raise funds to promote and support the Scholarship.  

Last year's tournament raised hundreds of dollars to ensure educational opportunities for deserving student in an Architectural, Engineering or Construction Technology  Program.  

To register yourself or a team for the golf tournament, or to become a sponsor, click here.
Featured Article
What action, if any, do you want your members to take? Add a "Find out more" link to additional information that you may have hosted on your website
Membership Corner

Still thinking of joining? What are you waiting for? 

Here's a quick list of just some of the benefits CSI Members receive:
  • Develop valuable cross-discipline contacts at local chapter meetings and national CSI events.
  • Build a network of mentors you can contact when you're facing a new challenge at work, or hunting for a new job.
  • Save with members-only discounts and special rates on CSI education, certification, publications and  partner programs.
  • Learn to use CSI's standards and formats to do your job better and faster.
  • Earn continuing education credits at chapter meetings and CSI events.
  • Stay current on BIM, sustainability and other hot topics while improving your skills through chapter meetings, CSI's education programs, and Construction Specifier Magazine.
  • Raise your profile with CSI's certifications after your name.
  • Participate in the development of standards and formats that shape your work, such as MasterFormat.
  • Meet potential clients and increase your company's visibility at both the local and national level.
  • Be among the first to hear about new projects in your area.
  • Develop a network of professional contacts your company can turn to when you need help and information.
  • And so much more!

"CSI has helped me in many aspects of running my business such as planning, communication skills, and honing my product presentations. Many of the committees, task teams, and projects that new members get involved in can provide training in many of these areas."
- John Hamilton, CSI, CCPR, AHC, Manufacturer's Representative

"I have grown as a person with an established reputation through my CSI activities."
- Bob Molseed, FCSI, CCS, FAIA, Architect


Contact Paul Mahoney, Member Chair today to find out more!
Job Corner
Check out these great job positions available in our community!  

For more information on these positions, visit CSI Rochester's Job Page on our website!

Mitchell Design Build is currently hiring for the following position:
  • Construction Estimator / Project Manager
To apply for this position, contact   Ellen to apply.  


Bell  & Spina is looking for an Architect/Project Manager and a Junior Architect!

To apply for this position, contact Douglas Arena today.

Dear Punchlist readers,

If you have any job openings, industry or company news, promotions, or events that you would like featured in upcoming publications of The Punchlist newsletter, please send them to us.

Also, feel free to forward this email to colleagues or coworkers that may be interested in CSI events and articles.