Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

 September 2017

winners circle skyline
" Only the educated are free"

Deep Thoughts

- Epictetus ca 100 AD

Please let us know if you have any ideas for future newsletters.

Your Humble Narrator,

Mike Halstead
Indianapolis CSI Newsletter Co-Editor
Mild Mannered Reporter,

Ryan Muzzillo
Indianapolis CSI Newsletter Co-Editor
The Insider

Only 15 days before the CSI Indy Trade Show at the JW Marriott on Thursday September 28 - we need attendance!  So far we have 173 registered to attend - we need at least 500!  Come on kids - quit goofing off and register.  The success of our Chapter is directly connected to our Trade Show and our Sponsors - both if which rely on attendance at the Trade Show for their continued support.  Don't forget this year we have a joint venture with the AIA Regional Conference that will be in Indy plus our legal partners Drewry Simmons Vornehm will be conducting a seminar on the new 2017 AIA Documents.  What more do you want?        

CSI National "Construct" is kicking off today - September 13th through the 16th in Providence, Rhode Island.  I hope some of you are attending while you read this newsletter - I know Joltin' Joe McGuire is working on his Buck Wilhite story while he's there - don't let him procrastinate Bill!  There is a rumor that Bill McGuire is working on a new CSI Indy Roster - which is expected to be printed soon.  Bill is looking for sponsors so contact him if you want a business card, half page or full page advertisement in the roster.   

October 19 we will have a presentation on Drawings and Specs by Ron Guerin, November 16 will be Firestopping and December 14 will be our Annual Holiday Party.  Our meeting in January will be a Certification Quiz presented by "Captain" Jack Morgan and Chuck "The Lovemaster" Thompson.  So put on your hard hats and get ready for them to spread some specification napalm - which smells like victory.  The Lovemaster also got a big CSI National Award - the Robert P. Brosseau Outstanding Contribution Award - way to go Chuck!    

Our February program is still to be determined, March is Facts about PVC Roofing, April is Corporate Mindfulness which will be perfect for our guests in Indy the night before the Great Lakes Region Conference on Friday, April 20, 2018.   The GLRC will be held in Downtown Indianapolis and will provide excellent opportunities for both leadership training for incoming chapter officers and committee chairs and sponsorship opportunities which include:  Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner, Refreshment Breaks & The Hoosier Hospitality Suite.  Contact Glen Baines and Ken Schmidt for information - more details to come.     

Our new chapter president Gene "The King" has transitioned smoothly - like a hot knife through butter.  Gene has been providing legal topics for consideration along with his View from the Tower.  And thanks to all of our committees and the Board of Directors and sponsors for their continued service and support.  Our chapter continues to find new leadership and volunteers and that is why we have been the best CSI chapter for over 50 years.  Not braggin' - just sayin'.        

Can you believe the awesome weather we have had lately?  Obviously we feel for our fellow Americans in the South - but we have been blessed with perfect weather lately.  Makes you want to get outside.  The soybean leaves are starting to turn brown so that means in about 3 weeks the tree leaves will start to turn.  Nothing more beautiful in Indiana than the fall foliage.  So get out to your state parks and maybe even Brown County for the colorful display.  

Or better yet - go to a high school football game on Friday night.  Indiana high school football games, and basketball, are only $5 admission and you can sit almost anywhere you want if you get there early enough.  You get to see future pros, the NBA is dominated by Hoosiers, and where else can you get Ben Davis ribeye sandwiches for $8 or Brownsburg walking tacos for $3.  I know what you're thinking - my wife Lisa is a sports widow.  Unfortunately that is true when football and hockey start - but she puts up with me anyway.  But why do we put up with our Colts?  Can you believe Pagano didn't even know we got slaughtered by the Rams and not the 49ers?  As Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran said during his boxing match with "Sugar" Ray Leonard - "No Mas No Mas".  Lord Help our Colts - and smite the Packers!

- Your Humble Narrator 
Upcoming Events
Programs Committee


CSI Indpls Trade Show 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

Join 500+ Architects, Spec Writers, Interior Designers, Engineers, Contractors, and Sub-Contractors by attending Indy's best Commercial Construction Product Showcase! The CSI Indpls Trade Show will bring together hundreds of industry representatives to showcase their products, materials, and services as well as network!

JW Marriott


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Exhibitor Registration

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

This is a chance for exhibitors to sign up for booths to the 43rd Annual CSI Indianapolis Trade Show, #DESIGNINDY2017. It will be held at the JW Marriott Indianapolis on Wednesday, September 28, 2017 from 3-7pm.

JW Marriott


2017-2018 Standing Reservation List

Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 1:00 PM EDT

Willows on Westfield




It is time to register for the CSI Tradeshow 2017!
Join 500+ Architects, Spec Writers, Interior Designers, Engineers, Contractors, and Sub-Contractors by attending Indy's best Commercial Construction Product Showcase!  

Register by visiting or by clicking here.

Date : Thursday, September 28, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: JW Marriott - Griffin Hall, 2nd Floor (10 S West Street. Indianapolis, IN 46204)
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit 90 plus  booths showcasing exceptional products, materials, and services of interest to the design and construction industry, as well as attend a Continuing Education Seminar (CEU).

Attending the 2017 tradeshow will connect you with industry associates that can become resources and part of your network!

YouTube Channel  
Visual Education


The Indianapolis Chapter CSI has entered into a new phase of the digital communication era, and now has a dedicated YouTube Channel for the benefit of our membership.
View from the Tower

Let's never forget September 11, 2001. Please keep in your prayers Texas, Louisiana, Florida and the whole Gulf Coast.
I want to thank the Board of Directors for their time and extra work in the negotiations with the Mattison Corporation as we draw near to completing the agreement for their professional service.

In the course of developing this relationship with the Mattison Corporation for the Executive Director Services, the support has been overwhelmingly positive. Let's keep in mind why we are doing this, Evansville and Fort Wayne Chapters are no more and Kentucky is on its last leg. Not to mention that nationally we've lost half our membership, from 18,000 to 9,000 members, and in the last 10 years or so the Indianapolis Chapter has lost nearly 100 members. The past we can't change but the future we can and we will.  

Be assured that this new process and the decisions made will be Board Driven. Committee Chairs will have the responsibility to coordinate with the administrative staff. Mattison Corporation will rely solely on the Committee Chairs' direction and leadership.

The future of the Indianapolis Chapter has reached a turning point in its history. Things aren't the way they used to be. To stay completive in today's market place we must rebrand, market, whatever you want to call it, change has to take place. A.I.A. is a degree driven organization where CSI is a certification driven organization. Over the past several years CSI has not done a good job of promoting and marketing membership or certification. This is why CSI has taken a nose dive.

Being a member of the Board for the past several years the Agenda for our meetings has never changed, we need to shake things up and focus on giving directions for Solid Growth. I, and the Board of Directors, believe with the help of the Mattison Corporation we can implement a new marketing strategy for all of our fund raising projects, elevate the importance of Certification and help oversee the management of our Chapter.  

I want to restate that CSI must and will be the organization that will serve each member for their entire career.

Gene King, CSI, CCCA
Indianapolis Chapter CSI - President 2017-18  

Table Tops
Kent Hughes
Indianapolis Chapter CSI

  The Indianapolis Chapter of CSI is accepting reservations for Table Tops for upcoming Chapter meetings. The list of programs for upcoming Chapter meetings is published in this newsletter, the web site, or contact Program chairman Jack Morgan - , if you would like to target a particular meeting, be sure to make your reservation early. We do have a limit of four spaces available for Table Tops in a standard meeting room and 10 if we have a double room.
Table Tops are an opportunity to promote your company, products, or services to all attendees of our regular chapter meeting during the social hour. There is a maximum of 20 minutes for Table Top presentation at a regular Chapter meeting. You have the floor for maximum of five minutes after dinner before the speaker to communicate to the entire group if there are four presenters. If there is a greater demand, the 20 minutes will be divided by the number of presenters and rounded down to the nearest 30 seconds.
The Table Top presentations are FREE, one time, to new members, and cost current Indianapolis Chapter members only $75. Non-members get the same opportunity for $125. A 30 by 60 table with a cover and skit will be included. All proceeds go to support the Chapter. Payment is due at the time of setup.
Another opportunity for a Table Top is during an Education Seminar. The cost is if you combine it with the Chapter meeting and Education Seminar the cost would be $100 for current members and $150 for non-members.
If you would like to schedule a Table Top for a future meeting or seminar, contact:
Kent A. Hughes RA CDT - American Structurepoint
Be sure to put 'Table Top Request in the subject line
Certification Quiz
Jack Morgan - Quizmaster

1.  The date of Substantial Completion is established by the:

a.  Owner
b.  A/E
c.  Contractor
d.  Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

2.  Substitution requirements and procedures during bidding:


a.  Are not allowed under most public bidding statutes

b.  Are modified by the Supplementary Conditions

c.  Are governed by the Instructions To Bidders

d.  Provide for requests by telephone


3.  Drawings produced during this design stage include: sketches, renderings, and conceptual diagrams:


a.  Design Development

b.  Construction Documents

c.  Schematic Design

d.  Conceptual Design


4.  What written forms are used to document Project decisions during Schematic design and Design Development?


a.  MasterFormat, Page Format

b.  UniFormat, PageFormat

c.  Preliminary Project Descriptions, Outline Specifications

d.  SectionFormat, PageFormat


5.  All of the following are examples of Project Soft Costs EXCEPT:


a.  Relocation

b.  Commissioning

c.  Due Diligence Studies

d.  Topographical Surveys

'Old Friend'
Ken Schmidt
On old friend of our Indianapolis Chapter "The Hat" stopped by my office today and announced he was planning on attending the CSI Convention in Rhode Island. He wanted a ride but I told him I was flying. I suggested he contact Bill McGuire who might be driving. 

I told him the names of the Indianapolis Chapter attendees who I knew were attending and he said he only remembered Joe McGuire's name. He was shocked and wondered if any of our Chapter members even remembered him. He said he has been paying his dues but not receiving a newsletter! I told him about you and that refreshed his memory! He joined CSI with Don Amt years ago and then got mad at Don and took off across America traveling and then didn't stop. He had met a guy running across America named "Gump" and that inspired him to travel around the world. 

Quite an interesting story. I referred him to you as you might find his CSI photographic travels on behalf of the Indianapolis Chapter and his memories of his long time friend Don Amt.

Maybe some of our Chapter members at the Convention will meet up with "The Hat" and swap stories that you could publish? Maybe "The Hats" traveled?
Good luck with this old friend of the Chapter.

"Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him"
Where do bad specifications come from?

It's approaching ten years since I wrote "The Making of a Curmudgeon.*" In it, I reminisced about my decision to run for Institute Director and thinking, "Holy cow, when my term is done I'll be almost sixty!" Well, sixty came and went, and I recently celebrated my twentieth anniversary at my office.

Milestones like that tend to make one look back, to think about what has happened, to think about what might have been. During my thirty years as a specifier, I thought things would improve, that specifications would get better, that relations within the construction team would become more collaborative and trusting, that drawing details would gradually lose the pesky problems that lead to problems in construction, and that, eventually, the construction process would be a thing of wonder, with few difficulties. I thought that when it came time to retire, I could look back on continual progress and leave knowing that the world was a better place, due at least in some part to what I had done.

Unfortunately, I see now that little progress has been made. I see the same bad details, the lack of understanding of material properties, and specifications that show no understanding or, or confidence in, the basic tenets of writing specifications. One of the reasons is that there is always in influx of new people, who need to learn the trade. However, I find that an unsatisfactory answer; even the most recent graduates should know more than they do.

I often have blamed architecture schools for many of these problems, and I will continue to do so. I cannot understand why a professional school spends so little time teaching the things that require architects to be licensed, and puts so much emphasis on what amounts to art. But that's another matter for another time.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing to me is the nearly universal use of specifications that ignore CSI's Manual of Practice (later the PRM and Practice Guides). If this were the result of specifiers writing their own specifications it would be less surprising, but it's not. The problem arises from the widespread use of commercial master specifications that often miss the mark set by CSI.

When I was drafted into the Army, my only experience shooting a rifle was at Boy Scout summer camp, where we each shot ten or so rounds at a target. Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I wasn't a hunter. That lack of experience meant I had no bad habits to break, so I learned how to shoot the right way (or at least the Army way). I was one of only four who qualified as expert marksman in my entire company.

My experience with specifications was similar. Before taking my first job as a specifier, my experience was limited to copying specifications onto a drawing. Again, I had no bad habits to break, and I devoured CSI's MOP, learning how to write specifications the right way!

The office I worked in had office masters, which were, I believe, based on SpecText because of their brevity. As I gained experience, I began to question them, and I started rewriting them to follow the principles found in the MOP.

Later, I began writing articles for newsletters. The topics covered a wide range of subjects, but several times I wrote about how specifications could be improved simply by following the MOP. Not only did I write about it, but I made many presentations that highlighted the ways specifications could be improved by removing unneeded text. I thought I was doing some good, but I had no more success than Ben John Small, who had written about streamlined specifications in 1949.

In future articles, we'll look in detail at where specifications are needlessly complex and bloated. Some will argue, "If the reader understands them, does it matter?" Following that logic, it should be ok to include an encyclopedia in the project manual. It might have useful information that might be necessary, but it discourages readers from reading everything.

Do you have examples of unnecessary text in specifications? If so, please add your comment below.

© 2016, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at
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Chapter Photos
Capturing Memories

The Lovemaster!

'Joltin' Joe McGuire & BD

CSI Indy Wants You


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Board of Directors' Minutes

Online Archive  


Minutes of the Indianapolis Chapter CSI Board of Directors can be read here.  Please contact the president with any comments or questions.
Legal Corner
Oti s Elev ator  Co . v. W . G . Y at es & SonConstruction Co., 2013  U . S . D i st. L E X IS 111039  (N.D.  Ala . A ugust 7, 2013)

O t i El ev a t or  w a lo bidd e f or  esc ala t or  w or on  county airporand proposeto suppland install escalators wit32-inch stewidth.  Eventuallchange ordewas issuefor 40-inch stewidth.  Otifilebreacof contract action to recovecompensation baseupon thprimarargumenthathproject specificationdid noprescribthescalator width.
T h e courrulein favor of Otis, concluding that the contract specifications were ambiguous.  Otis' shop drawings clearlindicated its plan to install 32-inch step widtescalators, therwerregular site visits and inspection
of thproject ait was progressing, and multiplbidderinclude32-incstewidtin their proposals.  No onapparentlevequestionethwidth.  Wherbiddereasonablinterprets unclear specifications, it is protecteif it is laterequireto perforin differenor morcostlmanner.


Quiz Answers:

1. - b (AIA A201-8.1.3)
2. - c (PDPG
3. - c (PDPG
4. - c (PDPG
5. - d (PDPG 6.7.2)
In This Issue

September 21, 2017

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