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Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

 March 2012

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March is the month to bring in the Luck O' the Irish.  Luck has certainly been on the chapter's side in preparing for you the great programs and opportunities that are in store for the next few months.  Please read this month's newsletter and see what is in store, what has happened and what you can do to better your own career.
CHAPTER MEMBER REMINDER:  This month is the Board of Directors Election.  You should have received a separate email with the ballot in an "online voting" method and a "print and submit" version.  Please cast those votes early or bring your sealed ballot (with signature on the envelope) to the Thursday Chapter meeting to make sure your voice is heard!  If you didn't get the ballot, please email us or call
Andy McIntyre - Nominations Chair @ 317-223-5262

As always, please send comments, articles and suggestions to me as they may come up.


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 Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter Editor

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Upcoming Events
Programs Committee

Indianapolis Chapter CSI March Chapter Meeting: Mock Trial

Thursday March 15, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

This "re-enactment" of a real legal case will bring to light many things that might help make your next project a success.

Riverwalk Banquet Center


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Education Seminar: Changes to Accessibilty Design Provisions

Thursday April 19, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT

Current and Pending Changes to Accessiblity Standards

Riverwalk Banquet Center


View from the Tower
Pete Kerfoot, CSI, CDT 
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March is New Member Orientation. Twice a year we offer our newest members an opportunity to come into the Chapter Meeting a little early to receive insightful information on how the CSI Chapter, Region and Institute tie together and how that machine can best benefit them. Short presentations are given by veteran members where knowledge and wisdom is shared in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. As a current member if you missed your orientation or would just like to get a shot in the arm of current CSI Indy info, you are more than welcome to pull up a chair. The presentation starts at 5:30 sharp.


Business at this month's meeting will include voting for 3 of next year's Board of Directors. An e-blast has been sent out with an internet link for voting to make your participation as easy as possible. The process is completely confidential and the tally is recorded in real time. You will still be allowed to hand write and turn in a ballot at the meeting if you so desire, and everyone will know the results before going home that evening.


This month's presentation is sure to be a lot of fun. There will be a live representation of a previous construction industry case tried in court. This is one of those presentations I believe to be important to all members of the construction industry. Sharing knowledge and creating clear, concise, correct documents is a CSI mantra and is the first step to keeping our industry out of litigation. The presentation will be important and informative, but in CSI Indianapolis it is sure to be an amusing and enjoyable evening. Bring a friend for the knowledge and the fun.


Future presentations include ADA Changes, and a Recap of Super Bowl Construction and Lessons Learned. Don't forget to check out our standing reservation sign-up below in the newsletter. As always, I end my article with the Starbuck's Gift Card offer. The first person to send an email to pete.kerfoot@curleybrickwestfield.com with the subject heading "March Madness" will receive the coveted $10 gift certificate. It's going to be a fun year.



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 2012 Certification

by Certification Committee


 The Indianapolis Chapter CSI continues to be engaged in Study Classes for Institute Certification. Although the local attendance is small, it is encouraging to see members and non-members seeking their goals of becoming recognized for their demonstrated knowledge of the Construction Documents and their intended use. Gene King is busy helping Kent Hughes attain his goal of CCCA. John Cohrs is helping Jami Spice attain her goal of CCPR. Jack Morgan and Chuck Thompson are helping Brent Julliani and Ryan Mills attain their goals of CDT. As those of you who have already attained the certificate or certification know, it is a rigorous and fun-filled journey consisting of five straight Saturdays in March for CDT studying the wonderful Tower and the stimulating A 201. This year the Indianapolis Certification Committee is offering something new for us. The CDT classes presented by Jack and Chuck are being webcast. With the encouragement of David Trudell, Region Certification Chair, Holly Robinson, former Indianapolis member and current Cincinnati Certification Chair, and Indianapolis member and CSI Fellow, Gary Gaiser there are approximately 13 people total from Pella, Iowa, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bloomington, Indiana that are "attending" the Indianapolis CDT classes via webcast. We have been informed that the Los Angeles Chapter has been webcasting their classes, but to our knowledge, the Indianapolis Chapter is again on the forefront in the Great Lakes Region. There have been a few glitches, recording of the first class was not successful, but hopefully it will be a successful endeavor and provide assistance for others in CSI to attain their goal of attaining CDT. Hopefully, by the next newsletter there will be two more Indianapolis Chapter certifications as well as fifteen more CDTs in CSI nationally. GOOD LUCK to all the CDT and Certification students!

Bud Reed Memorial Golf Outing

by Golf Committee



A date for this year's golf outing has been set!


Location:  Golf Club of Indiana

Date:  May 3, 2012

Time:  12:30 Shotgun Start


Catering to be provided by Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for dinner.


Registration forms can be found here:



Table Tops

Ralph R Pitman, Jr., CSI, CDT

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 Andy McIntyre, so if you would like to target a particular meeting, make sure to get your reservation in 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 during the dinner 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.


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:


Ralph Pitman - Sebree Architects, Inc

rpitman@sebreearchitects.com  or (317) 272-7800




Matt Maier - Edgewood Building Supply

mmaier@edgewoodbuildingsupply.com or (317) 846-6060

make sure to put 'Table Top Request' in the subject line  

Certification Quiz
Jack Morgan - Quizmaster

1. The method for computing credits for change orders should be described in:


a. The Instructions to Bidders

b. The Agreement

c. The General and Supplementary Conditions

d. The Invitation to Bid.


2. Division 01 should be used to:


a. Provide location for General and Supplementary Conditions

b. Provide means to modify standard sections of Specifications

c. Provides a logical arrangement for specifying administrative,

   procedural, and temporary facilities.

d. Provide a location for specifying special construction and bidders might overlook.


3.         According to AIA A201 (1997), which party is responsible for inspecting the Work to determine if it is proper condition to receive subsequent work?


a.         Architect/Engineer

b.         Owner

c.         Contractor

d.         a and b.


4.         In MasterFormat 2004, the "Facility Services Subgroup" contains which Divisions?


a. Divisions 02 - 19

b. Divisions 21 - 28

c. Divisions 31 - 35

d. Divisions 40 - 48


5.         Which method of specifying should be used to specify end results to be achieved rather than means for achieving the desired results?


a. Descriptive

b. Performance

c. Proprietary

d. Reference Standard.


Answers located at the end of this newsletter....

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Chapter Photos
February 2012


We hope you have enjoyed seeing these previews of the latest images from our events.  To view more, visit our online photo album.
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Charitable Donation

Education Foundation 


The Indianapolis Chapter CSI Education Foundation is nearing the opening of the Scholarship "season" and will be sending out applications to students across the state.  This is a great benefit for the students in the construction industry.


For the first time, you have the opportunity to donate directly to the foundation in a secure way.  The donations to this foundation are tax deductable.  If you are considering this good deed and have any questions about the tax aspect, please don't hesitate to contact the Foundation.



What Happened to the Master Builder
Curmudgeon Corner

It's time architects accepted reality: They no longer are master builders, and haven't been for a long time. It's nothing to get excited about (well, not too excited), and there is no reason to maintain the fiction that architects are what they were in the good old days. In fact, there is good reason to admit the truth and move on.

Building materials have evolved, fabrication and construction have evolved, and the tools of our profession have evolved, yet we continue to create and use construction documents the same way we have done for nearly two hundred years, simply because that's what we have done for nearly two hundred years. And, even though architects do less now than they did many years ago, we maintain the fiction that architects are master builders.

"Heretic!" "Blasphemer!" "How dare you!" "Vile person!"

OK, now that we have that out of the way, let's take a dispassionate look at what architects do, what they did in the past, and what people did before there were architects.

I have trouble answering the first question. Although architecture is a licensed profession in much of the world, and the use of the word "architect", or any of its derivative forms, by one who is not licensed, often is prohibited by law, it can be difficult to define what architects do. It may be easier to answer if we look at what architects don't do.

Good design should be more than an attractive building. As architects will tell you, good design is based on understanding the client's activities, the spaces those activities require, an understanding of spacial relationships and perception, and familiarity with a multitude of building materials and products. It is all of those things, but even that is not enough.

Good design must keep water and weather out, and control light, heat, and humidity; it must consider durability and upkeep of the products used, and the access needed to maintain building systems; it must include selection of the optimum structural, mechanical, and electrical systems; it cannot ignore permit fees, energy costs, utility costs, or taxes.

Good design is total design.

Unfortunately, architects gradually have given away, or had taken from them, just about everything not directly related to appearance. As we will see, there has been good reason for some of this, while other things have slipped away because they were seen as too difficult or uninteresting.

One of the big changes we have seen in the last decade has been a move away from the familiar design-bid-build delivery system, to design-build, different forms of construction management, and other delivery systems that de-emphasize the role of the architect. The result has been greater control by contractors, with correspondingly less need for what architects offer.

While some decry the growing importance of contractors, there is nothing inherently wrong with a process controlled by those who build the building. Put simply, if architects were doing what they claimed they could do, there would be no need to change.

Many owners, including public agencies, have embraced design-build. The attraction is obvious - "Why go through all the trouble of dealing with both an architect and a contractor, who will stand back and point fingers at each other when something goes wrong, when I can hire a single entity that is responsible for everything? If I can buy a multi-million dollar airplane, which is far more complex than a building, without the hassle of both design and construction contracts, why should I not do the same for my new building?"

In theory, the design and construction parts of a design-build firm have equal standing, but in practice, architects are especially vulnerable. You can't design structure without an engineer, you can't design site work without an engineer, you can't design mechanical or electrical systems without an engineer, and you can't build a building without a contractor - but it's hard to say why you need an architect.

Design-build firms often are led by contractors because they're the ones who know the most about construction. They know about costs and schedules, they know how to build, and they know how to hire and employ subcontractors. The only reason they employ design professionals is because states require their certification. Even without that requirement, any contractor interested in self-preservation would still employ engineers to make sure their buildings wouldn't fall down, but what's left that requires an architect?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make sure that doors have at least 32 inches clear opening and that there are enough fire extinguishers to go around. However, because certification is required, we still need an architect on the team. But what is the architect's role? It may now be relegated to drawing and specifying what the contractor wants to build. The architect may have little or no interaction with the owner, other than selecting a few finishes and creating impressive perspectives to sell the job. The real design work may be done by someone who knows nothing about architecture, engineering, or construction, other than relative costs.

Certification of construction documents typically consists of the architect signing a statement that says, "I hereby certify that this plan, specification, or report was prepared by me or under my direct supervision..." or something to that effect. Question: When the architect is not in charge of the design process, when the contractor drives the decisions, isn't the architect's certification of the drawings and specifications no more than "plan stamping"?

To be continued...

2012, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC

Follow me at http://swconstructivethoughts.blogspot.com/,  http://twitter.com/swolfearch

notebookBoard 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.
Standing Reservations 
Meeting Arrangements Committee
For those of you who know you will be attending each chapter meeting and don't want to mess with making sure they have a spot each month, the Chapter offers to its members in good standing the Standing Reservation List.
Please review the terms of this program at the following link.
Quiz ANSWERS:  1. - c; 2. - c; 3. - c; 4. - b; 5. - b  
In This Issue
Golf Outing
Table Tops
Meeting Innformation

March 15, 2012

Riverwalk Banquet Center

Members: Free
Guests $20
Students: $5
Retired: $5

5:30 Social Hour
6:30 Dinner
7:15 Mtg/Program 
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