Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

December 2014

winners circle skyline

Happy Holidays to you all.  From the chapter, we hope you all have a great season with your family and look forward to a 
I wanted to make special note of our sponsors.
RMH Architectural
Metal Era
Please let us know if you have any ideas for future newsletters.
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 Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter Editor

Upcoming Events
Programs Committee



Upcoming Events

Indianapolis Chapter CSI Holiday Party

Thursday December 11, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM EST

Usher in the Holiday season with the Indianapolis Chapter CSI.

Columbia Club


CSI Indy: 2015 Building Code Update Seminar
January 15, 2015
Willows on Westfield
6729 East Westfield Blvd.

CSI Indy January Program: 2015 Building Code Update
January 15, 2015
Willows on Westfield
6729 East Westfield Blvd. 


CSI Indy February Program: LEED V.4 Third Party Verification
February 19, 2015
Willows on Westfield
6729 East Westfield Blvd. 


View from the Tower
David Young AIA, CSI
new info     


December:  the month when the whole country focuses on the Holidays - and the hope, joy, memories, sentiment, giving, and peace that the Holidays mean for most of us.


Christmas has been a federal holiday in some sense since at least 1870, but in our increasingly secular world it has become more and more commercial.  Much of the original intention has been lost.  So it is good to remember where it began:  


And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.  And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.  And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.  And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you:  you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men!"   Luke 2:4-14


We pick up on this spirit of family, sharing, and joy with our annual CSI Holiday Party, once again at The Columbia Club on Thursday 11 December from 6:00 to 8:30.  Entertainment will be by Indianapolis Children's Choir.  This is an annual event for many of us, and if you have not yet signed up go to


The month and the year will finish out with New Year's, which traditionally is a time of new beginnings and reflection.  This would be a good time to renew your commitment to our chapter and consider what you could do to enrich it.  We each have our niches and interests, and those can be meshed with the needs of the chapter.  And as you know, the giver receives more than those served, and the teacher learns more than those he teaches.  Several of our committee chairs have been in their roles for a number of years, and they are ready to let someone else take the reigns - or at least help drive.  Contact me, and I will get you together.


Our January Chapter Meeting will be back at our traditional time and location:  Third Thursday 15 January at The Willows on Westfield.  The program will be a presentation by our own Scott Perez of Arxtheon on changes in the recently adopted 2014 Indiana Building Code.  Scott will also present an afternoon of seminars on the same topic prior to the meeting.  More information at


There is no President's Question this month because there is no chapter meeting this month.  Look for it to return next month.


Remember:  I am here to serve our members.  Email me or call me.  317.777.0855 cell

Please feel free to share any suggestions, complaints, or needs regarding our chapter - or especially if you wish to volunteer for any of our committees.  I already owe thanks to so many for their advice, guidance, and contributions.  We are such a great chapter because so many help in their own way.


CSI Indianapolis Chapter . . .          UNITING, CONNECTING, BUILDING . . . 





David Young AIA, CSI

2014-2015 Indianapolis Chapter CSI President 

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.

Be sure to check out this month's update. 

Certification Quiz
Jack Morgan - Quizmaster 


1. Instructions for procurement


a. Are used only on private projects.

b. Frequently are standard industry forms.

c. May include the geotechnical report as an attachment.

d. Are binding upon the contractor.


2. Outline specifications aid in the design process for all of the following EXCEPT?


a. Revising cost estimates and schedules

b. Value engineering studies

c. Checklist for selecting products

d. Serving as the basis for subcontracts in fast track construction


3. Lump sum, unit price, or cost-plus-fee constitutes the basis of:


a. Selection

b. Payment

c. Award

d. Contract


4. If the construction budget of a 50,000 square foot project is $5,000,000 based on $100 per square foot, it is an example of which method of preparing the budget?


a. Unit price

b. Cost per measured unit

c. Systems

d. Component cost


5. The design stage of a project includes all of the following EXCEPT:


a. Design development

b. Schematic design

c. Feasibility studies

d. Outline specifications 


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


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 Jeremy Hoffman - , 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 - 317.690.5820


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

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Chapter Photos
Throwback Thursday
CSI Bi-Region Conference
Chicago 2015

CSI Bi-Region Conference Coming to Chicago

Hosts Northern Illinois and Chicago Chapters will welcome 29 chapters and their leaders from the North Central and Great Lakes regions for the 2015 Bi-Region Conference.

The Chicago Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, with its spectacular views of the river and city skyline, will serve as the venue.  Its location in River North, next to the Merchandise Mart is convenient to transportation, sightseeing, dining and the best of Chicago.  

For those traveling to Chicago, the host committee has negotiated rooms at the extraordinary value of $139 per night.  For our CSI Chicago and Northern Illinois members, colleagues, companions and other welcome attendees, the accessibility and ease of participation is unmatched.  

This conference will offer:

  • Leadership training for chapter officers

  • Technical continuing education seminars open to conference attendees and Chicagoland design and construction professionals

  • Sponsorships/Partnerships to increase visibility with CSI members and the Chicago architectural community

  • Product show for manufacturers to showcase their products to CSI Bi-Region members and Chicago design professionals

  • President-elect training for chapters

  • Technical Tours

  • Companion Events

  • Architectural Boat Cruise for Conference Attendees

  • Region awards banquet

More information, sponsorship opportunities and hotel reservations are available on the conference website:


Elias Saltz, CSI,

Dewain Peterson, CSI,


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Chapter Photos
Capturing Memories
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Manufacturers' specifications don't follow CSI's Practice Guide

...why are you surprised?

2014, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC  

CSI's practice documents - MasterFormat, SectionFormat, and the Practice Guides - present a unified and consistent approach to preparing and interpreting construction documents based on AIA or EJCDC general conditions and related documents. They also are applicable to documents produced by most other organizations, though some modification may be necessary. When teaching CSI classes, I emphasize the overall organization of these documents as a first principle; with that in mind, it's easier to understand why things are organized the way they are, and to see how they all work together. This sometimes leads to comments and questions, such as, "That's not the way my office does it!" and "Why don't this manufacturer's specifications follow those rules?"


Together, CSI's practice documents provide a firm but adaptable framework for preparing construction documents. They provide enough structure so, as the old adage says, there is "a place for everything and everything in its place." On the other hand, they are sufficiently flexible to allow one to specify just about anything imaginable.

Although these documents create a fairly complete framework, they do not go into great detail about how to address all matters: there is no standard specification for concrete; a number of optional methods are offered; there is no boilerplate text for any part of a specification beyond article titles, and even those are suggestions. The specifier, following the principles of the practice documents, is left to supply the remaining detail.


Obviously, this leaves a lot to be done. If a specifier were to start with nothing more than access to products, it would take a long time to assemble a set of master specifications. The widespread availability of reference standards is of inestimable help, making it possible to easily define performance testing methods and properties. However, even with these standards, writing even a simple section could take many hours, and the amount of research that would be required for a complex system or assembly could be overwhelming. (Reference standards are not without their own problems; see "Faith-based specifications."


Fortunately, a few entrepreneurial people, and later, manufacturers themselves, saw an unfulfilled need and began to produce master guide specifications for a great variety of construction products and systems. Unfortunately, the results typically have not followed the rules established by AIA and CSI documents. Even worse, guide specifications often are used verbatim or with only minor changes, and without much concern about how well they are written. A common excuse is that they are incorporated late in a project, but it's not unusual to see them become office masters with little change.


Manufacturers have a defensible position; they are in business to sell products, and they have a tendency to stack the deck any way they can in their own proprietary specifications. I'm not saying it's right, and it definitely doesn't comply with CSI practice guides, but it's understandable. How many times have you seen a manufacturer's guide specification that requires the product be produced by only that manufacturer, not once, but two or three times? From their viewpoint, it makes sense to identify the manufacturer under Section Includes, Quality Assurance, Manufacturers, Components, Assemblies, and a few more times under Execution. Some manufacturers also like to include a variety of restrictive specifications that have little to do with performance or quality. I won't be surprised if some day I see a manufacturer's specification that includes something like, "Label: Must include the words Acme Widgets, Inc."


Still, I can't get too excited when a manufacturer writes a specification that eliminates the competition. They still offer useful information, and the price is right. The sad thing is that some designers apparently don't realize what's going on, and leave all of the proprietary provisions in place - and then call it a competitive specification!

Regardless of how guide specifications are written, the designer should modify them so they express what is needed by the owner and the project. 

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at


Sheldon Wolfe, FCSI

Chancellor, CSI College of Fellows


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.
ANSWERS:  1. b; 2. d; 3. b; 4. b; 5. c
In This Issue



December 11, 2014

The Columbia Club

$30 ($40 after 12.8)