Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

April 2015

winners circle skyline

"The fact that every part of this ship was built by the lowest bidder"

Deep Thoughts

- Alan Shepard when asked by reporters what he thought about as he sat atop the Freedom 7 waiting for liftoff...

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



Many of you may not even have heard of, or remember, the mysterious CSI Indy traveling hat.  It appeared in many photos in many cities and countries around the world from 1980 to 1995.  I recently had lunch with The Hat and we talked about regenerating its grand tradition.  The Hat was very mysterious about its disappearance, having been taken hostage several times, but I was assured The Hat would reappear soon in some exotic places.  Keep your eyes open!


Welcome to our newest members of the CSI Indianapolis Chapter Board of Directors - Randy Vogt, Janie Farmer, Henry Stellema and myself.  SUCKERS!  We still need help with sponsorships and the chapter website - which apparently has been updated by National.  So keep volunteering - our Chapter has always been successful because so many of our members get involved. 


This past month Susan Simon and her husband Dick traveled Spain - Granada, Seville, Barcelona and my favorite place in Spain - Ronda.  This historic village was established along a large gorge via a classical Roman masonry bridge, built in circa 200 AD, which is still in use today.  Ronda is famous as the birthplace of bull fighting and was a court for Queen Isabella's Spanish Inquisition - if you were found to be a heretic they threw you into the gorge, only slightly better than being burned at the stake.  I'm sure Susan and Dick would show you their slide show of their trip through southern Spain - so beautiful is the Andalucía Region that Hercules used it as a foothold, Columbus sailed for it, Hemingway wrote a book about it, Suleiman the Great tried to establish his Ottoman Empire there and The Clash wrote a song about it.     


Congratulations to Ariel Su on her new job as Director of Administration for the Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative.  Ariel has been an amazing member of our Chapter and we wish her well in her new adventure.      


Your Humble Narrator

Upcoming Events
Programs Committee


Upcoming Events

Indianapolis Chapter CSI Education Seminar: Concrete Curing and Restoration

Thursday April 16, 2015 from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM EDT

There will be two presentations. The first presentation will discuss concrete curing and long term protection of concrete from moisture and de-icing chemicals. The second presentation will about concrete restoration basics, covering the causes for concrete deterioration. It is approved for 1 AIA HSW learning unit.

Willows on Westfield


Indianapolis Chapter CSI April Meeting: Concrete Repair Material Data Sheet Protocol

Thursday April 16, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

In 2012, ICRI published this document to aid manufacturers on the testing standards that are required for a given type of test. This guideline is to homogenize the information on Material Data Sheets (technical data sheets) so architects, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers can adequately compare products with the same test criteria.

Willows on Westfield


Indianapolis Chapter CSI May Meeting: The International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo

Thursday May 21, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

The program focuses on the idea of designing a facility that is optimized for two species. Our buildings are always designed for people. But what does it mean to design for people but also to design for a different, but nevertheless sentient and highly intelligent - species? What does the facility mean for the city of Indianapolis culturally?

Willows on Westfield


2015 Past President's Forum

Thursday May 28, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

This is our annual gathering of the past presidents of the Indianapolis Chapter of CSI. This gathering gives the past presidents an opportunity to bestow advice to the incoming chapter president from years of experience.

The Rathskeller


2015 Standing Reservation List

Thursday December 31, 2015 at 1:00 PM EST

Willows on Westfield


View from the Tower
David Young AIA, CSI
new info     



Many of you have noticed the updated look to The Winner's Circle.  Hats off to Mike Halstead and Ryan Muzzillo, both of Halstead Architects, who have taken over editing duties.  We would be sorely remiss not to thank Dan McCloskey who has produced the newsletter single-handedly since 2009.  That kind of commitment is what makes our chapter so great!  Thank you, Dan!

 Congratulations to new members of the Board of Directors elected on 19 March:


Janie Farmer

Mike Halstead

Henry Stellema

Randy Vogt


Thank you to Ed Brown and his Nominations Committee and Kristin Welty, Dan McCloskey, and the Tellers for a well-run election.


Congratulations to the 2014-15 Officers elected at the Board Meeting on 9 April:


Joel Young, President

Ralph Pitman, President Elect

Andrew Huehls, Vice-President

Christine Walter, Secretary

Jeremy Hoffman, Treasurer


This administration will start with the July Board Meeting.


Our April Chapter Meeting will back to our normal location at The Willows on Westfield.

Social Hour starts at 5:30 / Dinner will be served at 6:30 / Program from 7:30 to 8:30:

"ICRI Guideline 320.3R-2012, Guideline for Inorganic Repair Material Data Sheet Protocol". In 2012, ICRI published this document to aid manufacturers on the testing standards that are required for a given type of test. This guideline is to homogenize the information on Material Data Sheets (technical data sheets) so architects, contractors, engineers, and manufacturers can adequately compare products with the same test criteria.


Presenter:  Andrew Fulkerson is the Technical Manager for the Concrete Restoration Systems Division of MAPEI. Andrew has nearly 17 years of experience in the concrete repair and concrete admixture businesses.


This is a joint meeting with ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute) and is a follow up to the two afternoon education seminars on "Concrete Curing & Long Term Moisture Protection" and "Concrete Restoration Basics."


Many of us have experienced issues with both Institute website and the Indianapolis website, which is a microsite of the Institute website.  Joy Davis, CSI, CCPR, Institute Communications/Community/Web Director, sent an email to chapter leaders on 27 March indicating that the reporting and finance issues were now corrected.  This means that those of you who have had trouble renewing should now be properly registered.  If you still have any concerns in this regard, please email me, and I will follow up.


Event Look-Ahead:


7-9 May -- Bi-Region Conference - at The Chicago Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, next to the Merchandise Mart.

$150 early bird registration is available only through April 22.  Get signed up!


We have an Orangutan Twofer in May:

21 May Chapter Meeting - The Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo: Designing for Two Species -- The Willows on Westfield

30 May -- Orangutan Exhibit Field Trip (Saturday) -- Indianapolis Zoo

This is family event.  Bring children, friends, and co-workers.  Last day to sign up on line will be 15 May.


18 June -- Awards Banquet -- Columbia Club

This will be an event not to miss.  If you have not experienced this, bring your spouse or significant other and join the celebration.


The April President's Question:


In order to promote the 30 May Day at the Zoo and International Orangutan Center Tour let's have some Indianapolis Orangutan trivia.  The orangutans currently residing at the center include Azy, Charly, Katy, Knobi, Lucy, Nicky, Rocky, and Basan.       Who is pictured above?


Big HINT:  Go to


And GOD made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according its kind.  And GOD saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:25               And it is good, isn't it?


Be the first to email the correct answer to with the subject heading "Orangutan" and you will receive a $25 gift certificate from  The correct answer and winner will be revealed at the April chapter meeting.  You must be present to win.


Remember:  I am here to serve our members.  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.  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.
Certification Quiz
Jack Morgan - Quizmaster 


1.  A punch list is generated by the:

a.  A/E just prior to substantial completion.

b.  The subcontractors after substantial completion.

c.  The Owner prior to substantial completion

d.  The Contractor prior to substantial completion.


2.  The contract clauses that establish payment responsibilities are found in:

a.  General Conditions

b.  Division 01 General Requirements

c.  Payment Bond

d.  Addenda


3.  The Contractor's first activity on the project site typically is:

a.  Survey and lay out the new construction

b.  Meet with the AHJ\

c.  Install temporary power

d.  Begin mobilization


4.  The Design Negotiate Build (DNB) Process is more conducive to:

a.  Value analysis and repricing

b.  Complex negotiations

c.  Protracted counteroffers

d.  Multiple contracts


5.  An affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller to the buyer that relates to the goods and becomes a part of the basis of the bargain creates _______________________.

a.  An implied warranty

b.  A full warranty

c.  An express warranty

d.  A guarantee


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

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
I told Ron Boots to send me shop drawings but...

Great tie John!


A special thanks to Bruce Bondy for his presentation on freehand drawing techniques last month!

picasa icon   


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.
An editorial section for members to "let it out" about the Construction Industry, the Chapter, CSI National, etc. Members can email the Co-Editors anonymously with comments for publish by clicking on the image to the right.

We need to nominate more Indianapolis Chapter Members for Fellowship.

Has anyone seen the "traveling hat" recently?

Haystacks:  Do construction documents do what they're supposed to do?
© 2015, Sheldon Wolfe RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC

The purpose of construction documents is simple: They tell the contractor what is needed to complete a project. How best to do that has been a subject of debate for a long time, even though a basic set of rules has been used at least as far back as the 1940s. In his "The Case For the Streamlined Specification", published in the July 1949 Construction Specifier, Ben John Small referred to a book titled "Specifications" that was written in 1896; the older book apparently discussed some degree of streamlining.


That's fine as far as it goes, but if the intent is to clearly communicate with the contractor, are we doing as well as we could? Architects and specifiers have a nice collection of rules for organizing information, but do they make sense for the contractor? Our rules are fairly consistent, and they are generally accepted by design firms, but can they be improved? A large project many take a year or more to complete, yet we still have inconsistencies and conflicts. Is it fair to expect a bidder, who typically has only a few weeks to figure out what we want, collect subcontract bids (many of which are incomplete or include qualifications), decide how much to include to cover the inevitable problems, and arrive at a competitive price?


Can we do better than asking contractors to find the critical information in a haystack of information that is less important?


Let's start with what works. Streamlining is the practice of removing many of the words we would use in ordinary conversation, but which add nothing to construction documents. A big step toward simplification is achieved by a simple change of mindset; if you understand that specifications and drawings are instructions written to the contractor, rather than a disinterested explanation of what is to happen, the rest will be easier. When teaching certification classes, I tell the class to write as if they are talking directly to the contractor. If you are talking with a contractor you won't say, "The contractor shall fill the bollard with concrete." Instead, you would say, "Fill the bollard with concrete."


As noted, this is a big first step, one that will automatically eliminate the "shall be" phrases that still are far too common. But even more can be done to reduce the length of specifications without losing critical information. While some things may need something approaching a complete sentence, most requirements can be reduced to what amounts to a checklist. Each item begins with a subject, followed by a colon (defined to mean "shall be" or similar term), followed by the relevant property. For example:


Air content: 5 to 8 percent.

Insulation: ASTM C578, Type IV.


If the property is evaluated by a reference standard, insert the standard and qualifying requirements before the colon.


Compressive strength, ASTM C109, 28 days: 7,000 psi.


Note that this checklist approach translates very well to properties found in BIM objects.


It's fairly common practice to eliminate the articles a, an, and the. In most cases, this works well, but I retain the article when referring to the Architect, the Contract, the Contractor, and the Work, to take care of those situations when those terms occur at the beginning of a sentence. Otherwise, there is no way to differentiate between the contractor identified in the agreement (Contractor) and a contractor working on the same building but under a different contract.


Even though streamlining is relatively easy to do, many firms - and even commercial guide specifications - do not use it as much as they can. Another common problem is lack of coordination: specifications that conflict with each other and with drawings, drawing notes that appear to have been written without any understanding of what's in the specifications, and drawing notes that ignore the basics of writing specifications. If that's the best we can do, and it appears that it is, we haven't made much progress in the last hundred years.


The Heretic Specifier suggests rearranging the haystack

Consider these words of wisdom regarding PageFormat, and consider applying them to everything we do:


The first concern of the Page Format is an improved and clearer presentation of the construction message. ... The writer and the reader were put before the typist, the printer, the equipment manufacturer, but without placing unreasonable demands upon any of them. ... The Page Format should then exhibit a reasonable amount of text density, providing visual recognition of the Parts and lesser levels, and arranging the subject matter in a logical, efficient and versatile page.

- excerpts from the CSI Manual of Practice, June 1974


Although specifiers can have an influence on drawings, let's look at how specifications can be changed to improve communication with the contractor. Let me start by saying that there is no excuse for contractors who don't look at the documents; "We don't do it that way" is a non-starter. On the other hand, it's not uncommon to hear "I didn't see it!" as an excuse for non-conforming work. It's easy to point to our rules and principles and say, "Too bad for you!" but in doing so, are we ignoring the problem? There is no doubt that some contractors just do what they're gonna do, but there are many occasions when I can't help but sympathize with a contractor who's trying to do a good job, but doesn't understand the way we do things.


A couple of responses are possible. We can go out of our way to educate contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers about the intricacies of our various formats and standards, but other than saying contractors should join CSI, not much of that happens. And, truth be told, many in the design professions, including our own members, don't follow the very principles we espouse.


Another approach is to reconsider how we do things. At a recent convention, Nashville, perhaps, there were a number of presentations that took this approach. There was healthy discord and disagreement about the proper use of the "Section Includes" article, and about other aspects of writing specifications, as well. Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, those discussions did not continue.


Why isn't this concept applied to all construction documents? Until the day that a significant number of contractors are not just CSI members, but CDTs, we can't just sit back and expect the rest of the construction team to understand what we do. If we're interested in progress, if we truly believe in improving communication, shouldn't we consider changing what we do for the benefit of the rest of the team?


This will be a bit off-subject, but bear with me. How many of you use what appears to be a standard format for meeting agendas and minutes? You know, the one with a lot of blank space at the top for the date and subject, followed by a list of those invited or those who attended, which can run to two or more pages, followed, finally, but the information you're really interested in?


If you think about it, that's a dumb way to organize agendas and minutes. The day after the meeting, will you really care who was there or who wasn't? Especially if the agenda or minutes were sent out under a transmittal form, which duplicates the same information?


Why do we write specifications in the same manner? Instead of starting with the important stuff - what's in the section - we ramble on for a page or so, talking about procedural items, then sandwich the good stuff between that and the how-to information. I know, the "Section Includes" article usually has a generic comment or description, but is that what a contractor is looking for? In most cases, the title of the section tells the contractor about as much as the "Section Includes" article.


What if we rearranged things to make it easier for contractors? Keep "Section Includes", but state what's in the section, including basis of design products; then go on to talk about performance standards, options, and the other stuff that directly affects the contractor, subcontractor, and installer. Follow that with special instructions regarding installation (shouldn't be much unless you know more than the manufacturer), then end with an appendix of information about submittals and other procedural matters. If it's easier for contractors, it should be easier for architects and specifiers.



Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at

Quiz  ANSWERS:  
1. d          2. a         3. d          4. a          5. c
In This Issue



April 16, 2015

Willows on Westfield

Member - Free
Guest - $20
Student - $10