Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

August 2015

winners circle skyline

"I don't know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do."

Deep Thoughts

- Frank Gehry

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
In the immortal words of Johnny Rotten - "I don't generally wake up, I come to" and recently it has come to my attention that nobody is paying attention to me! Hey, I beat my drum, I sang my song, but we aren't getting any social media out there.  You young kids need to get on this.  For some reason, and speaking as an official old fart, this social media stuff is apparently important.  So start tweeting and instagramming and facebooking - all those things you kids do - we need to connect to young people interested in construction.  If everyone in the Indianapolis Chapter would send out chatter then we wouldn't have to worry about connecting.            

The CSI Indianapolis Trade Show is sold out!  Great job Brian Detty and the Trade Show Committee.  Now the hard part - we need attendance.  Exhibitors won't come back next year if we don't get people to the show.  Architects, designers, spec writers, students, affiliated associations - make sure you tell everyone in your office, your colleagues, and your clients and yes even your competitors to come to the CSI Indy Trade Show at the JW Marriott on Thursday September 10th.         

The Hat seems to have disappeared recently.  I think it got tired of me stalking - apparently that is illegal now. 

FOOTBALL IS BACK!  Don't try to contact me until after the Super Bowl - I will be in football hibernation.         

- Your Humble Narrator 
Upcoming Events
Programs Committee


Upcoming Events

Indianapolis Chapter CSI August Meeting: Beyond Repeal - Procurement Changes by CCW Repeal

Thursday August 20, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

This program will discuss the ramifications of the new Indiana law that repeals the common construction wage statute.

Willows on Westfield


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Family Night Out to the Indians Game

Tuesday August 25, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM EDT

Join us for a family night out at Victory Field on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. The chapter has reserved a block of seats to the Indianapolis Indians vs Louisville Batts game. The game starts at 7:05 pm. Please RSVP by 5:00pm, August 14 to Mark A. Smith (317-726-1060,

Victory Field


2015 Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show Seminar

Thursday September 10, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

Two-one hour programs on steel. Details forthcoming

JW Marriott


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Attendee Registration

Thursday September 10, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

JW Marriott


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Exhibitor Registration

Thursday September 10, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

JW Marriott

View from the Tower
Joel H. Young, Assoc. AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED Green Assoc.
new info     

To me, August will always feel like the time of year for a fresh start.  In my mind, it is the origin month of my mental calendar map.  This goes back to my college and school days, and I still feel the "back to school" excitement.  For the parents out there, I would imagine there is some sense of relief... for me, as a young parent, I'm still a few years away from my son going to school.
Although July is technically the start of the fiscal year for our Chapter, I would venture to say that August is really when things start taking shape for the year ahead in our Chapter.  Committees are hard at work.  Officers are stepping into a rhythm.  Events are getting planned and finalized in some cases. 
Many exciting things are happening this time of the year in our Chapter.  In September we have our Annual Tradeshow, which we expect to be a huge success thanks to our Committee volunteers.  We also have our National Convention, Construct - which this year is in St. Louis from September 30th - October 3rd.  I strongly urge every member to attend this conference at least once in their lifetime.  I attended Construct for the first time last year, and I can tell you that not only is it a worthwhile and fun experience, there is much to be learned about CSI as a whole from making the trip.  
About the photo:  I couldn't resist.  This picture of my son, Collin (6 mo.), is one of my favorites.  It was taken recently as I was getting ready for work in the morning.  We have a little routine where he comes in our room in the morning and I play with him for a few minutes before getting ready.  We play and he giggles, then he often watches me with this piercing curiosity.  That's why I grabbed the camera and stole a picture of the moment.  Sure glad I did.
Trade Show Reminder:  Our 41st Annual Trade Show will be on Thursday 10 September, and will be held at the J.W. Marriott.  Our Trade Show booths are SOLD OUT!!  This success is thanks to our Trade Show Committee, and booth sales were led by Mike Halstead and Ken Schmidt.  The Committee is now making every effort to spread the word to attendees.  With the exciting venue, sold out show, etc., we hope to have very high attendance, and we are doing everything possible to make that happen.  Please help by spreading the word, and if you need some advertising material, contact our Committee Chair, Brian Detty (
For a gift card prize, this month I will continue to promote the 50/50 raffle by having a second pull from the hat.  As it may be awhile before I can join the C-Note club (my money goes to daycare, diapers, and formula...), the goal of this is to further encourage people to buy tickets and support the Education Foundation.
Please feel free to contact me at any time.  I welcome any suggestions, questions, concerns, or constructive criticism regarding Chapter business.  You can reach me at 317.879.6052, and by email at (for normal correspondence), or (for more urgent matters).

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


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.  The responsibility of inspecting work already performed for proper condition to receive
subsequent work lies with the:

a.  Owner
b.  A/E
c.  Contractor
d.  Subcontractor
2.  Preconstruction activities begin when the contractor has received:

a.  a letter of intent to award
b.  the contracting forms.
c.  the project specifications
d.  a signed copy of the addenda.

3.  Value analysis, is also called:


a.  Value Enhanced Design

b.  Project Valuing

c.  Enhanced Engineering

d.  Value Engineering


4.  Graphic documents that show the quantitative extent and relationship of elements to one another are:


a.  Drawings

b.  Specifications

c.  Elevations

d.  Details


5.  Products can be categorized into the following types:


a.  Standard products, custom products, natural products, manufactured products

b.  Materials, commodities, products, assemblies, equipment

c.  Materials, standard products, custom products, assemblies, equipment

d.  Standard products, custom products, commodities, equipment

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

picasa icon


Chapter Photos
Capturing Memories


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.
What does the future hold for specifers?
Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC
In the last few years, it has been proposed that owners might benefit from hiring specifiers directly; it has even been suggested that specifiers might help owners choose architects. Specific aspects of these ideas, and of related issues, were addressed by member presentations at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 CSI annual conventions. There will be one similar presentation at this year's convention.

Last year, at the convention in Baltimore, several Institute directors and interested members met to discuss a report that had been submitted to the Institute board by Ujjval Vyas, PhD, of the Alberti Group. This report, titled "The Risk Management Value of Specifications," was prepared at the request of CSI. The report's Executive Summary noted conditions that would surprise few specifiers: Specification software is beginning to replace activities traditionally done by a specifier; contractors are becoming more involved in specifications, especially in design-build projects; and specifiers suffer from the Rodney Dangerfield syndrome - their value often is not appreciated by their employers, with commensurate effect on stature, compensation, and opportunity for advancement.

What will happen to specifiers in the next decade? Will they be replaced by software? Will they shed the grunt work of word processing and become even more valuable, devoting their time to product research, coordination of documents, and adding intelligence to the building model? Or will they simply fade away?

Just as has happened with drawing - we moved from linen to vellum to digital images, and we moved from drafting to CAD to building modeling, yet all of these options remain in use - all of the above possibilities for specifiers will exist in some degree, and it's possible someone will continue using a typewriter to write specifications. But which of these possibilities, or what combination of them, will be most common?

What I see suggests the answer won't be to the liking of most specifiers. Specifying software will get better, it will extract more information from the building model, it will get easier to use, it will further automate editing of specifications, and it will be seen as a replacement for specifiers. Contractors will continue to increase their importance during construction, and designers will continue to lose credibility with clients. Will specifiers soon find themselves in the unemployment line?

What happens, both to specifiers and to specifying as a career, will be affected by what specifiers do to influence the discussion. If they do nothing, they will be further marginalized, and though they might not be laid off, they may not be replaced when they leave. Based on what I've seen, that is the likely course.

Fifty or so years ago, it wasn't difficult to see what specifiers could contribute; it also wasn't difficult to see the value in CSI membership. At that time, commercial guide specifications didn't exist, so firms needed people who could start with a blank sheet of paper and write a specification. Manufacturers' literature was often inconsistent, incomplete, hard to get, and hard to understand. Since then,

For centuries, the architect's primary tool for conveying information was the drawing. More recently, specifications were added, but it may not be long before the building model, incorporating both graphic and verbal information, becomes the single tool for communicating with the project team. I frequently find myself blaming the educational system, and I'll do it again. By ignoring these communication tools, and by focusing on planning and pretty pictures, architecture schools not only fail to teach students what contract documents are and how they should be used; they also instill a disregard, even a disdain, for them. As architects move on in their careers, that attitude stays with them, and when forced to deal with anything other than a drawing, they don't know where to start. All of which gives rise to a common complaint of specifiers: "No one has the time to read specifications - until they're in trouble, when they run to the specifier and ask if there's something there to cover their exposed derrières."

How concerned are specifiers? How many of them will accept the challenge and work to improve and promote their value? How many will just muddle on, squinting at their monitors until their perceived value no longer justifies their existence? Are specifiers content to let others decide their futures? Or will they take action to determine their own fates? A few - Marc Chavez, Beth Stroshane, David Stutzman, John Guill, Liz O'Sullivan, and Cherise Schachter come to mind - have expressed their thoughts by blog and in convention presentations, but there has been little response. After three years of increased discussion of the business and the future of specifications, which restored the excitement I experienced at my first convention, we have but one such presentation this year.

Specifiers, do you care? Are you interested in what happens to your profession? Blogging is fine, but the convention provides a place where we can meet face-to-face, throw out ideas, and hash them out. And yes, there will be disagreement!

While you're at the convention in St. Louis, go to the CSI booth and to the Informa office, and tell them what you want to see at next year's convention.

© 2015, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at
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.


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



August 20, 2015

Willows on Westfield

Member - Free
Guest - $20
Student - $10






Click HERE to become a Sponsor today!