Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

June 2016

winners circle skyline
"Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun."

Deep Thoughts

- Kahlil Gibran

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

June 16 is our annual Awards Banquet at the Skyline Club - bring your significant other and enjoy the festivities from the 34th floor.  Thanks to Pete Baker & Terri Truitt for another great banquet.  Come as we crown our new King Ralph Pitman.  Uneasy lies the crown - I expect a coup d'état any day led by Captain Jack Morgan and his gang of rum pirates.           

Apparently the golf outing went off without a hitch.  A pat on the back to David Fryman for getting 66 golfers out there and for making a nice contribution to the Education Foundation.  Apparently everyone present got an award or a prize - just like youth sports.  I think they forgot to give out a few awards though - i.e. the worst golfers at the golf outing - Mark Smith, Matt Meier and Don Amt.  And the worst cart drivers - JW Moore, Blake Morgan, Kristen Welty and Scott Perez - those guys had way too much fun. 

Have you ever wondered how they came up with 18 holes in golf and not 10, or 15, or 20?  It's because the Scottish, who invented the game, thought it was appropriate because there are 18 jiggers in a fifth of Scotch.  Oi!  

Trade Show - down to 8 booths!  The CSI Indy Trade Show is fast approaching - don't miss out, get your booth now and secure a spot in our 42nd Annual event on Wednesday, September 28th.      

Time to hit Copacabana Beach in Rio - the Olympics are back!  Although it won't be nearly as much fun without Maria Sharapova and the rest of her juiced up Russians.  It might also be a little risky with the sika virus, green sludge and soylent green in the water.  Soylent green is people!

- Your Humble Narrator 

Upcoming Events
Programs Committee


2016 Indianapolis Chapter CSI Awards Banquet

Thursday June 16, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

The Indianapolis Chapter CSI will host its annual Awards Banquet at the Skyline Club on Thursday evening, June 16th.

Skyline Club


Indianapolis Chapter CSI July Meeting: Ventilated Wall Systems / Porcelain Stoneware Cladding

Thursday July 21, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EDT

This presentation will discuss the key components of ventilated wall systems. It will also cover the qualities of porcelain tile and how it relates to sustainable design.

Willows on Westfield


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Early Bird Booth Registration

Wednesday September 28, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

This is a chance to sign up for early bird booth registration to the 42nd Annual CSI Indianapolis Trade Show on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis.

JW Marriott


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Exhibitor Registration

Wednesday September 28, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

This is a chance for exhibitors to sign up for booths to the 42nd Annual CSI Indianapolis Trade Show, #DESIGNINDY2016. It will be held at the JW Marriott Indianapolis on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 3-7pm.

JW Marriott






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.

Dennice Cagle-Upton (72) went to be with her Lord on Friday 6/10 from complications of leukemia. She loved playing and singing music, arts, crafts, and garage saling. She is survived by husband David. Two children Lisa Pitman (Ralph), Rob Seawright (Julie). Two step-daughters Kim Moore (Brian) and Jennifer Swanson (Mike). Seven grandchildren, one great grandchild due in August, six brothers, sisters and multiple nieces and nephews. Services will be on Tuesday 6/14 at Victory Christian Church 1720 Graham Rd Franklin, IN. Visitation will be 6-7pm with celebration of life service to follow. Family is asking in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Leukemia Society.

Donald G. Woehler -  Founding member of Indpls Chapter CSI past VP SectyTreasurer, Board Member.
Certification Quiz

Jack Morgan - Quizmaster

1.  When using a Procurement Contract, which of the following will differ from their use in a Construction Contract situation?

a.  Invitation to Bid, Bid Form

b.  Instruction to Bidders, Agreement

c.  Division 01

d.  All of the above

2.  The best type of specifications to invite improved products and innovations of the manufacturer? 

a.  Performance

b.  Reference Standard

c.  Either Open or Closed

d.  Proprietary


3.  The most effective method to organize the Project manual when using multiple contracts is:


a.  Write a single Project Manual that includes the requirements for all contacts

b.  Prepare a separate Project Manual for each Prime Contract

c.  Show division of Contracts on one set of drawings

d.  Have a meeting after bidding and let subcontractors divide up the work from the single Project Manual


4.  Who employees the Construction Manager (CM)?


a.  Contractor

b.  A/E

c.  Owners

d.  Multiple Contractors


5.  The single contract that the Owner has in a design-build delivery method is a contract for what:


a.  the design

b.  the construction

c.  the project management

d.  the design and construction

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

How did we get here?  The good old days
Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC
One of the things that has plagued CSI for some time is a lack of a tangible something of value. For a very long time, CSI offered useful things of real value. The first part of our membership curve suggests CSI must have had something that brought in new members and led to the creation of new chapters. Let's see if we can discover what that something was.

While reading several historical documents, I found nothing that said "We did this and gained 200 members!" but I found a few things that contributed to CSI's growth. Yes, there were a few membership drives, but it's important to understand that a membership drive with nothing to offer probably will be unsuccessful. If you have nothing to offer, what difference does it make if you can get it at half price?

To understand what made CSI grow, we must look at what it was about construction documents that encouraged the formation of CSI. We could search for documents from that time and analyze them, or we could use the original goals of the organization as an indicator of what was wrong with construction documents. Consider this list of the five priorities, and what they suggest - if these things were not problems, there would have been no reason to include fixing them as goals!
  • Better specification writing. Unless specifications were poorly written, there would have been no need for improvement. I have read specifications written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and I will tell you they could have been better. Lacking the guidelines of MasterFormat and SectionFormat, they appear to have been written in a stream-of-consciousness style, wandering from one subject to another. They were inconsistent in style, format, sequence, and organization, even when issued from the same office.
  • Simpler specifications. The specifications I read were short, which made them usable despite other deficiencies. I can only speculate that by "simpler," CSI founders were thinking of consistent formatting and style.
  • Standardization of building codes. Unfortunately, CSI has had no influence on building codes, which, if anything, continue to become more complex and often contradictory.
  • Standardized specifications for public works at all levels. CSI has had some effect on public sector specifications, at least for the organization of information. Today, most national and many state agencies require compliance with MasterFormat and SectionFormat. More important, because of the common use of commercial guide specifications and manufacturers' specifications, there is a great amount of standardization throughout construction in the US.
  • Study of new materials and processes developed during World War II, as substitutes or improvements. Although CSI formally presents discussion of new materials through the Construction Specifier, it was the informal networking of members that helped promote new materials and ideas.
Other objectives included: providing a forum for exchange of information among architects, engineers, contractors, building maintenance engineers, educators, and others involved in construction; improving quality, clarity, and technical validity of specifications; developing a greater appreciation of the value of specifications; getting architecture and engineering schools to develop courses for preparing specifications;

The architects who started CSI recognized the chaotic state of construction documents and banded together to bring order to them. How did they do that? What did they do that enticed others to join them?

In 1948, CSI had members but no chapters. Even though the bylaws allowed the formation of chapters, with a minimum of ten members, it took a few years before chapters appeared. In 1960, an article titled "Chapters Not Begun" was published in the Construction Specifier. It listed ten states that had ten or more members, then encouraged those members to start local chapters. The Metro New York Chapter, with thirty-nine members, was the first, followed by DC and Chicago chapters in 1952, and Los Angeles in 1953.

I believe the founding of chapters was a big step in the initial growth of the organization. It's one thing to know that others share common interests, quite another to meet with them, share information, discuss problems, and work toward the elimination of those problems. Remember, at that time communication was limited to written letters and phone calls. The chapter meeting became an important member benefit and made it easy to show non-members why they should join. Membership drives during these early days were quite successful. In 1956, 300 new members joined in six months, and a membership in 1957 brought in nearly 1,000 members, along with seven new chapters. Clearly, CSI had something to offer, as can be seen on the membership curve.

As noted, what we would call "networking" today was an important part of membership, but what else did CSI offer? The Construction Specifier, first published the year after CSI was incorporated, had to play a big part, with technical articles leading the way. 1950 saw the introduction of "Specification Clinic", and it was common for the magazine to discuss how to write better specifications. Carl J. Ebert, the editor from 1949 through 1963, understood what members needed to know and successfully filled the magazine with needed information. The usefulness of the Specifier was made evident in 1956 when 800 copies were taken by architects at that year's annual AIA convention.

The early '60s saw the addition of activities and programs that made CSI more attractive and continued to draw more members. Committee work began in earnest, giving more members opportunities to contribute to technical documents. The specifications competition was promoted in the Specifier, and region conferences brought members together from larger areas. More technical documents were included in the Specifier as "pink sheets" and chapters began technical research.

Two major publications finally addressed many of the problems known to specifiers and manufacturers. A series of pink sheets titled "A Manual of Practice for Specification Writing Methods" led to the formation of a committee that would develop and publish the CSI Manual of Practice. During the same period, the 20-page "CSI Format for Building Specifications" was published in the Specifier, and the original 16 Divisions of MasterFormat were introduced. The Spec-Data program, started as a joint venture with the Producers' Council, presented a standard method of presenting information, a great boon to specifiers and manufacturers alike.

Together, all of these things brought great value to CSI members. There were things to do, problems to solve, and face meetings were the way to get things done. By 1969, with the introduction of SectionFormat, most of CSI's important contributions to the industry were completed, and the membership curve flattened for the next decade.
The next growth spurt occurred from 1980 through 1996. CSI continued to develop its documents, MasterFormat became the accepted standard for organization of all types of construction information, the five-digit numbering system was a great improvement over the limited four-digit system, Uniform Location of Subject Matter was published, and in 1978, the CCS certification program was introduced, followed by the CDT, the CCPR, and the CCCA.

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

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at

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Chapter Photos

Capturing Memories

The 100th running of the Indy 500 went off without a hitch.  Let's take a look a CSI members who celebrated at the track:

Looks like Henry Stellema had a great time!

 Is that Chris Stahl & Lora Manning?

Ken Schmidt hugging it out with his new best friend!

Joe & Charlie McGwire arguing over specifications!

And then we have Ed Brown riding a horse - not at the Indy 500 - but nonetheless impressive!

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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.

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. - d
2. - a
3. - b
4. - c
5. - d

In This Issue
June 16, 2016

Willows on Westfield

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Indianapolis Chapter CSI | P.O. Box 20802 | Indianapolis | IN | 46220