Indianapolis Chapter CSI Newsletter

 February 2017

winners circle skyline
"Without Valentine's Day, February would be... well, January."

Deep Thoughts

- Jim Gaffigan

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
Our program this month on February 16 is Mark Dorsey, the National President of CSI.  Mark is going to give us his Vision for CSI and this program will be live cast on the internet.  Contact Henry Stellema about getting linked in to this webcast.  Hey - what about my vision?    

March 16 will be a tour of Poynter Sheet Metal & the program will be Fire Dampers presented by Greenheck.  Our social event on March 18 will be Indy Fuel hockey night as they take on the Kalamazoo Wings for "Pink in the Rink" night against Breast Cancer. Wear your pink!  A portion of all proceeds go toward breast cancer awareness and research via Susan G. Komen of Central Indiana to help women in our community.  Our monthly meeting on April 20 will be on construction law presented by our CSI Indy member Chris Drewry of DSV Law.  On May 11 Lora Manning will be discussing asphalt roofing as part of a Spike Lee Joint meeting with IRCA.  Hey Lora - I can remember when you needed a few beers to get up in front of the Chapter - now you're an old veteran! 

Speaking of veterans - I just got back from Hawaii and toured Pearl Harbor and the Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - commonly known as the Punchbowl.  While I was there I found the grave site of Ernie Pyle - Hoosier, IU Grad, journalist and World War II hero.  The School of Journalism at IU is named in his honor.    

The USS Arizona Memorial was also very impressive.  The memorial is actually floating over the sunken ship where 429 men were entombed after the torpedo explosion.  You can actually see the sunken ship below - oil is still leaking out every day from the hull over 75 years later. 

I know what you're thinking - I'm spoiled rotten, and yes I am.  Hawaii is incredible - you all need to go to the 50th State in the Union - I can teach you how to surf. 

Alas - football season is over.  Every year the offseason gets harder.  Freakin' Patriots.  My son is engaged to a Patriots fan - traitor.  Speaking of sweethearts - hope you all got your sweetheart the commensurate cards, gifts, candies and flowers for Valentine's Day!  

- Your Humble Narrator 
Upcoming Events
Programs Committee


2016-2017 Standing Reservation List

Monday August 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM EDT -to- Friday June 30, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT

Riverwalk Banquet Center


Indianapolis Chapter CSI February Meeting: State of CSI

Thursday February 16, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM EST

The executive director of CSI, Mark Dorsey, will give a presentation on that current state of CSI and the changes that has taken place and future goals of CSI.

Willows on Westfield


Hockey Game and Breast Cancer Fundraiser, with CSI Indy

Saturday March 18, 2017 from 6:45 PM to 10:00 PM EDT

Come join us as the Indianapolis Chapter of CSI root on the Indy Fuel as they take on the Kalamazoo Wings for "Pink in the Rink" night against breast cancer. A portion of the total proceeds go directly to Susan G. Komen Central Indiana to fund breast cancer research and breast health services to women in our community.

Indiana Farmers Coliseum


Indianapolis Chapter CSI Trade Show - Exhibitor Registration

Thursday September 28, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

This is a chance for exhibitors to sign up for booths to the 43rd Annual CSI Indianapolis Trade Show, #DESIGNINDY2017. It will be held at the JW Marriott Indianapolis on Wednesday, September 28, 2017 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.
View from the Tower

"First, think.  Second, believe.  Third, dream.  And finally, dare." -Walt Disney-

'If you follow these four steps then there's nothing you can't do.  First comes the thinking.  If you get this wrong you're sunk.  You have to think the right thoughts, and you'll come up with the right idea to pursue.  Then, believe like you've never believed before.  Believe in the idea and yourself.  Fall short on your belief level, and you'll never make it.  Next, dream of how you want it to be, map out a path, right down to the last detail.  And last but not least, dare to present your idea to the world and make it all happen in reality so you can benefit from it.'

This month's meeting will be a historic event that I dreamed about before taking the presidency, and that is to somehow broadcast our meetings to all.  The idea was to expose CSI to more people and allow those that are members of the Chapter to be a part virtually if they were traveling.  We started with forming the Technology Committee, chaired by Henry Stellema.  Then finding a way to broadcast was the next challenge, Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat or something else.  The committee took that dream and found a method to make it happen via our YouTube channel.  What will we dare to do next with this newfound way of spreading the good news of CSI - maybe broadcast to a class of students at a university?

This month the President-Elect takes on the great challenge of seeking out worthy nominees to fill the vacated director seats on the Board.  Gene King will be looking for those he sees as having hidden talents which have not yet been tapped to become our future leaders.  He will have a list of people to announce at this month's meeting once nominations are open and anyone can be nominated from the floor.  As a director on the board, this is your opportunity to be a voice for the chapter members.  This is a three-year term with the option to become an officer or even follow the path to president.  Once the nominations are closed the ballot will be set for the March elections.  The Board meets once a month typically the second Thursday of the month.

The January meeting was very educational on fire doors and testing.  Thank you again to DHI, Laura Frye, Audrey Wyser, and the program/education committee for making this happen.  Without volunteers and professional organizations we would not be able to stay as informed and educated on market trends.  I look forward to having more joint meetings with other organizations in the future.  If you have any program or education ideas please contact either Jack Morgan or Laura Frye.

For the February meeting, we will be welcoming CSI Executive Director Mark Dorsey who will be speaking on "My Vision of CSI."  This visit has been in the works for almost a year.  One of the benefits to this visit is Mark will not only be speaking to us as a chapter but spreading the news, via an e-invite, to all 87 Great Lakes Region (GLR) "At Large" Members, all 876 GLR members from the 13 chapters, all 10 nationwide Regional Presidents and President-Elects, all interested CSI members, 13 members of the Architectural Community located on the Island of Providentiales, Turks and Caicos Islands,  3 members of the Santiago, Cuba Architectural Community, 9 members of the Havana Architectural Community, and Mr. Ariel Pevida, President of AP Travel Consultants, SA.  We want to thank the GLR Board for sponsoring this webcast.  Webcast access - primary link: backup link: Please check out the website for registration information for future events and mark your calendars; visit

Congratulations to the winner of the January book on the early history of Walt Disney before Mickey Mouse.  Without this man daring to dream we might not have a lot of the technology we have in animation, live action, theme parks, and entertainment.  The photo I have selected this month is of my wife Lisa.  Her dream had been to make it to a Disney park for the first time and meet Tink.  


Ralph R. Pitman, Jr. CSI, CDT
Indianapolis Chapter CSI - President 2016-17 
Certification Quiz
Jack Morgan - Quizmaster


1.  The dollar amounts of Cash Allowances are:


a.  In the Instructions to Bidders

b.  In the Supplementary Conditions

c.  In Division 01

d.  In the Specification Sections of Division 02 through 49 that specify product installation.


2.  True or False.  Legal liability of one party is assumed by another is called a Hold Harmless Agreement.


a.  True

b.  False


3.  In MasterFormat 2004, what is the name of Division 08?


a.  Doors and Windows

b.  Openings

c.  Louvers

d.  Specialties


4.  The negotiating process includes which of the steps below::


a.  Offer.

b.  Exchange

c.  Compromise.

d.  Restitution.


5.  Which of the following is the proper way to end a Section in a Specification?


a.  END OF SECTION 07 21 00



d.  END

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

Tower of Babel
Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC
Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

I recently enjoyed watching a video clip of a senate confirmation hearing, in which Scott Pruit, EPA Administrator nominee, was being grilled by Joni Ernst, Senator from Iowa (the fun starts at about 2:14). At issue was the term WOTUS, or "Waters of the United States." Not knowing at the time I watched it what the term meant, it was amusing to see that 97 percent of Iowa would be governed by expansion of the existing definition. Further discussion focused on puddles and on a definition of a parking lot puddle as a "degraded wetland."

The labyrinthine regulations of the federal government reminded me of regulations we in construction deal with every day. They are similarly complex and obscure, differing only in extent. I was not surprised that I didn't understand the subjects of the senate hearing, but on further thought, I realized I really don't know much about the countless codes and regulations that govern construction.

Nor, I'm sure, does anyone else. The picture that accompanies this article shows just a few of the code books we use at my office. In the picture are a few versions of the IBC, a couple of Wisconsin code binders, several books of Minnesota codes, a few versions of NFPA 101, an elevator code book, and a few books that explain what's in the codes. This collection is nowhere near complete; we have many additional code books for Minnesota and Wisconsin, plus others for North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa, as well as for a couple of other states. I can only imagine what national and international firms have in their libraries.

Presumably, when someone certifies documents, that certification implies that the responsible person (or someone under that person's direct supervision) understands everything in every statute, code, rule, and regulation governing the work of the project, and that the project complies with all of them. What does that tell us?

First, I think it's safe to say that most of most regulations simply codify what was already common practice, much of which was based on empirical evidence. We build walls of 2 x 4s at 16 inches on center because it's been done that way a long time and it seems to work. Later additions were added after due consideration; someone probably tested walls with framing at 24 inches on center and that worked, too.

Many requirements were added in response to building failures. Even then, I suspect much of what's in the code is based on intuition, rather than on basic research beginning with the question, "What is required?" Though useful for comparative evaluations, code requirements often are not based on real-world applications. (See "Faith-based specifications.")

I also think it's safe to say it's unlikely that any building complies with all regulations. Regardless of the source or value of those requirements, it's clear that there are too many for any one person, or even several people, to understand. Making things more difficult is the fact that some information is restated in different codes, often in slightly different fashion, and some codes are more restrictive than others.

The International Code Council (ICC) publishes a dozen or so building and fire codes, which reference hundreds of standards published by ASHRAE, ASCE, and various other organizations, including about 50 of the 375 published by NFPA. These secondary codes also cite other standards, and so on, and so on, and so on. States then modify the basic codes, as do local jurisdictions. Some variations are required by local seismic and weather conditions, but many make little sense. All of these form the basic reference library for everyone involved in construction. Codes are continually being updated, usually on a three-year cycle. But not everyone is on the same cycle; some states update to follow the major codes more quickly than others, and different states will use different versions of the same codes.
My firm does mostly medical work, which must comply not only with the IBC and state codes, but also with NFPA 101, dictates of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission, as well as requirements of individual clients. I'm sure we're not alone, and that other types of construction have similar additional requirements.
Is all of this really necessary? I concede that there are special situations that require special treatment, but it's hard to believe there are enough special circumstances to justify the mountain of code books we must deal with. While it is somewhat understandable that we have codes for specific conditions, there is no excuse for conflicts between different codes.

Several years ago, I was told that one part of one local code required an elevator room to have sprinklers, while part of another code prohibited sprinklers in elevator rooms. I have been told that that contradiction had been eliminated, but only after it had existed for many years.

A few years ago, one state had unique requirements for grab bars. Were there things about the residents of that state that prevented them from using the same grab bars used in other states? Some states have lower limits for VOCs than others. Do VOCs stop at state borders? If VOCs are hazardous, doesn't it make sense to limit them everywhere?

If we want to fix construction, clear, consistent, non-conflicting codes would be a good start.
In a future article, we'll look at a couple of examples of problems with code requirements and conflicts. If you have examples, please send them to me, or post them as a comment to this article

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

Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments at
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Chapter Photos
Capturing Memories




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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. - c (PDPG
2. - a (PDPG Fig
3. - b (PDPG MasterFormat)
4. - d (PDPG 8.5)
5. - b (PDPG SectionFormat)
In This Issue
February 16, 2017

Willows on Westfield

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