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Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2011 - 10:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI,CDT
Cincinnati, OH

Wouldn’t it be great if each one of us could come by a magic wand that we could use in our work? Not so much as the Midas touch, but more like “I Dream of Genie”-- i.e., where we can make things happen- our way [‘course, we could throw in a little Midas!].

What would you do first? Now let your mind wonder and don’t get into personal vendettas, grudges, etc., but look at the big specifications picture. Like, maybe:

- The ability to work a program that really gets others interested in and seeking to understand specifications;
- Create closer relationship with industry reps and provide insight about the needs and processes of the design professions [often called, “cooperation”];
- Getting all concerned to understand specifications as the valid third contract document;
- Successfully having every school of architecture and engineering embrace the teaching of introductory construction documents instruction, perhaps by CSI and with voluntary CSI instructors?
- The ability to create an atmosphere surrounding specifications that earns due respect;
- A scheme to advance specifications in the eyes of everyone in the construction industry in a correct and useful manner;
- Finding a source to create a software package, to our criteria, that provides the attributes of 3D modeling but also useable working drawings and their associated specifications;
- Elevating the image, extent, influence, impact and professional aplomb of CSI, as the uniformly reliable key resource for construction documents;
- Following the recent changes in MasterFormat and in the Section/Page formatting, create an entirely new approach to Project Manuals, including their styling, production [and convincing the AIA that the term is correct and valid];
- Upgrade the status, image and influence of each individual specifications writer to the point of being recognized as a MVR [Most Valued Resource];

[And an invitation here to add your thoughts and ideas to this list]

Really, I guess I have been unfair in this. Unfair, because none of this is going to happen since magic wands aren’t available to us. Instead we must use intangible things called enlightenment, dedication, hard work, desire, drive, talking points, human innovation, individual and group action-- and the ever present, “Why don’t we try this, and go from there?”

But I guess the real key is desire! Does anyone really, REALLY, want any of this to happen? Is it all too idealistic? Are volunteers not up to this type of thing? Nobody cares anyway! Have we reached an organizational plateau where nothing more is needed; nothing else can be done? The chore is merely to maintain status quo [or try to-- note continually declining membership].

Well, one good thing already-- you can just put this in your recycle box and it may become a milk carton or a page in a good book!

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