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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1296
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 01:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

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

In the current frenzy to produce projects in record time [coupled with the ultra- frenzied computer and software industry], the design professionals have abandon specifications and provided increased production by in-house staffs. The computers industry continues to pump out new machines and programs-- I am not sure all of these are necessary except to generate confusion, and sales. Of course that industry can do as it pleases, but it is the impact on the construction industry that is most questionable-- and of concern.

Far too many students/graduates/interns [the future of the profession] are left out of touch with the reality of the whole of their profession. Hence the future, in their hands has a dark cloud over it. Will we get to the point where designer professionals are irrelevant and discarded? How then, are projects produced? We have a system of three documents tied together to produce the documentation essential for construction. They are meant to and are formulated to support each other without repetition-- the proverbial supplementary and complimentary. How then do you ignore, discard or deem one of these documents to be useless? Cumbersome?! Valueless? And so kept in such disdain that its production seems needless?

We have talked long and often about education that precedes the CSI programs [prior to the preparation for the CDT certification]-- that fundamental information and understanding that must lie with all persons associated with construction [especially the design professionals]. Following is a brief and incomplete synopsis of the suggested program-- the first step. This needs refinement, and many viewpoints, but it also needs to be done. Below is the “seed” of the program which will, I feel certain, will find many supports and advocates-- those who KNOW what is needed and what CSI can do, we must look around at what is, and ahead to what is coming—and not delude ourselves or imagine that this problem does not exist.

It is NEW!!! Does that mean bad? Has it been tried before, in this form? No matter, let’s start to accept and develop the premise NOW, for a better tomorrow and a more viable CSI, the prospect of more members and young professionals better prepared to solve problems and work as fully rounded staffers,

SUGGESTED PREMISE: A high priority of CSI supported programs which makes direct contact with architectural and engineering students, provides information about specifications and other construction documents-- handouts; information sheets; flyers, short instruction paper; and simple short informational items. Distributed through the Chapters, along with requests to address students [and related graduates and interns] of various levels and provide information for each level, as well as quality Q&A sessions.

Developed and written jointly by a member committee and CSI staff, printed and sent to chapters who are strongly urged to contact ALL appropriate educational facilities in their area [universities, community and technical colleges, etc.] to augment any instruction or to introduce specifications fundamentals and uses.

If they have no interest in CSI, or specifications, [because of the lack of information] we need to reach out TO them and illustrate the need for specs, and the best route for education [to gain suitable background information] and specifications concepts, etc. With that we can also introduce the drawing oriented information, books, standards, interfacing, etc. that CSI has, to complete the documentation package.

It is difficult to predict what will happen, from little interest, to defiance, to a request for more formal broad-ranging instruction. No, CSi is not being asked to set up its own school, but rather it is being asked to start to fill an obvious and unthinkable need which will directly aid everyone in or coming to the construction industry [the future of in-place personnel, etc. is left to another effort.]

We realize this may be very new, presumptuous and intrusive, but it is needed, NOW, and is something that will develop into something to the good of all. In addition, this program and information needs to be aggressively sold, needs NCARB, etc. acceptance [to match requirements and NAAB standards] in a realistic manner, and by expertise that only CSI has.

We seek your understanding; your realization; your insight, and support-- and ancillary thoughts and ideas contributed by those we carry and feel they have a point to add to the effort.

We need to talk more, soon, and seriously!

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