Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is offering a membership bargain for a very short time!

If you don’t yet belong to CSI, read on for a great incentive to join the organization that’s the premier forum for  those of us who work every day with  construction contract documents.  Not just specifications, but all aspects of construction contract documents.

I can imagine your response.  “But I’m not a spec writer.  I’m a  - select one of the following : [project architect]  [architectural designer] [interior designer] [MEP engineer]  [structural engineer]  [civil engineer]  [landspape designer] [construction contract administrator]  [manufacturer’s product rep] [contractor]  [subcontractor] [building owner]  [construction manager]  [construction attorney] [specialty consultant] [building manager] [code official] [Union trade instructor] [architecture professor] [etc, etc, etc].

Doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to be a spec writer to get a lot of value from CSI membership!  

Do you want to network and benchmark with experienced AEC practitioners?  Are you an emerging professional? I’ve met lots of interesting people through CSI, and many of them are world-class experts in their fields.  They gravitate to CSI because, as I said, it’s the premier forum for the multi-faceted dialog about construction and construction documents. They’ll give you the lowdown on who’s doing what in the AEC business. They’re almost always eager to share their knowledge and advice.

Are you interested in Green Building?  USGBC did a great thing in developing the consensus that lead to the LEED Green Building Rating System.  But if you want to transform LEED’s idealistic objectives into successful buildings, you need to know how to write enforceable construction specifications.  You can enhance your ability to do this by tuning in to CSI’s free monthly “Sustainability Practice Group” webinars, with CSI education, and by achieving CSI’s CDT, CCS, CCCA, and CCPR certifications.

Are you interested in the incredible possibilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM)?  CSI is in the midst of the dialog about the transformation of construction contract documents from “drawings and specs” to building information modeling.  Tune in to CSI’s free monthly lunchtime “BIM Practice Group” (Motto: Putting the “I” in BIM) webinars. The integration of specs and BIM is in its infancy,  There’s lots for us all to learn about, and CSI is a player.

Are you passionate about improving the quality of construction contract documents?  CSI chapters all over the country have an incredible variety of programs to help you do a better job of producing, using, or enforcing construction contract documents.  One example I’m familiar with is my very own Northern Illinois Chapter’s Lunchtime Specification Roundtables.  Some Roundtables focus in on a product type or detailing topic.  Others deal with professional practice issues or the nitty-gritty of producing specifications.  CSI also has free monthly “Specifications Practice Group” and “Product Representation Practice Group” webinars.

Are you fascinated with the very real usefulness of social media?  There’s an enthusiastic and growing community of CSI social media users, assisted by strong mentorship from Joy Davis, CSI’s Director of Web Communication.  I’ve become very fond of Twitter and I get, and disseminate, lots of AEC news and information through Twitter. Check it out.  Connect with Joy Davis at @CSIConstruction.  Connect with the Northern Illinois CSI chapter Twitter account at @CSINorthernIL, and with me at @Specologist.

Are you just tired of all that worthless crap on TV?  If you’re looking for something useful to do in the evenings, consider getting active in CSI.  There’s lots to do. There’s lots to learn.  You can make a difference in the world through CSI.

So are you interested?  Join CSI online between Wednesday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 20, and pay only $192 -- a 20% savings -- for your membership. Use promo code “12spring20” when you join at promotion is only available to new members joining at the professional level. Chapter dues are not included in this promotion. To join:

  1. Visit
  2. Select "Join Now", and then click "Sign Up as a New Member"
  3. Enter Promotion Code 12spring20 when prompted
  4. Click the "Add Discount" button.

Questions about CSI?   Just ask.  If I can’t answer your question, I’ll find someone who can.

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