Contributed by Cherise Lakeside
I have one goal with this blog. One crazy idea that if I can get some people to read this, they will change the way they work.
That goal? READ the DIVISION 01 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS in the specifications of your project.
I know what some of my friendly compatriots are going to say when they see that sentence. They are going to say “Cherise, that’s a no brainer!” I mean, really, am I writing a blog about something so simple? Damned right I am.
A few years ago, I wrapped up almost six years of working for an MEP engineering firm. This was a very unique opportunity to work on yet another side of the fence in AEC: to see how the other half lives. It was an opportunity to see why some of the breakdowns I saw were happening between the Architect and the Consultants.
It was both an eye opening experience and a wake-up call. Many of the things that I had complained about during my previous 23 years at an architectural firm, when it came to communicating and coordinating with consultants, were actually my fault. I got to look in the mirror and admit that I had been wrong. It was my job to coordinate the appropriate information with consultants, but because I didn’t understand how they worked and what knowledge they had, I did not do that coordination thoroughly or effectively.
Once I realized that there was a much more limited exposure to the entirety of the documents for consultants, no education in contract documents and almost no appropriate sharing of knowledge from the Architect to the consultants, I knew I had to change something.
That was when I created my first “Specs 101” class. The very first one was geared toward consultants and engineers. A 50,000 foot view to understanding all the pieces and parts of the Specifications that were not being shared with them, the common places that need coordination and just general education on where the information belongs and who is responsible for that information. It also covered how that information will sometimes clash. Can you say, “Access Panels”?!?!
The class was very well received and I took it even further in developing an Architect/Consultant Coordination checklist for the most common things that created conflict, missing information or repeated information.
Contributed by Eric D. Lussier and Michael Riscica
In early October, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Michael Riscica for his Young Architect podcast. For those of you who don't know Michael, he contributed a fantastic piece to our website entitled "Let's Fix Mentorship", which I strongly suggest you read here.
Michael is a Licensed Architect who is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. After becoming licensed, Michael was frustrated by the lack of support, bad advice and misinformation he had during the years between graduating architecture school and becoming a licensed Architect. In early 2014 he began blogging at YoungArchitect.com to address that problem and launched his podcast earlier this year. Cherise Lakeside of Let's Fix Construction was featured on an episode entitled 'Expanding Your Knowledge through CSI and CDT' which you can listen to here.
On his podcast, Michael and I discussed:
And of course, we discussed 'Let's Fix Construction', including:
While you await the next 'Let's Fix Construction' technical post or podcast episode, PLEASE go over to the Young Architect website and listen to 'Let's Fix Construction with Eric Lussier'
Contributed by Sheldon Wolfe
I’m sure you’ve heard the Army way of presenting information: Tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you told them.
While that may be a practical way of doing some things, it has no place in construction documents. For those, we have a different rule: Say it once in the right place. I think it’s safe to say that specifiers believe this rule, though convincing those who create the drawings is difficult; the result often is that the specifications may state things but once, while it’s common for drawings to repeat things many times, and it’s also common for drawing notes to repeat what is stated in the specifications.
So what’s the big deal? Why not repeat things? I believe the intent is good, and that everyone working on drawings or specifications simply wants to make sure the contractor knows what is needed. That’s the theory, but what really happens?
Let’s start with specifications; it’s quite common for a specification section to say the same thing twice. Here’s an example I have used when teaching specification writing classes. It’s from a specification I found online, but the same problems are found in manufacturers’ specifications and in commercial guide specifications.
A. Flat roof board insulation: Extruded polystyrene board to ASTM C578, Type IV, rigid, closed cell type.
That looks pretty good, right? Not really. Here’s the problem: Much of the information in the numbered paragraphs is already required by ASTM C578, and is, therefore, redundant.
Contributed by Elias Saltz
I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the Misconception Series and I’m happy to continue writing it. I want to especially thank Eric and Cherise for encouraging me to add more posts on more topics. I hope that among all the other great things the LFC project is doing to fix construction, my little corner dedicated to dispelling misconceptions is helpful. I’m especially grateful to the manufacturer’s technical reps who agree to participate and relate the common misconceptions and help fill in the correct information.
For those of you new to the misconception series, I encourage you to read the introductions to my two previous entries so you will know what it’s all about. (Editor's Note: Read post one on Gypsum Board here and Aluminum Framed Storefronts here)
The reps I chose to approach for this post, Kim Shaw, along with her Technical Service Manager John Dalton of GCP Applied Technologies and Scott Baiker from Isolatek, are both active and involved CSI members that I’ve come to know well over my career. I consider them my trusted advisors when it comes to questions about their companies’ lines of fireproofing products. I’m not promoting their products over their competitors’ - it’s far more about the individual reps than the companies that they work for.
07 81 00 - Spray-Applied Fireproofing
Introduction to Fireproofing
Fireproofing, as covered by this specification section, typically refers to an application of a spray-applied fire-resistive material (SFRM) to steel structural framing or decking, which then greatly prolongs the time that the structure survives during a fire. Unprotected steel is extremely vulnerable to heat. “Critical failure of steel occurs when the steel reaches 537°C (1,000°F). At this point, unprotected steel is reduced to 60% of its original strength, is prone to bend and deflect and the structural load stability and physical characteristics of steel is compromised (1).” However, it doesn’t need to be nearly that hot to cause catastrophic failure; it will begin to lose strength beginning when it reaches about 300°C (572°F). Fireproofing works by insulating the steel, thereby delaying how quickly it heats up and increasing the duration that the structure will survive, allow occupants to escape, and gives emergency responders confidence that they have time to safely enter the building and fight the fire.
Contributed by Lauren Anderson
(Editor's Note: Fellowship is the second highest honor that CSI bestows, recognizing outstanding individuals by elevating members whose efforts on behalf of the Institute's purposes and principles have been exemplary. The qualifications for Fellowship require achievement above and beyond participating in ordinary Institute, region, and chapter events or performing normal duties as an Institute officer. A nominee for Fellowship must have been a member in good standing with the Institute for not less than five years, and have made important contributions in one or more of four categories: advancement of construction technology; improvement of construction specifications; education; or service. The following address was given the morning after the 2017 Investiture of Fellows at a breakfast, where Fellows are encouraged to attend this annual session to address the business issues of the College of Fellows.)
Thank you for having me this morning at the Fellows breakfast. I am honored and humbled to have been asked to speak on behalf of Young Professionals across the country to some of the most esteemed members of CSI. First, I’d just like to personally thank Cherise Lakeside for thinking of me for this presentation. I’d also like to thank Rick Lueb for his guidance and finally, thank the College of Fellows for being supportive of young people all over our organization so we can write the next chapter of CSI history.
Congratulations to the newly inducted Fellows! I hope you enjoyed last night’s awards ceremony and festivities celebrating your incredible accomplishments over many years. Your commitment to CSI is inspiring, and lays the foundation for a stronger association going forward.
Many of you may know me from Twitter, or I might know you by way of Middle Atlantic Region events, but I’d like to start by briefly giving you my background. I am a 2009 graduate of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. I was on the five-year plan – which I don’t recommend if you want to keep costs down! My time at Marymount was wonderful, but when I ventured off to college at 17, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I bobbed between political science and accounting, finally landing on business management. I felt the pressure of the 2008 economic downturn and felt that if I were to choose something “too specific”, I may not have a job right away out of school. A general business degree felt safe. After interviewing with several Northern Virginia companies for positions I wasn’t overly interested in, I approached my Dad, Paul Conners, one day to discuss the possibility of working for him for a while after graduation to get my feet wet in sales. He graciously offered me an opportunity to work the Richmond/Tidewater market. The following day after graduation, I started visiting with glazing contractors – “thrown to the wolves” if you will. No real training, just brochures in hand visiting new accounts. I’m grateful to this day that the COO of a large contractor glazier in Richmond, recognized my inexperience right away and offered to show me the ropes so I could learn about my products, but better, how I could service glazing contractors as a sales rep. Eventually, my territory expanded to D.C. and I was asked to visit with architects. I knew I wasn’t there to sell products, but I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with this new role. I promptly joined CSI at the suggestion of a specifier, Robert Tarasovich. More on that next. Six years, one CDT and now President of my chapter, I am only beginning the journey of a lifelong affair with CSI.
Let's Fix Construction is an avenue to offer creative solutions, separate myths from facts and erase misconceptions about the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
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