From Seminars to Articles

Many features contributed to The Construction Specifier begin with a simple query e-mail or phone call—a specifier, architect, engineer, professor, or product rep has an idea for a story and wants to share it with our audience. In many other instances, however, we go searching for features. The editorial team goes out to established or emerging experts, proposing they write on technical topics that are either ‘hot’ or still under the radar.

One place to find these authors are the building conferences and conventions held across this continent. In many cases, a technical session or seminar has led directly into an article in the magazine. We’ve had features born from talks at World of Concrete, Greenbuild, the AIA Convention, Metalcon, Construct Canada, and the North American Steel Construction Conference. Unsurprisingly, however, more magazine articles have been adapted from the sessions at Construct & the CSI Annual Convention than any other show.

One year at Construct, I sat in on a legal discussion by one of the magazine’s former editorial advisors, Joe Kasimer, Esq., FCSI. The room was so packed with attendees that even all the standing room had been claimed. After the show, he graciously offered to adapt the information into a two-part series, “Ten Contract Clauses That Owners Need,” which appeared in the September and October 2010 issues.

Of course, with the number of seminars being delivered in such a short period, it can be hard to sit in on all the talks. For example, I wasn’t able to attend the Construct discussion by Douglas Pearmain, CDT, and David G. Dixon, CCCA on expansion joints, but the two graciously reworked the information into an excellent technical feature.

We’ve had a lot of success with these seminar-into-article stories. In fact, this year’s winner of The Construction Specifier Article of the Year Award—“Storefronts, Curtain Walls, Windows, Window Walls…: Differences Between Glazed Openings,” was originally a well-received technical talk David Stutzman, CSI, CCS, delivered at Construct 2011.

With Construct 2013 now under way, we’ll be sitting in on sessions dealing with subjects scattered throughout MasterFormat and issues pertinent to project members from across the building lifecycle. Whether they were informative, provocative, or both, did you sit in on any particularly great seminars this year or last? Were there any you’d love to revisit in the pages of The Construction Specifier? Let us know in the comments below.

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