Tag Archives: CONSTRUCT

Construct: Saying Bye to Baltimore

Author Lori Greene, winner of the 'article-of-the-year' award, is flanked by CSI past-president Casey Robb and magazine editor, Erik Missio. Photo © Marvin Kemp

Author Lori Greene, winner of the ‘article-of-the-year’ award, is flanked by CSI immediate past-president Casey Robb and magazine editor, Erik Missio. Photo © Marvin Kemp

Earlier this month, CSI members from across the continent convened in the Charm City for CONSTRUCT. Billed by its organizers, Hanley Wood, as “the only dedicated national trade show and educational conference for the commercial building teams that spec and source building products,” the four-day event also served as the 58th CSI Annual Convention, honoring and highlighting the institute’s brightest and best volunteers. (We’ll have more on some of those winners, along with new Fellows and Distinguished Members, in the November issue of the magazine and on the website.)

Every year, the conference strives for the perfect blend of networking (both professional and social), technical education, and association business. In Baltimore, those aspects took place in the seminar rooms, on the show floor at exhibitor booths, and at special events ranging from ‘game-changer’ presentations and annual general meetings to impromptu lunches and Inner Harbor dinner cruises.

As the editor of The Construction Specifier, I hosted the lunch-box panel discussion, “Aspirations vs. Reality: Conflicts in Sustainable Construction,” in front of a packed house. (CSI’s Kaitlin Solomon did a nice job of Storifying the event) Panel members Paul Bertram (director of environment and sustainability/government affairs for Kingspan Insulated Panels and CSI past-president), Brendan Owens (U.S. Green Building Council’s [USGBC’s] vice president of LEED Technical Development), Stephen Hess (attorney at Sherman & Howard LLC), and Doug Pierce (senior associate at Perkins+Will) discussed everything from Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and the evolution of green design to USGBC’s recent announcement of cooperation with the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The next day, I sat in on the opening session, as keynote speaker (and mad genius) Pablos Holman discussed the potential poised by seemingly futuristic technologies already available today—he regaled the crowd with tales of laser-frying mosquitoes and 3D printing concrete houses.

After his talk, I met up with CSI immediate past-president Casey Robb to surprise Lori Greene at the bloggers’ panel and present her with the 2014 Construction Specifier Magazine Article of the Year Award for her October 2013 piece, “Questions About Fire Doors: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask).” Much of the rest of the week was a blur—sitting in on sessions, learning about emerging technologies in the exhibit hall, and chatting with authors and friends from both CSI and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC).

Even as a bit of an outsider, you get a sense of the camaraderie amongst CSI members. Construct is an important event—not only for the professional development and technical talks, but for so much more. What was your favorite moment at the show this year? Was there a particular session or seminar that stood out? A chance encounter that yielded a new friendship or reaffirmed an old one? The band at CSI Night Out? And the big question: will we see you in St. Louis next September when CONSTRUCT happens all over again?

CONSTRUCT Panel to Explore Conflicts in Sustainable Construction

A boxed-lunch session at Construct will feature four very different design/construction experts reflecting on the state of sustainability. Photo © BigStockPhoto/Pennyann

In the pages of The Construction Specifier, we’ve tried to present many different facets related to the continuing goal of sustainable, but practical, building design, construction, and operations. On Tuesday, September 9, as part of CONSTRUCT & the CSI Annual Convention in Baltimore, the discussion goes ‘live,’ as the magazine’s editor, Erik Missio, moderates a luncheon panel bringing together four industry experts with distinct opinions on sustainable building.

Aspirations vs. Reality: Conflicts in Sustainable Construction” intends to cover several issues related to how sustainability can be improved in the built environment, including:
● concerns about the realistic pace of change in pursuing aspirational goals;
● use of rating systems like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the impact on sustainable practices adoption;
● growing focus on evaluation of actual building performance rather than pre-construction ratings;
● employing chemicals of concern/red lists in improving sustainable outcomes;
● roles and responsibilities of project team members to the owner and third parties; and
● obligation of professionals to limit their practice to areas of training and expertise.

This is, of course, a lot of ground to cover over the course of an hour-and-a-half lunch, so we’ll be looking to magazine readers and show attendees to help steer the conversation. What are the issues most important to you? What would you like to see addressed? E-mail Erik at emissio@constructionspecifier.com or tweet your thoughts to @SpecifierMagCSI (with hashtags #CONSTRUCT #T13B).

The panelists for the event are:
● Paul Bertram, FCSI, CDT, LEED AP, GGP—a CSI past-president, and the director of environment and sustainability/government affairs for Kingspan Insulated Panels where he participates in development of Product Category Rules (PCRs), Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), and Health Product Declarations (HPDs);
● Brendan Owens, PE—USGBC’s vice president of LEED Technical Development, for which he collaborates with volunteer technical committees to advance the technical content of the green building rating system;
● Stephen Hess—attorney at Sherman & Howard LLC, an adjunct professor in construction law at the University of Denver, editor of The Construction Lawyer, and co-author of the two-part “Assessing Liability for Green Building Failures;” and
● Doug Pierce, AIA, LEED AP—senior associate at Perkins+Will (Minneapolis) with more than 25 years of experience in sustainable design and planning, including work as an international speaker, author, and instructor, along with more than a decade of experience with sustainable materials and lifecycle analysis (LCA).

Aspirations vs. Reality: Conflicts in Sustainable Construction,” will be held in Room 307 of the Baltimore Convention Center from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9. Available to all who purchased a full education package, the panel also yields 1.5 American Institute of Architects/Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) credits and 1.5 Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) Continuing Education (CE) credits.

CONSTRUCT 2013: Looking Back on Nashville

As the editor of The Construction Specifier, I attend CONSTRUCT & the CSI Annual Convention every year. It’s a busy few days, but it’s always nice catching up with writers, friends, and editorial advisors. There are also lots of opportunities to meet with building product experts on the show floor. Between the exhibit hall and the various seminar rooms, CONSTRUCT is a direct or indirect source for many of the features and articles finding their way into the pages of this magazine. Last month in Nashville was no exception. Continue reading

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. Continue reading