Spec writers joke about how one of our career requirements is the ability to read minds. We are joking, of course, but sometimes we’re quicker to realize what the architect and the contractor are trying to communicate to each other, and we end up acting as translator between them. Sometimes this can happen during construction; sometimes it can happen during construction documentation, when a contractor is part of the project team.
Why is it that some spec writers have this ability? Perhaps it’s because so many of us have taken CSI Certification exams, and are active members of our CSI Chapters.
CSI draws its membership from specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility mangers, product representatives, manufacturers, and building owners. So if you’re active in a Chapter, you get to know all kinds of people who use construction documents. You get to know people outside your immediate field, who can be a tremendous help to you in your work. For example, architects can get to know product representatives in a setting different from the typical “box lunch” presentation, or a meeting about a specific product for a specific project. You can get to know people on a more personal professional level, outside the context of a specific product or specific task, and get an overall understanding of how that person does his or her job, and how that person can help you do your job.
There is SO MUCH to be gained from preparing for CSI Certification exams. The CDT (Construction Documents Technologist) exam covers a wide base of knowledge about preparing, understanding, and interpreting construction documents, and the roles of different groups in the construction process, such as architect, owner, contractor, suppliers, and product representatives.
When you better understand a team member’s role in your project, you can better communicate with that person. If you can put yourself in the shoes of another construction project team member, you can have clearer documentation, better communication, and a smoother construction process. CSI can help you do that. You don’t even have to be a member to take a Certification exam.
If you register by Friday, January 28, 2011, you get a discount on registration for CSI Certification exams. Final deadline is Saturday February 26, 2011. Exams are offered at computer testing centers between March 28 and April 9. Check it all out at www.csinet.org/certification.