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“Contractor shall buy Architect a steak dinner within thirty (30) days of issuance of “Certificate of Substantial Completion.”’

As an intern in one of Albuquerque’s large firms in the late 1980s, I was told to always bury a sentence similar to that in the specs. “…that way, you’ll know if someone in the contractor’s office at least skimmed thru the manual.” It was an era of cut and paste (literally—with crooked, unmatched text). Later came the green screen of DOS, even more painful.
For the last twenty years, as partner in my own small firm, we never had the need to produce separate, complex specifications. Projects were smaller, mostly residential; everything was on the drawings.

And now, it seems, everything old is new again. The issues of alternative energy, conservation and sustainability that we were so gung-ho about in architecture school are back in the forefront. We all need to work smarter and invest in ourselves to be well positioned as the economy recovers.

Membership in CSI provides the path to that improvement. I spent my first year as a member sitting on my hands, afraid to volunteer for anything. Wow, was I wrong. The more I do, the more I learn; just by writing this article, I’ve finally learned what all the CSI certification acronyms mean!! (hint: visit

People from other chapters who visit our meetings are always impressed with what a large and active membership we have. And friendly!

Said chapter member Jori Smith, CSI, CDT:

“I often feel as though the construction industry in New Mexico has some growing up to do. Involvement in the CSI Albuquerque Chapter gives me an opportunity to do more than just complain. This is a group of professionals who make the time commitment to educate themselves and their peers on a regular basis. We talk about the critical issues, and act on a plan that can make an impact.”

Remember to check "Albuquerque" to join our chapter!

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