Specifiying Practice Sessions

06 Jun

June Specifying Practice Session

June Specifying Practice Session

Thursday, June 6, 2019 (3:00 PM to 4:00 PM)

Online Webinar System


CSI Practice Session:
Magical Thinking in Specifications

CSI Learning Level:


Intended Audience:

Primary: Specifiers
Secondary: Construction Project Team Members


David Stutzman, ELias Saltz, and guest, Fred Butters

Course Description:

One of the hallmarks of magical thinking is the notion that if you think a thing, you can make it happen. A specifier who engages in magical thinking anticipates that by writing something in a project specification, it will come to pass, no matter how nonsensical or wrong. Join David Stutzman, Elias Saltz, and guest Fred Butters for a dissection of a particularly egregious example of a specification gone horribly wrong. Some of the issues include: • Delegated design instructions beyond the scope of the section • Excessive warranty requirements • Internal contradictions and contradictions with other sections We will examine the technical, legal and procedural ramifications of bad specification writing, and discuss what could have been done differently


1.0 CSI PDH Credit (self-reported)

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Specifying Practice Sessions are a program of the CSI Specifying Practice Community. To learn more about the practice of specifying or to discuss specifying topics with your peers, please consider joining the free online community.

Have questions about CSI's Practice Sessions?

Contact Matthew Fochs at mfochs@csinet.org or 703-706-4733.

CSI Practice Sessions are not submitted for continuing education credit with AIA or any other organization/institution. The sessions are meant to be community driven and open to discussion. As such, the overall breadth of the session’s content cannot be fully promised prior to the session taking place. Following each session, attendees are able to request a certificate to use for self-reporting through a short survey sent to the email used during registration.

CSI Practice Communities are intended to help facilitate conversation and bring topics of today's industry to the forefront of professional conversation. The speakers and topics presented do not represent the views and opinions of CSI or its members.

Online Webinar System
Online Webinar System

Elias Sultz
Elias Saltz, CSI, CCS, SCIP is an Illinois-licensed architect with 25 years’ experience working for architectural firms and independent specifiers. He has significant experience writing specifications for almost every facility type, from single-family homes to large hospitals, and everything in between. He currently works for Conspectus, Inc., the largest independent specifications consulting firm in North America. In addition to his work as a specifier, he blogs frequently for Conspectus and contributes to the community blog “Let’s Fix Construction.”

David Stutzman, FCSI, CCS, AIA, SCIP
David Stutzman is the principal and founder of Conspectus, Inc., a specifications and quality assurance consulting firm. His nearly 40 years construction industry experience began as a laborer laying pipe and devising a simple means to comply with the spec requiring the trench bottom to be profiled to match the pipe. Although having studied design, his passions are the technical and building science aspects of construction. Stutzman was responsible for developing and maintaining SPECTEXT, a commercial master specification system, including the ease of use editing tools for more than 13 years. Today David is responsible for managing nine staff members in three offices producing more than 150 project specifications annually for domestic and international projects.