A personal experience story is sometimes fitting for a message. The CSC Edmonton chapter is my “alumni.” More than 20 years ago, I was invited by a manufacturer’s representative to an event, the Connections Cafe. Attending, as it turns out, was one of the more serendipitous decisions I ever made, as it introduced me to a whole new world. At the time, having been an architect for 11 years—and only involved in architecture—this one event changed my professional direction. After taking the Principles of Construction Documentation course (PCD) it opened my understanding of contract documentation—something I was not introduced to in architecture school. Then, I took the specifier course and, today, this is the focus of my practice—specification consulting.
I started taking architecture because my mission then was to design buildings. The technology of buildings—an important part of building design and construction—was a particular interest of mine; but, not to the extent it is today, had I not gone to that one event, and soon after I joined the CSC Edmonton chapter.
Through CSC, I learned so much more about building technology. This made me a better architect. The Connections Cafe, for those who have not gone, is like a one-day, mini-conference. Manufacturer’s representatives have tables where they get to “show-off” some of the latest technology, while the luncheon or dinner includes a keynote speaker. The event is a place to connect with the representatives (and get them on speed dial).
As for the people attending any CSC event, you might be surprised at who you meet. Each one could become a resource at some point in your life. They could become future clients, employers, employees, someone on the construction site, or even someone at a co-ordination meeting. In fact, it was at a CSC annual Conference where I met someone from a company that created a digital spec writing system that I still use today. I was able to see it work first-hand, and it convinced me.
I have met people from all three coasts, and I have seen how things are done differently in other parts of Canada. We are a non-profit organization that runs almost entirely on volunteers, and we have some of the best certified courses in North America.
CSC embodies, “I know somebody who knows somebody,” and, undoubtedly, you will get the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
My message comes down to this: please go to a CSC event in your area. You will not be disappointed, and, just maybe, you will serendipitously meet the people you need to meet.
Yours in service. I am CSC.