By Paul Gerber, CSC, CSI
This column marks the first of a series I will write during my term as CSC President. It has been an incredible journey to date. I have had the pleasure of serving our association with many great leaders, and learning from each of them. My goal with these messages is to get people thinking about, and discussing, weighty topics.
Talk to anyone who has been a part of the design and construction community for any length of time and it is not long before the conversation turns to the many shortcomings of the industry. These shortcomings could range from inadequate fees or schedules, constantly changing project scopes, to architects, engineers, or specifiers who are impossible to meet with in order to discuss the latest products.
I have heard discussions like this for many years, and I will be the first to admit that on certain days I can be a “Negative Nancy” as well. It is human nature. A couple of years ago, two friends of mine decided they were going to try and change this attitude. Hopefully those who attended the recent CSC Conference in Edmonton took the opportunity to attend the session “Let’s Fix Construction,” hosted by my friends Cherise Lakeside (a fellow specifier) and Eric Lussier (a product representative).
I met and came to know these two individuals through my attendance at CSI’s CONSTRUCT show in 2012 and through my participation on Twitter. Their simple objective was to stop the moaning and groaning about the challenges in our industry and generate some discussion about how we could make it better. To start, they created www.letsfixconstruction.com, a venue for anyone to express their frustration with a particular subject within the AEC community, as long as they offer constructive suggestions on how to fix that challenge as well. About one year into this endeavour, Cherise and Eric also added a podcast component. This initiative has led to the two of them giving presentations across the United States at various CSI Chapter meetings and at industry events.
I have tried to keep up with developments on the Let’s Fix Construction website. Cherise even convinced me to write a blog post after I posted a comment on Twitter. And so, in the spirit of Let’s Fix Construction, I ask you, are you prepared to live with the status quo and continue bemoaning the challenges you face day after day or will you contribute, even in a small way, to helping make things better? The choice is yours to make, but I hope to see you on the team trying to effect positive change in our industry.
I am CSC!