Bridging the Gap Between Architecture School and Successful Practice

Bridging the Gap Between Architecture School and Successful Practice
QUALITY CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS

Do you know how to put together a good set of construction documents? As a new practitioner, an emerging architect, intern architect, or recent graduate, you may have felt that someone was withholding information from you-- that you've not been given the straight scoop on overall project goals.

 


Transitioning from architectural school to working at an architecture firm can be more of a learning curve than some of us might have anticipated. And sometimes, there aren't always clear cut business systems to follow, let alone a personal guide to sit down and specifically lay out "the big picture."

Enter: CSI (The Construction Specifications Institute)


If you'd like to better understand the process of how to put together a quality, professional set of working drawings-- even if you've been a part of the process for years-- then I highly recommend you consider reading the book: The CSI Project Delivery Practice Guide. As it says on the cover, this book is:
  • A starting point for understanding the core values of CSI
  • An excellent introduction to the construction process for the new practitioner
  • A ready reference for the experienced construction professional
PROJECT DELIVERY: A BASELINE UNDERSTANDING

As the aforementioned book states:
"Every individual that is a stakeholder or participant in the design and construction of anything in the built environment should have a foundational understanding of how projects are delivered."
And if you decide to join CSI and embark on preparing for CSI's first exam- the CDT (Construction Documents Technology) certificate- that is precisely what you'll learn.  


WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EARNING A CDT CERTIFICATE?


Going through the CDT exam process and earning your certificate will further strengthen and enhance your:

  • Credibility- establish yourself as someone who has taken the time to understand the a/e/c industry
  • Professionalism- be assured that you're putting forth your best efforts on whatever project you're assigned
  • Knowledge- be the "go-to" person in your office on best practices in project delivery, production drawings and specs

THE ACRONYM ALPHABET SOUP

It's unfortunate that many industries today seem to be drowning in a sea of meaningless acronyms that baffle the practitioners of these professions as well as the clients they seek to serve. I fully acknowledge that, in architecture, there are no shortage of accreditations to earn. However, if I had to prioritize which credential would bring the most value, I would list earning a CDT certificate first as it encompasses the entire project delivery system and is so foundational to the core of what architects do all day: produce construction documents. We owe it to ourselves to obtain the best on-the-job training and this program is just that.  

MANY ARCHITECTURE FIRMS SUPPORT CDT TRAINING


Gensler, a world renowned architecture firm, believes in CSI as evidenced by the CDT training program they are hosting in their firm here in Houston. Every week, they meet for a two-hour class, with three professionals teaching and reinforcing the concepts of The CSI Project Delivery Practice Guide. What's more, they offer anecdotal information that only seasoned practitioners possess. Attending such a study group is invaluable.  

HERE'S HOW TO SIGN UP TO TAKE THE EXAM IN YOUR CITY:


The great news is: it's not too late to sign up,study, and prepare for the spring CDT exam which will be offered from April 2nd to April 28th, 2012! (And, it will be offered again in the fall- please see the website below for further details):

General CSI Certification Information:
www.csinet.org/certification

Registration link: https://webportal.csinet.org/Conference/RegistrationProcessOverview.aspx?id=80
  • Exams will be offered April 2 - April 28, 2012, in the U.S. & Canada.
  • Early registration deadline: February 2, 2012 (the early registration has expired)
  • Final registration deadline: March 2, 2012
CDT Information General information about the CDT exam: www.csinet.org/cdt
  • Cost Before Feb. 2: $235 (member) $370 (non-member)
  • Cost after Feb. 2: $295 (member) $430 (non-member)
  • Cost for qualified students: $105
The CDT exam is now based on the CSI Project Delivery Practice Guide: www.csinet.org/pdpg

Advanced Exam Information


Cost of an advanced exam:
- Before Feb. 2: $275 (member) $410 (non-member)
- After Feb. 2: $340 (member) $475 (non-member)

CCS information: www.csinet.org/ccs
- Now based on the Construction Specifications Practice Guide (www.csinet.org/cspg)

CCCA information: www.csinet.org/ccca
- Now based on the Construction Contract Administration Practice Guide (www.csinet.org/ccapg)

CCPR information: www.csinet.org/ccpr
- This is the last year this exam will be based on the PRM (www.csinet.org/prm)


***You don’t have to be a CSI member to register for an exam – but if you join first, you get the member discount! www.csinet.org/joincsi 




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