Message from the Chair

 Are you the real deal?
Tim Simpson

I’ve struggled this year to have something to share that would be of value, without being preachy, or offensive, but instead something relevant, relatable, and informative.   It takes me a little while to get my thoughts in order.  I write and maybe rewrite, and then trust my good friends and mentors to comment or advise - if I’ve left them enough time to do so.

Today, my thoughts turn to the importance of being genuine.  Are you the real deal? Are the products or services you promote and represent what they purport to be?  Personally, I work very hard to ensure that this is all true and can achieve this goal.  However, from time to time I have failed and for this I apologize, and I will work hard to improve. The following is why it is so important.

Recently, someone I know very well was introduced to a company and situation that on the surface appeared to be top drawer. Now we aren’t just talking a little top drawer, we are talking top of the heap top drawer. Everything was cutting edge, systematic, organized and the absolute latest and greatest. With optimism and enthusiasm they entered into a relationship with this company.

Instantly, the cracks started to show; there was an undercurrent of discontent in the staff and employees that was disturbing and bitter in its vitriol. This sense of unease was initially discounted however, because of everything else was as top drawer as it seemed.  This surely couldn’t be based on anything factual and must surely stem from some major personality clashes.  Time passed quickly and shortly it was discovered that the “cutting edge” equipment wasn’t maintained very well, and due to the high demands on it, the equipment spent more time broken down than it did operational.  It then became apparent that while everything that greets you when you first arrive is kept up, as soon as something was out of sight or tucked away, disrepair and neglect became the word of the day. This neglect was blamed on overworked employees and staff, who barely had time for the “necessary” tasks without any time for the extras that piled up without regard for time or staffing requirements. These same staff members were also used by owners and management to be the scapegoats for deficiencies created due to inadequate maintenance, staffing or materials. Some of the “top drawer” items described previously are items designed to be regularly maintained and swapped out routinely according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Upon closer inspection, it became evident that this guideline had not been followed or even remotely adhered to, and seemingly toxic odours were the reality and result.

The result of the forgoing was some of the bitterest disappointment I have ever witnessed. The pain of disappointment was intensified by the individual experiencing firsthand the brunt of false accusations, misrepresentations and lack of information. Never again will they believe what they see on the surface; truly able to empathize with the saying “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!”

My advice is: Be genuine, honest to a fault, always under-promise and over-deliver. Always, always consider your fellow man before your own selfish wants or needs. I am working at it… I don’t always accomplish it, however I do know that it is my ultimate aim and this will stand the test of time and reflection when I cash in.

I am
Annual Chapter Meeting
On Tuesday, May 8th, please come out for the Chapter Annual Chapter Meeting. The meeting starts at 5:00 p.m., starting with an open forum for members to ask questions of the Chapter executive and for the Chapter executive to solicit feedback from Chapter members.  The official ACM will take place following the forum.  Location:  Winston Golf Club.

The meeting portion is free and is open to Calgary Chapter members. The meeting will be followed by dinner at our regular monthly meeting cost.  Please register for the meeting only, or the meeting and dinner on the Eventbrite page.

Reports will be presented by chapter executive members, and this is a good chance to ask questions of the chapter executive, and share ideas for the 2018-2019 program.  

4th Annual CSC Calgary
Golf Tournament

Mark September 12, 2018 on your calendar for the 4th annual CSC Calgary Golf Tournament, to be held at Lakeside Greens, in Chestermere.  More information to follow. 
April Meeting Recap
Corinne Golding, FCSC RSWR

On April 12, over 80 people from GAMA, ABEC and CSC showed up to hear Jim Brady, General Manager of Cal-Tech Glass Services speak about the need to open dialogue among construction industry members in relation to architectural metals, glass and glazing – with the end goal to improve construction documentation.  Jim gave many examples of where specifications can cause issues for bidders, contractors, owners and designers. 

Here are a few reminders for anyone writing specifications:
  • Only specify what you intend to enforce. 
  • Don’t ask for things you don’t really need/want.  Do you really need a mock-up?  Do you really need samples?  Did you check with the client to see if maintenance materials are required and if there is somewhere to store them?
  • Clean up the list of references in Part 1 after you edit your spec to delete uncited reference standards.
  • Make sure performance criteria don’t conflict with proprietary products listed.
  • Get your building envelope consultants involved to help develop performance and testing criteria during the design period.
  • If in doubt, leave it out.  If you don’t know what something is in a master spec, do some research, call a product rep, email another spec writer and then decide if it’s project applicable or not.
  • Don’t get defensive if a product representative advises that you have a discontinued product in your specs.  Thank them and update your masters!
  • The design team may work on a project for months or years, but bidders only have a few weeks to review and submit a bid.  The ABCs (accuracy, brevity, clarity and completeness) of good specification writing enables bidders and contractors to help designers meet their end goal.
  • Remember, project specifications are supposed to be PROJECT SPECIFIC.  One specification does not fit all projects and should not be included in project after project without review and revision.
  • But most of all, develop good relationships with product representatives and subtrades who are more than willing to review your specs. 
All these reminders are to help save time during the bid period for both designers and bidders, and save time and money during construction.
Member News and New Members
Corinne Golding, FCSC RSW

Welcome to Michael McKenna, Director of Operations, at Stuart Olson Construction Limited.

I hope you've registered for the annual CSC conference!  With informative technical programs, abundant networking opportunities and great social events … it’s all coming together in beautiful Edmonton.
Visit the Corporate Sponsors and ask them questions about the latest products, materials and services available in the construction industry.   Celebrate Connections Café with us on Thursday May 24, an event allowing people from all areas of construction to meet our sponsors in a casual, relaxed environment.
Stroll around the host hotel, The Westin Edmonton, which is conveniently located downtown and is in walking distance to numerous attractions, cafes, restaurants and shops.
So what are you waiting for?  Reserve your space today!

The conference "Building on Collaboration" runs from May 23 to 27th.  To register, or for more information on sponsorship opportunities, and the technical program, go to 

CCDC Seminars

CCDC is holding cross-country seminars in April and May, conducted by CCDC members and contributors to CCDC documents. These CCDC Seminars feature both a morning and afternoon session, as well as a bonus luncheon presentation on new and updated CCDC documents.  The Calgary session will be on Monday, May 7th

The morning session “Project Delivery – Choosing the Best Method”, will focus on that process and project delivery. It will introduce the new CCDC 10 ‘A Guide to Construction Project Delivery Methods’ as well as the new CCDC 30 ‘Integrated Project Delivery Contract,’ the first IPD contract in Canada.

The afternoon session “Understanding Procurement and Contracting” will focus on some of those best practices in the procurement process. It will introduce the new CCDC 23 ‘A Guide to Calling Bids and Awarding Construction Contract,’ a flagship and industry-leading document for procurement authorities, as well as the new CCDC Master Specification for Division 00 ‘Procurement and Contracting Requirements.’ This new master specification is a first for CCDC, and is part of a longer-term effort to introduce more specification documents through CCDC.

For more information, click CCDC.

CSC Edmonton Chapter

If you have plans to travel to Edmonton, check out the Chapter's event page at 
GAMA Events
2018 GAMA golf tournament will be held June 22, 2018 at the D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club.
Interior Designers of Alberta events
Chapter Events
September 12, 2017
TTMAC Update

September 13, 2017
3rd Annual Golf Tournament

October 10, 2017
Radon: Is your countertop really radioactive?

November 14, 2017
LEED v.4

December 12, 2017
Christmas Social - Members and guest only

January 9, 2018
Wood Construction and the ABC

CCA course - starting mid-January

February 9, 2018
IGNITE Awards Gala

March 7, 2018
Connections Café

March 13, 2018
Construction Tour - New Downtown Library

April 12, 2018
Joint meeting with ABEC and GAMA

May 8, 2018
Annual Chapter Meeting

Chapter Executive
Sylvie Dzikewich, CTR
Tim Simpson
Trevor Devnich
Officer - Spec Writer:
Corinne Golding, FCSC, RSW
Officer - Interiors:
Kirsten Janes
Officer - Manufacturer/Supplier:
Matt Girling
Officer - Trade Contractor:
Tim Simpson
Officer- Education:
Adam Develter, CTR
Calgary Construction Association Liaison:
Jonathan Greenland
Sylvie Dzikewich, CTR
Membership Officer:
Corinne Golding, FCSC, RSW
Program Chairman:
Glenn Trost
Matt Girling
Newsletter Editor:
Corinne Golding, FCSC, RSW
Debbie Lucas
Disclaimer: The opinions and comments expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the official views of Construction Specifications Canada. Also, appearance of advertisements and new product or service information does not constitute an endorsement of products or services featured.
Copyright © 2018 Construction Specification Canada Calgary Chapter, All rights reserved.

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