Building Technology Education Program

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What's happened to the Building Technology Education Program?  Following Bob Johnson's, FCSI & Distinguished Member, initial suggestion for this in June of 2012, there were many encouraging comments on the benefits of this for CSI and for our industry contained in two threads on the 4specs.com discussion forum.  The Institute's task team also issued a positive report on the topic at the Institute convention in 2013.  But since then, the topic seems to have gone dormant.  This is not good.  It's not good for the many architects and spec writers who would benefit from the program and it's not good for the Institute when this program could have beneficial effect on CSI membership.

On the other hand, if this project is moving ahead and I'm just not aware of it, then disregard my comments here.

To refresh your memory, use these two links to www.4specs.com read the logic in Bob Johnson's initial idea for the Building Technology Education Program, (BTEP), and the comments that followed:     http://discus.4specs.com/discus/messages/25/6193.html?1348517814  &  http://discus.4specs.com/discus/messages/25/6886.html?1455572537

There is a link to the task team's report included in a comment in the second string above but the link is not active and, other than the brief summary, I don't know how it reads.  I also couldn't find any mention of the BTEP on www.csiresources.org.

Reading back through the two 4specs.com threads mentioned above I have the following comments:

  1. Most of the comments are positive and in support of the BTEP in one form or another.  I especially agree with Liz O'Sullivan's comments and those of Ken Hercenberg.  I don't think Anne Whitacre's comments are correct.
  2. I think O'Sullivan's June 25th comment about taking advantage of existing information as the basis of the body of knowledge for the BTEP is right on target.   There's no need to develop "new" information when there's already so much available from industry associations, or trade groups, or even groups like the NCARB.  There is also a wealth of useful information available from individual companies published in monthly advertorials for AIA CEU credit in magazines such as Architecture and Architectural Record.  (There are literally hundreds of accredited advertorials listed on the AIA website.)  I've read many of the advertorials in the last year and I can say without hesitation that most of them are good.  I'll also bet many of CSI's Corporate Partners would like to participate in providing this type of information in a CSI structured program.
  3. As I see it, the BTEP's role wouldn't be to create the information but to identify appropriate content, organize it, and then include it in a "curriculum" for each topic in the program.  The topics could be developed a number of ways such as content about a single construction material, or a CSI Division, or something broader like the exterior building envelope.  In this approach CSI would be doing what CSI is known for, organizing information, and get us out of the pigeon hole as "format kings" as Ken Hercenberg points out in his Sept. 18, 2013 comment.
  4. Whether the BTEP would lead to some sort of certification or credential, it's too soon to say.  But it's not unrealistic to think that this isn't a possibility since even the advertorials come with quizzes and can be used, with a passing score, as education for architects licenses renewal and for AIA membership renewal.

There are many things to be worked out but nothing will happen unless that BTEP task team is reformed and put to work.  I'm willing to help.

Ed Buch, CSI, CCS, AIA, LEED AP

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ecbuch@earthlink.net

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