September 2017 Newsletter Print

The Front Page


The Newsletter of The Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter CSI       September 2017 


September 18, 2017

Tour of Target Center


Dinner at the University of St. Thomas

Monday, September 18, 2017

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

When the Target Center was constructed in the late 1980's, the arena was at the edge of downtown Minneapolis  The building's entrance along First Avenue was the front door and there was little development to the north of the site.  The building was constructed during an era when many arenas were simply enclosed interior environments.

Since that time, the City of Minneapolis has grown dramatically. Target Field changed the whole character of the Warehouse District along with parking ramps and skyways connecting to downtown businesses and the North Loop is continuing to see major development.  As a result, Target Center is now closer to the heart of downtown, with light rail passengers, pedestrians. and bicyclist all moving by the building. The design approach recognizes this dramatic change in the downtown context, addressing both significant exterior and interior improvements while significantly improving the fan experience.  The new entrance at the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street opens up the building along with new windows on the concourse and suite levels; the building now is simultaneously animated for patrons inside the building and enlivens this active entertainment district from the outside.  The design goal is to have excitement inside the building be evident on the outside.  The interior has been updated in all areas from new seating to new clubs to new dramatic scoreboard.

Size: 831,533 Sq. Ft. + new skyway and loading dock

Budget: $130,000,000

Components: The Target Center Renovation includes a reskinning of the exterior envelope, relocating the main entry and the addition of a new skyway. All public and premium spaces are being renovated throughout the building.



Dick Strassburg (TEGRA Group)
Dick Strassburg is a Partner and Co-founder of the TEGRA Group, a real estate and project advisory firm based in Minneapolis. Dick has provided Owner Representation services for a long list of high-profile private and municipal projects throughout this region - all of which were completed on time and within budget. Among this list of success stories is Target Field, which boasted a zero-item punch list on opening day, a feat never before achieved in construction of any modern major league sports facility. Dick is a registered Architect with an architecture degree from North Dakota State University.

Ross Naylor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (Alliance)
Ross Naylor is an architect and Principal at Alliance, leading the management of the Target Center Renovation project. A 16-year veteran in the profession, Ross's work has focused on creating meaningful spaces for people to experience and engage with. Since joining Alliance in 2002, he has worked on several significant public projects in Minneapolis, including; The Guthrie Theater, Medtronic Horn at US Bank Stadium and the Target Center Renovation.

Jon Hines (Mortenson Construction)
Jon provides project leadership during the design and construction phases of the project. Jon oversee's the onsite team, while maintaining important interface with ownership and the design team to ensure project budget, scope and schedule goals are established and adhered to. Jon initiates and maintains a close working relationship with customers, design partners and subcontractors. Some notable projects in Minnesota include: Mayo Clinic Square, the Timberwolves / Lynx Practice Facility and the AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown. Jon has a Civil Engineering degree from Iowa State University and a degree in Real Estate from the University of St. Thomas. 


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm / Tour - Target Center (Meet in Skyway to Target Center)  Note: Tour is to be given by speakers.

6:00 pm - 7:00 pmRegistration & Socializing - St. Thomas

7:00 pm - 8:00 pmDinner and Presentation - St. Thomas 


Chapter Members: Free

Non-Chapter Members and Guests: $45.00


1 HSW-SD credit applied for



Save the Date!

October 9, 2017

Ryan Companies Millwright Office

Andy Marolt, Lead Specifier, Ryan Companies; Ayman Arafa, Project Architect, Ryan Companies; Dan Harlander, Project Manager, Ryan Companies will provide an overview of the development of the Ryan Companies Millwright office, including the design-build specification process, project challenges, design goals, and the site selection process. 

Where: Ryan Companies Millwright Office (533 S 3rd St, Ste 100, Minneapolis, 55415)

More information to be forthcoming




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President's Message

President's Message

From the President........


It’s a new year! One that I am very excited about and honored to serve the membership for the next 12 months! The 2018 CSI year has a lot of fun, learning and celebration ahead for us.

Celebration you say? As I am sure word is spreading, this year will mark our chapter’s 60th Anniversary!! The Board of Directors have begun the search for interested members at all levels who would like to actively help plan this milestone. We have a proud tradition of leading the institute in so many ways for the last 60 years, as well as our contribution locally to the architectural and construction communities. We owe it to our founding members, current members and emeritus membership to celebrate this with the energy and passion this milestone deserves. Please let a member of the board know if you want to get involved. Much more about the event will unfold this Fall!

That’s only a sample of things to come. It’s time to look at the end of our last year for a moment. I want to express many thanks to Ryan Hallesy and the Golf Outing Committee. We had a terrific turnout, a great venue and spectacular weather, all ingredients for a fun day! Through our golfers generosity we raised $1,265.00 for the scholarship fund through yardstick sales. All of those proceeds go directly into the scholarship fund. Well done everyone!!!

This year’s winners!!

Dale Buker - Oldcastle

Terry Minarik -Confluence

Mike Konieczny - Landscape Forms

Justin Rechtzigel - Stantec

Congratulations!! (FYI, very difficult to repeat!)


I want to thank in advance the following Committee Chairs for their leadership. Their volunteerism in the midst of a very busy world is greatly appreciated!

Awards – Tohnya Adams

Rick Nichols

Expo – TBD

Certification – Jerrilyn O’Brien

Communications – Keith Pashina

Emerging Professionals/Student –Hannah Fleischaker and Adrienne Rulseh

Membership – Gary Patrick and Susan Lee

Programs – Brien DuRouche and Larry Lorbiecki

Golf – Ryan Hallesy

(We are looking for EXPO leadership and committee members for all committees)

These volunteers are the backbone of your chapter. When you encounter these individuals please remember to thank them for what they do!

Board of Directors

You also have a newly sworn in Board of Directors. We are here at your service, let us know what’s on your mind!

George Ramsay, Immediate Past President

Cynthia Long, President-Elect

James Bergevin, Secretary

Mark McPherson*, Treasurer

Dave Rasmussen, Vice President

Kasey Howard*, Vice President

Sandy McWilliams*, Vice President

Jeremy Nordby, Vice President

Andy Garner, President

*New to the BOD


Corporate Sponsors

We cannot commit to the programs we run, the events we plan, services we provide or the scholarships we award without the generous contributions of our Corporate Sponsors! Please extend a hand to the individuals that lead these companies and thank them for their contributions!


Archcon Sherwin-Williams M.C. McGrath
Inspec Pella Hufcor
W.L. Hall CO. Kline-Johnson Rose-Fleischaker






Your company not on that list? We still need your support! Please consider joining this elite group of companies as you evaluate your marketing dollars. The entire chapter will appreciate your involvement and recognize you for it!

This Year’s Line-Up

What can you look forward to this year? First of all, Program Co-Chairs Brien and Larry have a terrific line up for monthly meetings designed to respond to demands made through surveys as well as going out on a limb to bring thought provoking new concepts. Here’s the line-up:

Sept 18    – Target Center Renovation Tour

                            Dinner/Presentation University of St. Thomas

Oct 9    – Ryan Companies Presentation and Lunch

                            Lunch in Ryan Atrium

Nov 14  – Minnesota Building Codes Presentation,

                            Lunch/Presentation at IMS

Dec 12   – Holiday Dinner

                            At 317 in Rice Park

Jan 8    – “Wood from the Hood” Tour

                            Dinner at TBD

Feb 12  – Alliance/Medtronic

                            Lunch at Grumpy’s

Mar 13   – Unmanned Aerial Systems, Architectural Photography

                            Lunch/Dinner/Presentation at TBD

April 2018 – EXPO

May 2018  – Awards

May 2018  – 60th Anniversary Celebration!

June 2018  – Golf, Bunker Hills

Personally, I am very excited that this team has also chosen to participate in Toys for Tots!! Details will come out at our Kick Off meeting September 18th. Let’s raise a lot of money and collect toys for children in need so they can have the happiest of holidays!!

We are looking into some other activities to make your CSI experience even more enjoyable and fulfilling. We will make those announcements as they develop!


I have some people to thank!

First of all, George Ramsay. Your example of leadership and your dedication to the chapter have set standards that I am hopeful to measure up to. I am thrilled you are the Immediate Past- Prez, as I am confident you will be generous with your time when I seek your council.

Pam Jorgensen set a leadership example and mentored many of us sitting on the board right now. She knew the business of running a chapter. I’ll be seeking your council as well!

Craig Hess was the man who started it all for me. Thank you for your leadership and incredible attention to the details. If there was a VP-Details, I would nominate you for the office permanently. Then we could all be assured we didn’t overlook anything! I’ll be in touch with you, too!

My thanks George, Pam & Craig for all that you have done & do!

I want to acknowledge the people I work for, for supporting me and, in fact encouraging me to accept this responsibility with the time to do this job to the best of my abilities. Darren Blankenship, VP-Field Sales of Best Access Solutions/dormakaba and Michael Robinson, Regional Manager for Best/dormakaba and President of Life Safety Hardware Consultants. Thank you gentlemen for your support!

On a personal note, if you said to me 6 or 7 years ago that I would be doing this, this being, serve as your Chapter Prez, I’da laughed at you (a friendly laugh). I’ve almost always described myself as a “social member”. You know, I’ll come to the meetings, sponsor something at the golf outing, exhibit at EXPO and go the Awards Banquet. (Sound Familiar?) Then I was invited/nominated (Craig Hess) to join the BOD….I said yes! Well the snowball hasn’t stopped yet and truth be told I have enjoyed every single minute of it! The time was right for me, when will it be the right time for you? Get involved, join a committee or accept a nomination, take it from an old “social member”, you will not regret it!!

Let’s have a great year with the best program attendance and participation ever! Thanks!!



Andy Garner, CSI, CDT

Chapter President FY 2018


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Golf Outing


On June 1, 2017, the 36th Annual CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) Golf Tournament was held at the Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

The winning golfers were:

  • Dale Buker, Oldcastle
  • Terry Minarik, Confluence
  • Mike Konieczny, Landscape Forms
  • Justin Rechtzigel, Stantec


Thank you to the enthusiastic support from the CSI-MSP membership, about $1,265 was raised for the scholarship fund. 

This golf event could not have happened without the generous support from our sponsors. Thank you to:

Golf Cart Sponsor Best Access Solutions  
Chapter Platinum Sponsors: Archcon  
  Major Industries  
  MG McGrath  
  Rose-Fleischaker Associates, Inc.  
  W.L. Hall Co.  
  Sherwin Williams  
Chapter Gold Sponsors: Intertek/Architectural Testing  
Chapter Silver Sponsor: Hirshfield's  
Golf Platinum Sponsor: BASF  
  Babcock Davis  
  GAF Materials Corporation  
Golf Silver Sponsors: KMAC, Inc.  

And, thank you to the CSI-MSP Golf Planning Committee:

  • Ryan Hallesy, Chair
  • Tom Griffin
  • Brien DuRoche
  • Hannah Fleischaker
  • Jerrilyn O'Brien
  • Pam Jergenson


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New Member Spotlight

Bob Miller, CSI

Senior Project Manager

Advanced Masonry Restoration

Bob Miller is Senior Project Manager for Advanced Masonry Restoration (AMR), a firm dedicated to providing value-added masonry corrective repair, replacement, cleaning and more since 1998.  He is a 1987 graduate of the College of St. Thomas with a BA in Business Administration.  After graduating he worked in a variety of finance related jobs prior to joining AMR in 2006.

In keeping with AMR’s motto  “ A History of Preserving History” , he has been privileged to be a part of some incredible opportunities in historic restoration, including the Minnesota State Capitol, Northrup Auditorium, Split Rock Lighthouse, the Pillsbury A Mill, the Foshay Tower and Fort Snelling, as well as managing many projects for the restoration of newer building envelopes.

Bob lives in St. Paul with his wife and twin son and daughter, who graduate from Cretin-Derham Hall this spring and then will be off to Creighton and Purdue Universities respectively this coming fall.  Hobbies include as much time as possible at their cabin in Northern Wisconsin, and all the activities that come with it – fishing, hunting, golfing, skiing, reading and relaxing.

Bob's Contact Information:


Advanced Masonry Restoration

2956 Yorkton Road

Little Canada, MN 55117


Phone: 651-766-8080 

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Upcoming Events



Local Construction Associations

(check respective websites for complete listings)






Leadership & Motivation 

AGC Association of General Contractors


Young Men’s Golf Event         

Concrete Paving Assoc. of Minnesota


Masonry “Wednesdays” Noon “Lunch and Learn”

Minnesota Concrete & Masonry Contractors Association


September General Meeting

BOMA – Minneapolis – Building Owners and Managers Association


Repair & Rehab Post-Tensioning

Minnesota Concrete Council


Fall Mixer

NAMC-UM National Association of Minority Contractors – Upper Midwest


ARM Convention 

ARM – Aggregate Ready Mix of MN

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Chapter Membership Committee News


Click HERE for the new Membership Enrollment Form

Ask the Membership Commitee Chair:

Gary Patrick at 763-546-3434 or

Or contact the CSI-MSP Chapter Administrator

Vicky Olson at 952-564-3044 or

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Chapter Partnerships and Sponsorships




Would you like your company to come to mind first when a CSI member needs the services your company provides? 

Your company logo would be prominently displayed on all emails from the chapter (4 – 5 emails sent each month to 950 contacts each time), at all monthly programs (80 – 100 members), in the monthly Specifics (sent to 700+), on the pages of the CSI chapter website, at EVERY CSI event on each table and in the PowerPoint!

Your company could have quarter page ads or a featured article in the monthly Specifics (sent to 700+), or the opportunity to feature your company with a table top display at a monthly meeting.

If you answered yes, please send an email to and put “Need a Call” in the subject line and include your contact information.  You will be contacted by a CSI member.

Would you like to lend your company’s support to CSI events like the Annual Golf Outing or the Annual Awards Banquet?

If you answered yes, please send an email to and put “Sponsorship Call Needed” in the subject line and include your contact information.  You will be contacted by a CSI member.

Did you previously have a business listing or business card ad in the Resource Directory section of the printed CSI Chapter Directory? 

If you answered yes to the above, there are advertising options available for your company on the website and in the monthly Specifics.  Please send an email to and put “Advertising Call Needed” in the subject line and include your contact information. You will be contacted by a CSI member.

Your Partnership with the MSP Chapter at any level is your company’s path to visibility with decision makers in the design and construction industry. Your support also enables the continuation of high-caliber programs and events and networking among all parts of the building team.  Your participation is valued by all CSI members.

Chapter Partnerships

Platinum Partnerships
612-867-5173     651.704.0300 952-462-5359
 800.321.8194   763.546.3434    

763.544.0365 763.592.8640    
952-854-8723 612.349.9885    


Gold Partnerships



Silver Partnerships      



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Get Ready for CONSTRUCT 2017 & The CSI Annual Convention Next Week!

Are you ready for CONSTRUCT 2017 and The Annual CSI Convention next week in Providence? CONSTRUCT will feature several CSI hosted events, through provoking education sessions and an exhibit hall filled with solutions. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet up with old friends, make new friends and get the information you need to do your job better.  Be sure to visit the CSI Booth #713 to see what’s new at CSI and what’s planned for 2018!

A special thank you to the 2017 CSI event sponsors!


CSI Welcome Reception

Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 pm

Rhode Island Convention Center (Rotunda & East Pre-function Area)

New this year - join us for a New England style clam bake at the CSI Welcome Reception. Not only will the food be amazing, but the entertainment will have you singing, cheering and calling out for more!

All proceeds from this event will benefit the Rhode Island School of Design and the CSI Foundation. Pre-registration is required and there is a fee to attend this event. Register now!


CSI Honors & Awards Ceremony

Thursday, September 14, 6 pm

Rhode Island Convention Center (Ballroom ABC)

Congratulate those who have made a difference in CSI and our industry. The evening’s ceremony will feature several Institute Awards including the Outstanding Chapter Commendations and Chapter Cup, the Board Chair Plaque, Distinguished Membership and investiture of CSI's new Fellows. Learn more. Follow the event on Twitter #CSIHonors


Celebration of Fellows

Thursday, September 14, 7:30 pm

Rhode Island Convention Center (Rotunda & East Pre-Function Area)

Celebrate CSI’s 2017 Class of Fellows! This cocktail event will be held immediately following the CSI Honors & Awards Ceremony. Cocktail/business attire is suggested. Pre-registration is required and there is a fee to attend this event. Learn more, or register now! Follow the event on Twitter #CSIHonors #FCSI


CSI Young Professionals Mixer

Thursday, September 14, 8:30 pm

Trinity Brewhouse, Providence, RI

Young Professionals are invited to a casual gathering of the future leaders in our industry. Join us for food, fun and networking in downtown Providence. Complimentary access to the mixer is included in all young professional registration packages. Learn more. Follow the event on Twitter #CSIYPS


CSI Annual Business Meeting

Friday, September 15, 4:30pm

Rhode Island Convention Center (Room 555)

CSI’s Annual Business Meeting focuses on the business of CSI. Attendees will hear an update on recent accomplishments, upcoming programs and future initiatives under consideration. CSI members must preregister in order to obtain the appropriate badge credentials. Members will also have the chance to address CSI’s leadership, ask questions and provide feedback during the member forum segment. Learn more, or register now!  Follow the event on Twitter #CONSTRUCT #CSIABM


CSI Night Out

Friday, September 15, 7pm

Skyline at Waterplace, Providence, RI

Join CSI members and CONSTRUCT attendees for a networking event including: live music, delicious food, beautiful views, dessert stations and premium cocktails -- a night to remember! Pre-registration is required, there is a fee to attend (included in some registration packages). Learn more, or register now! Follow the event on Twitter #CNO


CSI Region Caucuses

Wednesday, September 13, 5:50 pm

Rhode Island Convention Center

Attend your region’s caucus to meet your region leaders, mingle with members from other chapters and discuss region business. Locations:                                            

  • CSI Northeast Region Caucus - 551A (5th Floor, East Rooms)
  • CSI Great Lakes Region Caucus -551B (5th Floor, East Rooms)
  • CSI Southeast Region Caucus - 552A (5th Floor, East Rooms) 
  • CSI North Central Region Caucus - 552B (5th Floor, East Rooms)
  • CSI Middle Atlantic Region Caucus - 557 (5th Floor, West Rooms)
  • CSI Gulf States Region Caucus - 554A (5th Floor, West Rooms)
  • CSI West Region Caucus - 554B (5th Floor, West Rooms)
  • CSI Northwest Region Caucus - 555A (5th Floor, West Rooms)
  • CSI South Central Region Caucus  - 555B (5th Floor, West Rooms)
  • CSI Southwest Region Caucus - 556AB (5th Floor, West Rooms)

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Read the North Central Region Newsletter!

see the link below

North Central Region Newsletter


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Specific Thoughts


Where do bad specifications come from?

It's approaching ten years since I wrote "The Making of a Curmudgeon.*" In it, I reminisced about my decision to run for Institute Director and thinking, "Holy cow, when my term is done I'll be almost sixty!" Well, sixty came and went, and I recently celebrated my twentieth anniversary at my office.

Milestones like that tend to make one look back, to think about what has happened, to think about what might have been. During my thirty years as a specifier, I thought things would improve, that specifications would get better, that relations within the construction team would become more collaborative and trusting, that drawing details would gradually lose the pesky problems that lead to problems in construction, and that, eventually, the construction process would be a thing of wonder, with few difficulties. I thought that when it came time to retire, I could look back on continual progress and leave knowing that the world was a better place, due at least in some part to what I had done.

Unfortunately, I see now that little progress has been made. I see the
same bad details, the lack of understanding of material properties, and
specifications that show no understanding or, or confidence in, the basic tenets of writing specifications. One of the reasons is that there is always in influx of new people, who need to learn the trade. However, I find that an unsatisfactory answer; even the most recent graduates should know more than they do.

I often have blamed architecture schools for many of these problems, and I will continue to do so. I cannot understand why a professional school spends so little time teaching the things that require architects to be licensed, and puts so much emphasis on what amounts to art. But that's another matter for another time.

Perhaps the most disappointing thing to me is the nearly universal use of specifications that ignore CSI's Manual of Practice (later the PRM and Practice Guides). If this were the result of specifiers writing their own specifications it would be less surprising, but it's not. The problem arises from the widespread use of commercial master specifications that often miss the mark set by CSI.

When I was drafted into the Army, my only experience shooting a rifle was at Boy Scout summer camp, where we each shot ten or so rounds at a target. Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I wasn't a hunter. That lack of experience meant I had no bad habits to break, so I learned how to shoot the right way (or at least the Army way). I was one of only four who qualified as expert marksman in my entire company.

My experience with specifications was similar. Before taking my first job as a specifier, my experience was limited to copying specifications onto a drawing. Again, I had no bad habits to break, and I devoured CSI's MOP, learning how to write specifications the right way!

The office I worked in had office masters, which were, I believe, based on SpecText because of their brevity. As I gained experience, I began to question them, and I started rewriting them to follow the principles found in the MOP.

Later, I began writing articles for newsletters. The topics covered a wide range of subjects, but several times I wrote about how specifications could be improved simply by following the MOP. Not only did I write about it, but I made many presentations that highlighted the ways specifications could be improved by removing unneeded text. I thought I was doing some good, but I had no more success than Ben John Small, who had written about streamlined specifications in 1949.

In future articles, we'll look in detail at where specifications are needlessly complex and bloated. Some will argue, "If the reader understands them, does it matter?" Following that logic, it should be ok to include an encyclopedia in the project manual. It might have useful information that might be necessary, but it discourages readers from reading everything.

Do you have examples of unnecessary text in specifications? If so, please add your comment below.

© 2017, Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA, CSC 

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Cool, How Air Conditioning Changed Everything

It may not be easy to identify the single most important invention in the history of building, but several come to mind immediately: glass for windows, structural steel, the elevator, electricity, and indoor plumbing.  But, along with these there is air conditioning for human comfort and, as the title of Salvatore Basile's book suggests, Cool, How Air Conditioning Changed Everything, the effect air conditioning has had on buildings and the way we live our lives indoors is just as important as any other single development related to construction.

Living in today's air conditioned world it's hard to understand what life was like prior to the 1950s when air conditioning for human comfort, with few exceptions, was not in wide use. People in hot or hot and humid climates for the most part suffered through the summer months using fans to move air with the only "cooling" coming from evaporation from a person's perspiration.  Starting in the late 19th Century there were numerous, mostly unsuccessful, attempts at comfort cooling in buildings using fans moving air across blocks of ice various ways or by air blown through moistened fabric hung in windows.  Homes, office buildings and hotels had the benefit of rooms with windows for ventilation, (most large hotels and office buildings were constructed in "U", "H", or "T" shapes for maximum exterior exposures), but for theaters, stores and factories the problem was much more acute with large numbers of people, or machines and people, inside of enclosed spaces.  This is where the first successful attempts at air conditioning were made.

Even though mechanical refrigeration, "artificial cooling" had been in use for industrial purposes since the 1880s, (cooling meat, making ice and beer for instance), it wasn't until Alfred Wolfe used mechanical refrigeration in 1899 in the human anatomy lab at the Cornell Univ. Hospital in New York City, that it was used for comfort cooling. This came about as a secondary benefit since the primary reason for the air conditioning was to keep the cadavers fresh longer.  Wolfe also designed the first air conditioning specifically for comfort cooling at the New York Stock Exchange Building in 1901.  Wolfe died as a young man in 1909.  Had he lived longer his name may have been associated with air conditioning in the same way Ford's name was associated with cars and Edison with light bulbs.

The history of air conditioning for both industrial purposes and human comfort can be told largely through the career of Willis Carrier. Carrier graduated from Cornell Univ. as a mechanical engineer in 1901.  He went to work for the Buffalo Forge Co. making industrial fans.  This was in the era of the "cut and try" method of engineering rather than relying on logic and calculations in design as Carrier had been taught.  Carrier's more scientific methods of mechanical design saved a large Buffalo Forge ventilation project from failure and, as a result, in 1902 he was assigned a particularly difficult project for a color printing company in Brooklyn.  The color printing process relies on the same sheet of paper making multiple passes through the printing presses with a different color applied in each pass.  In order for the colors to be in perfect register the paper must be stable in length and width.  This is nearly impossible in conditions of varying humidity.  Buffalo Forge was hired to air condition the factory to maintain a constant level of humidity.  Carrier's solution used Wolfe's mechanical refrigeration with the addition of automatic temperature and humidity controls that allowed the chilled water temperature in the cooling coils and the speed of the air passing through the coils to be varied as necessary with changes in the temperature and humidity of the outside air.  It worked, and by 1904 Buffalo Forge was successful selling Carrier's patented "Apparatus for Treating Air", as the Buffalo Forge "Air Washer" for industrial applications, but not for comfort cooling.  In 1907, Buffalo Forge set up a subsidiary company, the Carrier Air Conditioning Company.  In 1911 Carrier published his "Rational Psychometric Formulae" the basis for today's psychometric chart used by all HVAC engineers.  Carrier had become the face of the HVAC industry but, while he was successful in industrial projects, no one was seriously interested in comfort cooling in homes or offices even though Carrier had promoted comfort cooling extensively in his advertising campaigns.

In spite of the many successful industrial projects completed by Carrier, in 1914 Buffalo Forge decided to close the Carrier AC subsidiary. As a result Carrier took his engineering team and started again as the Carrier Engineering Corp.  In his first year he completed over 40 industrial projects.  His business grew rapidly and continued through WWI.  With the arrival of "talking movies" in the 1920s, he would finally begin to see his comfort cooling used in theaters.  This was the origin of our modern HVAC systems.  Within five years he would air condition over 300 theaters in addition to many more department stores and office buildings.  As a result of Carrier's design for a small centrifugal compressor and the discovery of Freon for use as a refrigerant, the 1920s and '30s saw the development of the kitchen refrigerator, early versions of the window AC unit, and in 1940, AC was first being tested in cars. Carrier's "Manufactured Weather" was catching on in a wide variety of applications.

With the need for windows to provide ventilation eliminated through the use of a central HVAC system, architects were free to plan buildings with large floor plates and without operable windows. In 1933 the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. building in New York City was designed to be fully air conditioned.  Similarly, the Johnson Wax Co. in Racine, WI was designed with air conditioning and without operable windows.  Central HVAC was essential in the design of many International Style buildings of the 1920s and '30s.

Residential air conditioning was adopted at a much slower pace starting with window AC units. In 1955 only 1 in 22 American homes had at least one room with air conditioning.  By 1960 this had increased to 1 in 13 homes and by 1970 37% of US houses had at least some air conditioning.  The 1970s saw central heating and air conditioning systems as standard equipment in many new homes.  By 1980, the US Census showed 57% of homes were air conditioned and in 2014 this had risen to 87%.  Ironically, when Willis Carrier died in 1950 he hadn't gotten around to installing air conditioning in his New York home.

The story of Carrier's artificial cooling wouldn't be complete without mention of a couple of problems associated with it. In the 1970s concerns were raised about the affects of refrigerant gasses on the ozone layer that protects the earth from the sun's ultraviolet radiation.  This led to replacements for Freon refrigerant gas.  The increased demand for electricity to power air conditioning units is thought to have been a principal reason for massive electrical grid failures that darkened large sections of the US East Coast several times in the early 1960s.  The energy embargo of 1973 led to reductions in the use of air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter.  This was the start of a larger energy conservation movement that is with us today.

Cool, How Air Conditioning Changed Everything was written by Salvatore Basile.  It was published in 2014 by Fordham University Press with 278 pages and including some historical photographs and drawings.  It describes the history and benefits of air conditioning and does this without getting sidetracked into the thermodynamics of the refrigeration cycle.


Los Angeles, CA

June 17, 2017


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The Architecture of Movies

The Architecture of Movies

By Bill Schmalz, CSI, CCCA, FAIA

Los Angeles chapter of Construction Specifications Institute

At first glance, architecture and cinema would seem to have little in common. Architecture is with most of us almost all the time; it’s where we live, where we work, where we shop, where we do nearly everything we do. Architecture is actual structures creating real three-dimensional spaces we can see, touch, hear, and smell. [1] Cinema, on the other hand, is nothing but illusion, taking advantage of the brain’s knack for perceiving a rapid series of still photographs as moving images. Cinema creates the illusion of physical structures and of three-dimensional spaces, but when the lights go on (or the power goes off), all we have is a blank screen.

But we can also find similarities between the two art forms. They both involve large teams of highly trained professionals spending other people’s money (and often a great deal of it) to create the final work. And in both cases, those large teams are led by architects and directors who are seen, at least by the general public, as the primary creators of the building or movie. But I want to look at a third similarity: when filmmakers use physical three-dimensional spaces—in other words, architecture—to create their movies’ illusions of space.

The movies I’ve chosen to talk about are a personal selection; they’re movies with interior sets that have amazed me. [2] They each feature spectacular—and real— interior spaces that create the illusion of spectacular interior spaces. In other words, they don’t rely on matte paintings, models, or computer graphics. [3] What we see on the screen was actually designed and built. Who designs these spaces? The terms we find in the credits may be art director, set designer, or production designer, but in many ways what they do is similar to what architects do: They create spaces. So let’s talk about some awesome—in the word’s traditional meaning, “worthy of awe”—movie spaces.

Royal Wedding (1951), design by Cedric Gibbons and Jack Martin Smith

The room is nothing special, just a simple sitting room. A man in a top hat, top coat, and tux enters, holding a woman’s photo. After sitting down and admiring the picture, he jumps to his feet and begins to dance while singing “You’re All the World to Me.” Then the unexpected happens: He dances up the right-hand wall, across the ceiling, and down the left-hand wall to the floor, and repeats the trick two more times. The actor is Fred Astaire, and for Royal Wedding, he was faced with a challenge similar to what makers of today's action movies face: how to create a dance scene different from, and more spectacular than, any previous dance scenes. To accomplish this bit of movie magic, designers Gibbons and Smith built the set within a revolving barrel, with the camera and camera operator fixed on the room’s floor, so they spun with the room. The four-surface dance appears to be in a continuous shot (although there are two barely perceptible cuts during the dance). [4] The effect is remarkable even today. This set and the five-minute dance scene may be the only reason people remember this movie.

Rear Window (1954), designed by J. McMillan Johnson and Hal Pereira (upper image above)

All of Rear Window takes place either within Jimmy Stewart’s second-story Greenwich Village apartment or looking through the apartment’s rear window into a courtyard. [5] To create the 98-foot-wide, 185-foot-long, 40-foot-high set, Johnson and Pereira (the brother of architect William Pereira of Transamerica Pyramid fame) not only took over Paramount’s largest soundstage but also removed the floor so they could use the basement to get extra height. In addition to building four-story facades for each side of the courtyard, the designers built 31 apartments behind the facades, with at least eight of them fully furnished. We even can see, between two of the buildings, a street with cars and pedestrians and a building across the street. [6] To add to the set’s complexity, it required multiple lighting setups to simulate various times of day and night, and included weatherproofing and drainage for a heavy rainstorm scene. Few movies have relied so extensively on a single set.

Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), designed by Ken Adam (lower right image (of the set’s model) above)

German-born Adam attended architecture school in London before joining the Royal Air Force in World War 2. After the war, he became a draftsman in the British film industry, eventually advancing to production designer by the late 1950s. He designed Dr. Strangelove’s war room, where a third of the movie takes place, as a cavernous concrete bunker with a sloping ceiling, a leaning wall of gigantic illuminated screens, and a gleaming black floor. The set was 130 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 35 feet high at its highest point. In the center of the room is an enormous doughnut-shaped table with a ring of lights suspended above. [7] Every shot within the war room has some part of the set looming over it. Steven Spielberg has called it the best movie set ever built. [8]    

You Only Live Twice (1967), designed by Ken Adam (lower right image above)

Adam designed the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, and ultimately six more. His memorable Bond spaces include Goldfinger’s Fort Knox and The Spy Who Loves Me’s supertanker. [9] But his most amazing Bond set was Blofeld’s volcano headquarters in You Only Live Twice. [10] The set was too big to fit into any soundstage, so Adam had it built from scratch as its own structure at Pinewood Studios. The interior of the volcano was 400 feet in diameter and 120 feet high, with a 70-foot-diameter sliding door in the roof (through which a 100-foot-high rocket is fired). Around 700 tons of structural steel supported the set, making it more substantial than many actual buildings.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), designed by Ernest Archer, Anthony Masters, and Harry Lange

The longest of 2001’s four segments takes place within the spaceship Discovery, where the living space for the two awake and three hibernating astronauts consists of a large spinning wheel that uses centrifugal force to simulate gravity. To create this set, a Ferris wheel–like centrifuge was constructed at MGM-British Studios outside London. The set’s interior was eight feet wide (the width of a typical hospital corridor) by 38 feet in diameter, giving the astronauts around 960 square feet of living space for their 90-month voyage. The wheel was built in two halves with a narrow slot between them; this allowed the heavy 65mm camera to be mounted to the studio floor while the wheel spun past it for the 360-degree shots of the jogging astronaut. [11] For other shots, the camera was mounted to the wheel and spun with it. Since the wheel was a self-contained set, all the lighting had to be built into it. In a movie famous for its special effects, one of its most amazing effects was this physical set.

The Shining (1980), designed by Roy Walker

Most of The Shining takes place in the Overlook Hotel, the design of which Roy Walker based on the interiors of Yosemite’s Ahwanee Hotel. [12] The Shining was one of the earliest movies to use the newly invented Steadicam, and to take advantage of its ability to move fluidly through spaces, the Overlook interiors were built as though the hotel was real, with most of the spaces connected to each other. Thanks to detailed floor plans created by obsessive conspiracy theorists, [13] it appears that most of the Overlook’s interiors were built as three sets. One includes the Colorado Lounge (where Jack writes his book) on the first floor and hotel corridors and room 237 on the second floor. The second has the reception area, the lobby, the manager’s office, and the rear storage corridor. The third has the Gold Ballroom and the red restroom. To create the illusion of sunlight coming through the Colorado Lounge’s large windows, each window was illuminated with 700,000 watts of lights. Because the movie was shot in the order we see it, the entire set remained in use throughout the year-long shooting schedule.

Raiders of the Los Ark (1981), designed by Norman Reynolds

Norman Reynolds was the art director for Star Wars and the production designer for The Empire Strikes Back, so he was used to designing impressive sets. The standout set he designed for Raiders, the Well of Souls, was built in Elstree Studio’s Stage 3, where parts of the Overlook Hotel had been built. Sixty tons of plaster were used to create the Well of Souls walls and the 37-foot-tall Egyptian jackal sculptures. The screenplay required that the floor be covered with snakes, but the set was so large that the initial batch of around 2,500 snakes was nowhere near enough, requiring another 4,000–7,000 (various sources give different numbers) to be added.

Das Boot (1981), designed by Rolf Zehetbauer

Unlike the expansiveness of many of the sets in this article, Das Boot’s interior set of a full-size submarine was cramped. To capture the intense confinement, nearly all the shots within the submarine set were taken without removing the set’s walls, giving us such a sense of sweaty claustrophobia that we’re as relieved as the crew when the sub surfaces for sunshine and fresh air. [14] To simulate the submarine’s 45-degree dives and the shocks of depth charge explosions, the set was built on a hydraulic structure 15 feet above the soundstage floor.

Titanic (1997), designed by Peter Lamont

Lamont was an assistant art decorator on You Only Live Twice, and he advanced to be production designer on most of the Bond movies starting with 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. For Titanic, his challenge was not only recreating the ship’s interior spaces but also designing them so they could be tilted and flooded with water. His most lavish set was the Grand Staircase Room, which was physically destroyed in its final scene when 90,000 gallons of water were dumped onto it. [15]

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), designed by Grant Major and Dan Hennah

Major and Hennah faced a challenge the other designers we talk about here didn’t have to worry about: They had to design cinematic spaces that would satisfy the many thousands of the book’s demanding fans, all of whom had their own imaginary versions of Middle Earth. The designers succeeded beyond expectations. If their Rivendell, Moria, Gondor, and the Shire weren’t exactly how each viewer had imagined them (and how could they be?), they were close enough. Each set was designed to architecturally match the culture that, in the story, had built them (e.g., Rivendell/elves, Moria/dwarves, Gondor/men, the Shire/hobbits). While many of the Lord of the Rings sets were enhanced by CGI (the Mines of Moria weren’t really as vast as what we see in the movie), Bilbo Baggins’s underground home, Bag End, was built full size. Actually, two full-size Bag Ends were built, one scaled for 3?-6? hobbits, the other for 5?-11? Ian McKellen.

Bag End was rebuilt for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with Hennah returning as production designer. Again, two Bag Ends were built, but with a difference from Fellowship: the “real” Bag End we see in the movie, fully decorated and scaled to dwarves and hobbits, and a second, undecorated, green-painted Bag End scaled for Ian McKellen. While the dwarf and hobbit actors were filmed in the real set, McKellen was filmed separately but simultaneously in the green-screen set and later digitally composited with the other actors into the finished shots.

The Terminal (2005), designed by Alex McDowell

When I saw The Terminal, I wondered how the filmmakers could take over an entire airport terminal for the months required to shoot the movie. Turns out, they didn’t take over a terminal; they built one. Three stories high and with roughly the area of four football fields,16 the terminal set was far too big to fit in any Hollywood sound stage, so it was built in an aircraft hangar at the Palmdale Regional Airport near Los Angeles. Inspired by the Dusseldorf Airport, the set featured working escalators and functional shops, and used 650 tons of structural steel (nearly as much as You Only Live Twice’s volcano).

Are Movie Sets Architecture?

I know many architects may not consider these sets as “architecture.” After all, they aren’t permanent, right? Well, permanence is a relative thing, and as much as we would like to believe the buildings we design will last forever, the sad fact is that many will not survive more than a hundred years. And some sets, such as the Overlook Hotel, may have lasted longer than the original Barcelona Pavilion, an undisputed work of architecture. Because interior sets take up valuable studio space, they are demolished as soon as they are no longer needed. But in a way, they do survive, for as long as their movies, and the technology to show them, survive.  

Follow the author on Twitter @bill_schmwil.


1. And taste as well, I suppose, if we’re so inclined.

2. But not, it would seem, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. Of the eleven movies discussed in this article, only Raiders of the Lost Ark, Titanic, and Fellowship of the Ring won Oscars for art direction/set decoration (2001 was nominated but didn’t win).

3. As an example, I might have included in this article the Hogwarts Great Hall from the Harry Potter movies had I not visited the set outside of London (it's open to the public). The set is impressive, up to around 20 feet. Above that, computer graphics were used to create the Gothic vaults we see in the movie.

4. A particularly clever touch is that five props (top coat, tux jacket, top hat, chair, and photo) are shown to be loose early in the scene, yet move with the room, so they had to be replaced with fixed props before the dance begins. YouTube has this scene at

5. Except for one shot near the end of the movie, which looks from the courtyard toward Stewart’s apartment. This shot shows that all four courtyard facades were built.

6. The movie’s opening shows the full set:

7. Even though the movie was shot in black and white, Adam covered the table with green felt to give the actors the sense that they were playing a poker game with extremely high stakes.

8. Spielberg is quoted in Christopher Frayling’s book Ken Adam: The Art of Production Design.

9. The supertanker set was as big as You Only Live Twice’s volcano, but instead of building a one-time-only set, Adam built the permanent “007 Stage” at Pinewood Studios to hold it.

10. In Ian Fleming’s novel, Blofeld locates his HQ in a castle on the Japanese coast. Adam designed his volcano set when, after weeks of searching, he couldn’t find a coastal castle in Japan, but did see a lot of volcanos.

11. The astronaut running scene, along with a little centrifugal-force science, can be seen at

12. The Overlook’s exterior was modeled on the Timberline Hotel, on Mt. Hood near Portland, Oregon.

13. Conspiracy theorists have picked The Shining apart in minute detail to prove, among other things, that the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked. For more on this, see the weird but entertaining movie Room 237.

14. Two bits of trivia: (1) The design of Das Boot’s U-96 is based on one of the few surviving U-boats, the U-505 at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry; and (2) the full-size replica of the sub’s exterior (it was nothing but an empty shell) was also used in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

15. The Grand Staircase Room was built a little larger than full size, so that modern actors would appear slightly shorter to match the average height of people a hundred years ago.

16. For more on using football fields as units of measurement, see my article “The Football Field of Time” at

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Educational Opportunities




Master Specifiers Retreat

February 1-4, 2018 Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida

The CSI Master Specifiers Retreat is a hosted-buyer, three-day event for specifiers and architects who make product recommendations to meet with top product reps to learn and network. CSI’s Master Specifier Retreat (MSR) is an exclusive, by invitation-only event. Qualifying specifiers and architects, who are selected, attend free of charge. Learn more about this event.   Specifiers and product selection influencers who are selected for this event will attend free of charge.

If you are interested in being considered, please complete the application by October 1, 2018.


CSI on-Demand Webinars are education sessions that provide convenient, quality learning at an affordable price – you will be able to see materials, hear an instructor and earn continuing education credit. Courses qualify for Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and AIA Continuing Education Hours (CEHs). 

CSI's Education Learning Levels

Each session, webinar, or similar event offered through CSI's programming meets a specific level of education:

Fundamental (100 Level): “Learn & Grasp”
Attendees require little to no previous knowledge of the topic area. Participants will learn fundamental facts, terms, and basic principles and understand their meaning. These sessions inform using the “what, why, and how” approach.

Intermediate (200 Level): “Apply & Organize”
Attendees require basic knowledge and understanding of the topic area. Participants will be able to integrate knowledge into the context of practice by organizing, comparing, interpreting, and relating main ideas. These sessions are identified by key words including “execute, perform, and apply.”

Advanced (300 Level): “Develop & Evaluate”
Attendees require a working knowledge and considerable experience in the topic area. Participants will be able to analyze problems and evaluate new situations by combining acquired knowledge and techniques to generate solutions. These sessions are identified by key words including “develop, evaluate, and implement.”

The cost per webinar is $55 for CSI members, or $75 for non-members -- join CSI now and save when you register for an on-demand webinar! 

See the webinars available on demand!


In addition to CSI Webinars, CSI has additional educational opportunities for members of the construction industry.

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Chapter Leadership



Andy Garner, CSI, CDT 

 Immediate Past President

George Ramsay, CSI, CCS, CCCA


Cynthia Long, CSI, CDT 

 Vice President

Kasey Howard, CSI

 Vice President

Dave Rasmussen, CSI

 Vice President

Jeremy Nordby, CSI

 Vice President

Sandy McWilliams, CSI, LEED AP


James Bergevin, CSI


Mark McPherson, CSI, CDT


Awards Committee

Tohnya Adams, CSI-EP, Co-Chair

Rick Nichols, CSI, Co-Chair

Certification Committee

Jerrilyn O'Brien, CSI, CDT, EIT, Co-Chair

 Communications Committee

Keith Pashina, PE, CSI, Chair 


To be determined

 Membership Committee

Gary C. Patrick, CSI, AIA, RRC, Co-Chair

Susan Lee, CSI, Co-Chair

Programs Committee

Brien DuRouche, CSI, Co-Chair

Larry Lorbiecki, CSI-EP, AIA, Co-Chair

Emerging Professionals/Student Affairs

Hannah Fleischaker, CSI, Co-Chair

Adrienne Rulseh, CSI, Co-Chair

Annual Golf Outing

Ryan Hallesy, CSI, Chair

Chapter Administrator

 Vicky Olson, CSI, IntrinXec

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