A larger, meatier Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) convention will make its debut next month in Chicago, as the first annual "ConstructAmerica" kicks off April 9-11 at McCormick Place. The re-formatted show is jointly sponsored by CSI and Today's Facility Manager (TFM), formerly Facility Forum, operated by Group C Communications, Red Bank, N.J. Plagued by flagging attendance over recent years, CSI show officials decided in late 2001 to team with TFM and permanently move the show to Chicago. Officials also moved the event from June to April to "scoop" the AIA Expo, which takes place in May.
CSI show officials believe Construct- America could bring in as many as 15,000 construction industry professionals, nearly doubling the attendance of the 2002 show in Las Vegas, which attracted 8,310. The 2001 event in Dallas drew 7,290.
Sustainable design guru William A. McDonough, principal of William McDonough + Partners of Charlottesville, Va., will keynote the event. McDonough's discussion, "Good Growth: A Building Like a Tree — A City Like a Forest," will explain that growth — when it is economically, ecologically, and socially intelligent — can be desirable. He will support his viewpoint with examples of projects that integrate nature's richness safely into human endeavors.
Standard & Poor's chief economist David A. Wyss will provide an economic outlook for the construction industry. Wyss's remarks about the economic factors shaping the industry's future will come amid three trends that could delay a construction rebound: a continuing decline in private nonresidential construction despite low interest rates; excess office space; and a weak recovery in the manufacturing sectors.
Among the hot topics at the show will be the ongoing saga of CSI's expansion of the MasterFormat system. Dennis Hall, chair of CSI's MasterFormat Expansion Task Team, will present the latest draft of a revised system. The final draft is expected to be published by the second quarter of next year.
The OmniClass Construction Classification System (OCCS) will also be presented. Under development by many organizations including CSI, the OCCS will be an information classification standard for all aspects of a facility's life cycle — from conception through demolition.
CSI will also have news and updates relating to the June 2003 launch of its new education program, CSI University.
Visit www.constructamerica.org  for more on the show.