Friday, October 18



7:00 AM - 8:00 AM  |  Breakfast with Sponsors

Sponsored by   ATAS International


8:00 AM - 8:30 AM  |  CSI Annual Business Meeting


8:30 AM - 9:30 AM  |  Keynote

Sustainability & Specifiers: The Critical Nexus

The world building stock is expected to double by 2060 – equivalent to constructing a New York City every month. Although the built environment currently accounts for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions, climate targets and stakeholder demands are driving impactful change. Specifiers play a critical role in constructing and delivering sustainable, healthy, and resilient buildings for all. As key influencers for the design and construction industries, specifiers improve the built environment’s impact on climate and society through thoughtful and deliberate material selections.  

Vicki Worden, President & CEO of Green Building Initiative, will highlight the critical nexus between sustainability goals and the decisions made by specifiers.  Worden will address integrating sustainability into specification processes, navigating challenges, and harnessing innovative solutions to create a more sustainable built environment. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Explore the significant threats posed by climate change and regulatory trends that are influencing owner requirements and choices related to materials and construction.

  • Understand the critical role of specifiers in promoting sustainability, health, and resilience in building construction. 

  • Identify opportunities for overcoming challenges and leveraging innovative strategies for sustainable design and construction to deliver high performing buildings.

  • Recognize how specifications are being adapted in a way that will impact the health and wellbeing of future generations.

Speaker: Vicki Worden


9:45 AM - 10:45 AM  |  Education Sessions

+ Healthy and Responsible Material Selection for Sustainable Buildings

While sustainable building requirements are rapidly evolving, one constant is transparency. Healthy and responsibly sourced building materials help bring into focus the human side of sustainability and impacts on occupants/communities. Material transparency helps reveal the potential health risks of the materials in a product, providing the opportunity to choose safer options. Also, the transparency of responsible supply chain practices mitigates concerns of compliance and forced labor (modern slavery) in the building materials supply chain.

This presentation will detail how material and supply chain transparency relate to green building certification programs and principles such as LEED, the Living Building Challenge, the WELL Building Standard, and the Design for Freedom movement to clarify the market drivers for healthy buildings, responsibly sourced materials, and the crossover between them.

Attendees will leave with a clear plan and new skills to enact healthy materials selection and advocate for responsible supply chain practices through clear, concise, correct, and complete specifications.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize how LEED, Living Building Challenge, and the WELL Building Standard evaluate healthy materials to contribute to building certifications.

  • Understand the Design for Freedom movement and how to advocate for compliance with this concept.

  • Learn about material ingredient transparency tools (Health Product Declarations, Declare Labels, the Red List) as well as supply chain evaluation tools (Toxnot by 3E, Certified Sustainability Facts Certifications that highlight DE&I efforts).

  • Learn how to implement a five-step process for incorporating healthy and responsible building materials into sustainable buildings projects through clear, concise, correct, and complete specifications.


Erin Spadavecchia, CDT
Program Manager, Sustainability, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions

Amy Musanti
Director, Sustainable Building Solutions, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW

+ Let's Experience Collaboration

Redesign, rework, late changes, RFIs, etc. are the bane of the industry. Precious time is wasted and frustration levels boil up. There is a better way of decision-making and management that enables transparency and collaboration, reducing challenges the design team faces and resulting in better project outcomes for everyone, including the building occupants.

Standard structured formats provide a way to organize owner project requirements and design information, and then to test, revise, validate, and implement an optimal solution confidently and efficiently. This hands-on exploration—utilizing LEGOs and your imagination—will clearly illustrate the knowledge of the decision-making process. Attendees will understand the history, purpose, and usage of structured data so it becomes a tool in collaborating with appropriate team members and communicating their design intent.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize conditions and processes contributing to redesign and rework. Identify the risks of not including all parties in the entire design process and the benefits of equity and including all voices at the design table.

  • Practice concepts that encourage team participation and design development. Gain understanding of the value the owner, end users, and contractor can bring to early design processes to get it right the first time.

  • Model team collaboration strategies for improved design results and better building performance. Discover ways to create more sustainable projects when facility maintenance and life cycle are reviewed from multiple perspectives.

  • Identify decision-making and continuous flow through the entire design process, and learn how clear communication, using tools like UniFormat®, can pave the way to streamlined projects.


Steve Gantner, RA, CCS, CCCA, CDT
Executive Vice President, Senior Specifier, Conspectus, Inc.

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW

+ Firestopping: Managing Barriers in Today’s Construction Environment

Managing barriers is an inherent challenge in today’s construction environment. Many processes generate these barriers, involving a variety of trades and personnel. Usually, the approach to handling compliance issues is reactive, but this is a costly approach that does not supply a true compilation of work being performed, often leaving the facility to repair infractions themselves. Improper penetrations in barriers continues to be among the top 10 citations by inspection professionals. While code requires anyone penetrating a barrier to seal it to a specific standard, the necessary application is often incomplete, misunderstood, or completely disregarded. This session focuses on taking a proactive approach to managing, documenting and inspecting barriers within a facility, and implementing a standard from the conception of design. With tightened budgets, increased regulatory requirements, and reduced staffing, the implementation of a barrier management protocol is essential to save time, money, resources, and create healthier surroundings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the issues associated with managing barriers.

  • Explain the concept of a barrier protocol.

  • Recognize the need for a standard operating practice.

  • Recognize how an initiative-taking protocol saves time, money, and provides a safer environment.


BW Brisco
Pathway Solutions Specialist, Ewing Foley Inc.

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW

+ The Pain of the Claim: Liabilities Associated with Insurance Recovery

This comprehensive learning session delves into insurance claims recovery, construction and design liabilities, regulatory compliance and code challenges, mitigation strategies, real-world scenarios, and best practices.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the insurance claims recovery process, from initial reporting to final resolution, identifying key milestones and stakeholders involved.

  • Recognize and analyze the diverse range of liabilities associated with insurance claims recovery, with a focus on construction and design-related challenges, to proactively address potential issues.

  • Acquire practical knowledge of effective mitigation strategies and best practices to alleviate and manage liabilities in insurance claims recovery. This includes proactive measures to minimize risks and enhance the recovery process.

  • Actively engage with real-world case studies and scenarios, applying learned concepts to analyze past challenges and successes in insurance claims recovery.


Angela Andrews, CLMP, CPAU
CEO, Green Public Insurance Adjusting

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU 


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM  |  Education Sessions

+ Reducing Embodied Carbon Emissions Starts with Structural Concrete Design

The numerous structural concrete waterproofing systems available today create much debate about the environmental impact as well as the lifespan of structures. How do these systems impact the structure’s carbon footprint, lifespan, design, construction schedule, budget, and risk of failures? This presentation focuses on how to use integral concrete waterproofing technologies to meet the rapidly changing environmental standards in design and the client’s objectives for longer-lasting structures. We will outline the most widely used processes and methodologies of waterproofing concrete and walk through comparative test results and case studies. The goal of the discussion is to address the present environmental impacts and challenges in concrete construction that designers, engineers, and contractors face today, and compare solutions to protect concrete and structural elements without compromising design.

Learning Objectives:

  • Integrate integral concrete technologies to reduce embodied carbon emissions and protect assets from moisture with increased durability for structures, reduced risk, lower cost, and faster construction schedules.

  • Quantify the environmental benefits of integral waterproof concrete construction and understand the durability and life-cycle enhancements.

  • Assess and implement the best concrete waterproofing method for the project specifications and design based on the constraints and water-related challenges of the project site and design.

  • Differentiate the performance properties between the multiple classifications of integral concrete waterproofing.


Lindsey Montgomery
Business Development Director, Hycrete

Cesar Valencia
Senior Technical Sales Representative, Hycrete

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW

+ Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Design and Construction

This interactive session will engage participants to explore how they can integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) into their projects in substantive and meaningful ways. The facilitators will demonstrate an example design workflow that can help teams address DE&I from project inception to construction.

Participants will break into groups to discuss how the proposed workflow can apply to different project types, identify possible blind spots or improvements, and share their perspectives and insights on DE&I in design. We’ll introduce Section 01 00 10 – General DE&I Requirements with the goal of identifying elements that help reduce inequity in construction. The section covers procedures for removal of historical inequities by reducing substitution restrictions, enhancing communication, preserving cultural resources, repurposing construction waste, documenting workforce diversity, and a post occupancy DE&I evaluation. Another round of group discussion will identify potential advancements or obstacles to enforcing DE&I contract requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the need for an integrated design workflow to address DE&I throughout the design process and the impact this can have on a project.

  • Explore workflow and specification tools to promote open conversations and specific action around DE&I in design.

  • Learn how to set DE&I project goals, advance them in all project phases, measure success, and initiate progress in specifications.

  • Discuss how to adapt the design workflow and specifications for different project types with different client goals.


Alexander Lungershausen, AIA, CSI, CDT, CCS, CCCA, SCIP, LEED BD+C, Dipl.-Ing.
Associate Principal, Hennebery Eddy Architects 

Melody Fontenot, AIA, CSI, CCCA, CCS, CDT, SCIP
Senior Specification Writer, Conspectus, Inc.

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW

+ Bird Friendly: Local Codes Gaining Steam

Experts estimate up to 1 billion birds die each year following window collisions in the United States. And it’s not just the high-rise buildings, most of the bird strike incidents are attributed to low-rise buildings.

The problem is well understood: birds don’t see glass. Their visual acuity is different from human eyes, and reflectivity fools them into seeing the blue sky and trees of the surrounding landscape.

Solutions for glass exist, but they constitute a cost increase and are (to some) aesthetically unattractive. Local building ordinance requiring bird friendly glazing are on the rise. The City of Toronto was the first to introduce bird friendly regulations in 2007. As of last year, 25 cities have enacted local laws and that number will continue to grow.

This presentation will present the decision-making process for selecting bird friendly glazing and how to specify it in accordance with prescriptive requirements or custom patterns.

Learning Objectives:

  • Decipher local laws requiring bird friendly glazing.

  • Interpret the American Bird Conservancy prescriptive bird friendly guidelines.

  • Distinguish between the different types of bird friendly glazing and their limitations.

  • Know how to specify bird friendly glazing.


Stefanie Schober, P.E.
Director of Enclosure Design & Consulting, Lerch Bates

This session is approved for 1 AIA LU|HSW


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM  |  Express Sessions


12:15 - 1:00 PM  |  Lunch & Certification Celebration

Sponsored by  Fibertite Logo

+ Lunch & Certification Celebration

AECO professionals who earned their CDT®, CCS®, CCCA®, or CCPRTM in the past year will be honored. Join in cheering their accomplishment and enjoy lunch too!


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM  |  Closing Keynote

Sponsored by  Fiberon Logo

+ Leading in Times of Uncertainty

Benjamin Franklin in the late 17th century famously said that "the only two things certain in life are death and taxes" satirically, yet truthfully implying that uncertainty is here to stay. Beyond just the recent pandemic, various industries continuously face changing times, including the growing world of artificial intelligence. So how do staff, from  entry-level  to senior leaders adapt to changing times and ensure that they are not only doing what they need to adapt, but do so in a way that doesn't create setbacks?

Whether you are an engineer, architect, specifier, or manufacturer, each role faces massive changes in the coming decade leading to uncertainty. In this program, Jeff Butler reveals the roadmap that various organizations have used to maximize leadership abilities of all levels to stay ahead in uncertainty. More specifically, how to create a team where leadership is encouraged and a growth mindset to show up for their team when it counts and be able to separate the hype from the opportunity.

Some strategies are commonplace like instantiating strong management systems, but others require practices to truly understand how the mind works in order to unlock their team's potential. In each case, each individual learns how to show up as a better team member ready to handle whatever reality tosses their way.

Speaker: Jeff Butler

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM  |  Offsite Tours


Join us to tour POSTHTX, Houston’s hub for culture, food and recreation. The POST is located at the site of the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office. In 2015, the building was decommissioned and sold. The new owners wanted to honor the buildings past history while creating something new for the future of Houston, and the idea for POST was born. 

This large, mixed-use, adaptive reuse project will show off the creativity of the designers and the complexity of the project, all while becoming LEED BD+C Gold Certified. This is not an easy designation to attain for any project, but especially not a project of this scale. POST is home to the Texas’s largest rooftop park and farm. 

Learning Objectives: After completing the tour, participants will be able to: 

  • Learn about the challenges of adaptive reuse of a historic building. 

  • Understand design intricacies of mixed-use adaptive use projects. 

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities of becoming LEED BD+C Gold Certified and what this means for planning and specifying these types of projects.

  • Discuss the development of the rooftop park and farm and the benefit to the community this provides. 

AIA/HSW Justification: The understanding the challenges and ultimate advantages of an urban reuse projects like POSTHTX, will open the opportunity for more of these projects to become reality. The reuse of space, materials and the LEED BD+C Gold certification enhances the health, safety and well-being of the occupants and the surrounding community.  

Activity Involved: Attendees will have a shuttle to and from the site.   

There will be walking and standing during the tour with occasional stools/benches for resting. A waiver is required to be signed when registering.

+ The ION

The Ion is the centerpiece of a new innovation district development led by Rice University. Covering 15 acres in Midtown Houston, the district is designed to incubate and house startups, corporations, venture capitalists, business accelerator programs, and academics. 

The Ion, a certified LEED BD+C Gold Certified building, transformed the well-known Art-Deco Sears department store on Main Street, an iconic and historic 81-year-old landmark, into a 300,000 square-foot tech-focused collaboration center that includes shared workspace, prototyping and maker resources, event space, classrooms, restaurants, and indoor/outdoor communal areas with shared amenities. 

Come walk through the space to see and learn firsthand how this renovation's design and technical decisions enable the Ion to offer a space where tenants and visitors alike find ways to engage in the innovation ecosystem envisioned here.    

Learning Objectives:After completing the tour, participants will be able to: 

  • Understand the technical requirements and design implications for a tech-focused collaboration hub. 

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities to attaining LEED BD+C Golf Certified. 

  • Learn firsthand how this renovation's design and technical decisions enable the Ion to offer a space where tenants and visitors alike find ways to engage in the innovation ecosystem envisioned when the project started. 

  • Understand design specifics unique to a large-scale project in midtown Houston. 

AIA/HSW Justification: Attendees will understand the challenges and ultimate advantages of transforming this iconic Houston building to ultimately attaining LEED BD+C Gold certification while still keeping the building’s unique charm & character. Learning how tenants and visitors alike are able to engage in the innovation ecosystem is a key to more of these projects will become the norm vs the exception.  The reuse of space, materials and the LEED BD+C Gold certification enhances the health, safety and well-being of the occupants and the surrounding community. 

Activity Involved:Attendees will have a shuttle to and from the site.   

There will be walking and standing during the tour with occasional stools/benches for resting. A waiver is required to be signed when registering.