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Peopleverse 004: Cherise Lakeside

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Cherise Lakeside, FCSI, CDT is a Senior Specification Writer at RDH Building Science in Portland, Oregon and has experience with many facets of the project team in the built environment. She has worked mostly in architecture with stints in construction, MEP Engineering, and now building science during her career.

In this wide-ranging episode we discuss:

  • Cherise’s journey to Senior Specification Writer at RDH
  • being heard in a traditionally male-dominated profession
  • creating processes for successful specifications on projects that encourage the team to start project specifications sooner
  • the scarcity of the role of a trained Specifier
  • the current state of specifications in the industry
  • the actual role versus the perception of a Specifier
  • how Specifiers bridge the gap between supply and demand
  • the current challenges our industry is facing in the gap
  • the importance of relationships between supply and demand
  • the problems that the lack of understanding of other roles on a project lead to
  • the issues of blindly copying & pasting risk into a firm’s project specification
  • what the supply side needs to understand about design professionals to be more effective
  • the importance of a properly written specification
  • why it’s a problem to put warranty requirements in part 3 of the specification, and where they actually belong
  • the problem of dictating means and methods in specifications
  • correct locating information in the contract documents versus simply throwing everything in the spec with “CYA language”
  • the importance for the supply side to understand the project context a design professional is operating within
  • the problem of ill-timed information delivered at lunch n’ learns
  • insight into the specification writing process during design
  • the one thing that drives design professionals and specifiers insane about manufacturer’s websites
  • the thing product manufacturers know better than anybody and why they are an undeniable resource
  • how product manufacturers can make valuable connections inside architectural firms under current circumstances (offices reopening)
  • what certification product reps can use to get in the door faster than those without
  • what attributes define a quality specification for design professionals
  • the opportunities and benefits of designing a modern specifications workflow within a firm
  • the necessity of creating a feedback loop via lessons learned throughout construction to increase the efficacy, reliability, and quality of office standard documents
  • and other topics

About Cherise:

Cherise is a CSI Fellow, past President and current Certification Chair of the Portland Chapter of CSI and former Director-at-Large on the Institute Board. Cherise currently teaches the CSI CDT certification program and has had hundreds of students over the last 9 years.

Cherise is passionate about young professional development, public speaking/education engagements (300+ over the last 8 years) and is particularly interested in improving project coordination and communication. Her latest adventure is as the host of the new ARCAT sponsored AEC podcast “Detailed”. 

She is fondly referred to as the #CSIKraken. Connect with her on LinkedIn or you can follow her on Twitter @CheriseLakeside.

Episode links:

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