With heavy heart we remember Gwen, David Carlysle’s wife.  She was a kingpin for David in all aspects of his life including assisting with NABIE and BIECI activities. Gwen will be sorely missed.  May she rest in peace.  May the great memories of Gwen provide a modicum of comfort for David, their family, and all who knew and worked with Gwen.  Unfortunately Gwen did not live to learn that David has been awarded the NSPE highest honor of Fellow.  Gwen would be proud.  Congratulations to David for all of his work helping to advance Professional Engineering and in particular Building Inspection Engineering.

Our first conference west of the Mississippi was very successful.  There was very good attendance and excellent programs.  As usual, one of the best parts of our conference has been the benefits I get from interaction with fellow members gaining ideas that help me in my practice.  I hope you have had the same experience. We introduced our new Standard of Practice.  Our marketing forum generated strong interest with many members seeking to participate in our marketing development program for growth of NABIE and programs that help support our membership in their own local marketing programs. NSPE President Elect Dan Wittliff expressed his interest to assist us expand our membership and expand overall awareness of NABIE by NSPE members.  We have been requesting greater recognition on NSPE’s web site and additional e-mail support.  When I address the NSPE Board of Directors in July, I will again seek better recognition of NABIE as more than just a “partner” since all of our members must first be a member of NSPE.  This year I will also request that NSPE broadcast at least one e-mail to all NSPE members about our next year’s conference and to feature our conference on the NSPE website.

The extensive committee work performed in developing our new Standard of Practice was very rewarding to observe.  Our new standard is “applicable to any building regardless of use.”  It is “a performance standard and not a prescriptive procedure.”  More than 20 revisions evolved prior to the presentation to our Board of Directors.  It was approved December 12, 2011 to be effective March 1, 2012.  It is available on our web site at:  http://www.nabie.org/docs/NABIE_Standard_of_Practice_-_Adopted_12-12-11_-_Effective_3-1-12.pdf  An NSPE article was developed for publication in PE that will include quotations from Arthur Schwartz NSPE Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel who provided legal review of the standard during its development.  Quotations from Mr. Schwartz include: “NABIE’s new performance standards allow licensed professional building inspection engineers to exercise the necessary professional latitude and discretion appropriate to the specific project requirements.”  “NABIE has demonstrated critical professional leadership over the years in initiating programs and activities to promote building inspection standards and mitigate risks to all parties.”   “The new NABIE Standards of Practice are designed to recognize the unique and important role played by licensed professional building inspection engineers in protecting the public health and safety.”

Thank you Russell Strahan for chairing our standards committee with persistent leadership.  Thank you Martin Capages for functioning as wordsmith extraordinaire. I better understand the value of a Ph.D given Martin’s skill in being precise with language. Thank you Gary Caruso who has devoted years to this effort leading up to the concept for a forum that gave energy to the process.  Thank you Robert Roop and John Cronin who were active participants in the process and who have laid the groundwork for our marketing efforts to follow. Thank you Michael Grabman who helped us extensively debate the word building as a noun verses building as a verb.

Bill Coulbourne is developing plans for strategic planning activities.  Let him know if you are interested in assisting. He will invite all of our members to participate in an initial survey and is considering a Forum for next year’s conference.  One area he will be exploring is a relationship and joint activities with the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) including the possibility of a joint conference to expand awareness of NABIE to closely related professional engineers.

Any ideas?  Send them my way.  Thank you.

By Peter A. Schkeeper, PE