About Us

Our History

CSI was founded in March 1948 by the specification writers of government agencies who came together to improve the quality of construction specifications. The Institute’s efforts were essential in improving construction specification quality so that it could meet the demands of the post-war construction boom. Development of specifications best practices, promulgating standards/formats, professional education, and certification were cornerstones of the Institute.

The Institute grew quickly to include specification writers in the private sector, design professionals concerned about communicating their vision in construction documents, constructors interested in delivering high-quality facilities, and material suppliers with unique solutions to construction challenges. These construction professionals continue to work together today as CSI members to effectively communicate the designers’ vision, the material producers’ solutions, and the constructors’ techniques to create outstanding facilities that meet facility owners’ objectives.

Our Mission

The mission of CSI is to advance building information management and education of project teams to improve facility performance.

How We Do It

CSI is a national association of more than 13,000 volunteers, including specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product representatives, manufacturers, owners and others who are experts in building construction and the materials used therein. They are dedicated to improving the communication of construction information through:

  • A diversified membership base of allied professionals involved in the creation and management of the built environment. Join us!

  • Continuous development and transformation of standards and formats.

  • Education and certification of professionals to improve project delivery processes.

  • Creation of practice tools to assist users throughout the facility life-cycle. Join a CSI Practice Group!

CSI is governed by a Board of Directors, a nationally elected body that provides long-range strategic leadership. The Board is composed of nationally elected CSI officers, including the president, president-elect, two vice presidents, the secretary, and the treasurer; elected representatives (directors) from each of CSI's 10 regions; and a director at large. CSI’s executive director/CEO is a corporate officer.

Our Key Programs

  • 140+ CSI Chapters: CSI chapters across the country do more than provide networking – expect high-quality education programs and events that help members share real-world solutions and better understand the roles and responsibilities of each member of the construction team.

  • Certification: CSI is renown in the industry for its rigorous certification programs, which include: ​​​

  • Education: CSI education focuses on teaching the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team, and how products and materials interact on the jobsite. (Try one of our webinars!)

  • Standards & Formats: CSI works with organizations around the globe to create and maintain the standards and formats that guide the construction industry's communication and documentation including:

    • MasterFormat: The industry standard for specifications, estimates and product data.  

    • GreenFormat: A format that organizes detailed information about products with sustainable attributes so that designers and manufacturers can make informed decisions on utilizing the products that best address project needs and communicate those choices clearly to the construction team.

    • UniFormat: This format organizes Preliminary Project Descriptions, cost estimates, BIM objects, and early project information.

  • BIM: CSI puts the “Information” in Building Information Management. CSI works with organizations in the U.S. and around the globe to develop standards such as OmniClass and the International Framework Dictionary, which provide a foundation for clear communication, advance interoperability between software tools, and which aid in increasing BIM use.

  • CONSTRUCT & The CSI Annual Convention: Accredited education, unparalleled networking and a full exhibit hall floor with the latest products, services and solutions.