Demonstrating ClarkDietrich’s ongoing commitment to providing expert service to our customers, Architectural Specialty Representative Autumn Sullivan recently completed the process of earning the CDT certification. The milestone makes Autumn the 15th ClarkDietrich employee to receive the respected accreditation.
The Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) certification provides a comprehensive program of study for anyone seeking to enhance and demonstrate knowledge of writing, interpreting, enforcing and managing construction documents. Completing the program gives professionals like Autumn the ability to confidently read and comprehend technical construction documents and make sound recommendations based on that knowledge. The CDT exam also covers roles and responsibilities of the project team and the process of a project from conception to the end of the building's life, including design development, the bidding phase, construction, project closeout, and more.
Below, Autumn reflects on the process of earning her CDT certification and what’s next for her professionally.
Q: Can you describe the process of obtaining the CDT?
A: I was told early on that the CDT requires a great deal of studying. I started studying six weeks before my exam by reading the Project Delivery Practice Guide by CSI. I also read AIA Document A201. I was lucky to meet a few members of the CSI community while at work events and they provided me with YouTube videos, practice exams, and flash card links. Two weeks before the exam, I got really serious and would spend an average of four hours per evening studying.
Q: Can you explain your role at ClarkDietrich and how this certification helps you not only in your current position but also in terms of future growth?
A: In my role as an Architectural Specialty Representative, I am responsible for meeting with architectural and engineering firms to provide support and promote product lines. I review the firms’ construction documents and provide specification reviews. I also present continuing education courses (CEUs) to firms.
I decided to pursue the CDT certification because I wanted to gain more credibility in this industry and get more involved with CSI. The CDT certification helped me understand the roles and responsibilities of architects, owners, and contractors, the project delivery process, and construction documents. I graduated college with a business degree and started at ClarkDietrich in sales, so I had no formal training in engineering or architecture. I understood our products and services, but now I get the big picture of where we fit in. After learning the material for the CDT, I feel much more confident talking to architects and specifiers.
Q: On that note, what do you have your sights set on next?
A: I will be pursuing another certification exam later this year known as the CCPR. The Certified Construction Product Representative exam is aimed at product representatives and manufacturer and supply professionals. It expands on the information learned for the CDT and focuses on effective communication and other information needed to be a trusted construction representative. I am still relatively new to this position so obtaining this certification will really help improve my knowledge and skills.
CDT certification is offered by CSI, a national not-for-profit association of more than 6,000 members dedicated to improving the communication of construction information throughout continuous development and transformation of standards and formats, education and certification of professionals to improve project delivery processes.
To keep our customers up to date with ever-changing industry standards, ClarkDietrich offers a wide array of specification resources, including three-part Guide Specifications and complimentary specification reviews. Our CDT-certified specification specialists will update code standards, remove out-of-business manufacturers, add improved verbiage, and insert beneficial product suggestions. Visit https://www.clarkdietrich.com/services/architectural-spec-review to learn more.