Research Portal Means Wealth of Technical Information

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For builders and remodelers with technical questions about building technologies, techniques, materials, products, and processes, the answers often can be elusive. But help is on the way - and the help will be delivered right to your computer

April 01, 2001
The NAHB Research Center is developing a portal Web site.

 

For builders and remodelers with technical questions about building technologies, techniques, materials, products, and processes, the answers often can be elusive. But help is on the way - and the help will be delivered right to your computer. It will come in the form of an Internet-based portal for technical information, specifically geared toward the residential construction industry. Development of the portal began in 2000, and a prototype was showcased at the International Builders’ Show in Atlanta.

The portal will offer a logical organization of and easy access to the technical resources builders and remodelers need. Navigating the portal will be intuitive and simple, because it organizes information by technical topics and by subsystems of a house.

"The driver behind the system’s development is the desire to provide ready and easy access to quality information about building in a cost-effective and efficient manner," said Liza Bowles, president of the NAHB Research Center, which is developing the portal.

A working group of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) identified information technology as a top priority - one that held great potential for advancing technology in housing. The group said that establishing a non-commercial information portal for the home building industry was one of the key elements to promoting information technology throughout the industry.

Features of the portal will include:

 

 

  • Easy, logical access to information - no more than three "clicks" from focused, relevant information;
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  • Intelligent searches that will be pre-defined by technical experts and accessible to all portal users;
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  • Links to and continual updates of select, pre-specified technical content from external experts and Web sites;
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  • Optional user customization;
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  • A seamless interface with an industry-supported knowledge management system that will significantly improve the quality of information, as well as provide new and innovative options for delivering the information.

    The development of the portal is a public-private partnership. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the NAHB Research Center, the National Association of Home Builders, and industry sponsors of ToolBase Services (CertainTeed Corp., North American Steel Framing Alliance, Trus Joist, USG Corp., and the Wood Truss Council of America) have joined forces to build and deliver this invaluable tool. "Because all of us are the beneficiaries of improved information and dissemination, additional industry sponsors are being sought," says Bowles. More information is available by calling the NAHB Research Center at (800) 638-8556.

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