The building products, construction, design and services sector
is huge. Where do you go for information, when you need to find
it fast? Here are some useful embarkation points. There is no one
site that you may use as an industry jump-off, but these will provide
you with an introduction:
If something has just happened, and you need to discover what exactly
you’ve missed, then turn Yahoo!®
Finance Construction/Building News for industry updates. Should
you choose to adopt a more leisurely pace, consult The
Blue Book® list of lists for other information sources.
The National Association of Home
Builders (NAHB) is an excellent gateway to the residential construction
sector. Also pay a visit to trade publisher Hanley Wood’s
BuilderOnline, a starting
point for all of their residential magazines, trade shows and events.
The non-residential construction sector is large and diverse. Contractors
have many voices. Among the largest are the Associated
General Contractors of America and the American
Institute of Constructors. In the design sector, the American
Institute of Architects and the American
Council of Engineering Companies represent professional firms.
Owners are represented by the Building
Owners and Managers Association and the Construction
Owners Association of America. To discover who the most active
firms are in the US non-residential construction sector visit Building
Design & Construction magazine’s annual ranking of AE/C
firms. To enter a Canadian gateway to the non-residential sector,
look at these national and provincial links maintained by the Institute
for Research in Construction.
Nothing is supposed to happen in the construction industry unless
it conforms to a code. To begin your information search in the US
visit the International Code Council
. For your particular jurisdiction, turn to the HousingZone
Building Code Library. If you are a Canadian, visit the Canadian
Current construction codes increasingly reference standards and
there are a lot of standards development organizations. Search these
ones first. ASTM
International, Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings currently
has jurisdiction over 170 standards. The
Canadian Standards Association is Canada’s leading developer
of standards and related publications in the field of construction.
Once there is a standard – or maybe even if there isn’t
one yet – you want to see the product tested. Test your knowledge
of the testers by visiting the ICC
Evaluation Service in the US; the Canada
Construction Materials Centre; or the World
Federation of Technical Assessment Organizations.
The construction industry has a language and form all its own.
In order to decipher it, visit the Construction
Specifications Institute and trade publisher R.S.
If it’s the science of building that interests you, then
here are three sites to jump from. The appropriately named Building
Science Corporation has numerous resources, but be sure and
check out “Joe’s Top Ten”. Building
America is the building technologies program of the US Department
of Energy. It has lots of information, with perhaps a little slant
towards energy use. And between 1960 and 1990 Canada’s Institute
for Research in Construction and its predecessor the Division of
Building Research published a series of classics called the “Canadian
Building Digests”. They are still relevant today and 240
of the 250 subject series can be found on this site.
And finally, if by chance you are still struggling to find what
you are looking for, then maybe it’s just a little problem
of definition and a trip to the library might help. The
Journal of Light Construction and IXL Construction Training
provide an online construction glossary.
For building and construction news, there are many sites
according to your needs. We think these just about cover the spectrum:
ArchitectureWeek is an online magazine of design and building.
Here is a link to their headline
page. Buildings magazine
contains news for facilities managers, owners and developers. Hardlines
connects the home improvement retail industry in Canada.
Home Channel News
is the home improvement retail news book of independent publisher
Lebhar-Friedman. In North America, it’s the publication-of-record
for the industry. HousingZone
is the umbrella news site of Reed Business Information’s housing
industry magazines, trade shows and awards. McGraw-Hill
Construction covers the world – literally – from
this gateway site for residential, non-residential and engineering
construction and design.
Retail (Home Improvement) site will provide you with a market
summary, news, statistics and company profiles. From here, you can
also navigate to similar pages for construction raw materials, services,
supplies and fixtures.
For public policies that impact upon construction, the
built environment and competitiveness, we recommend the following:
And finally, if you just happened to stumble upon this
site and are a consumer looking for a solution to your individual
project, then welcome to our site! We suggest you look at these
sites for more information ….
If you live in the great white north, the Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a broad range of
information for you. The Do It Yourself Network has great tips on
If you live in the home of the brave, the National
Association of Home Builders of the US (NAHB) has important
information for consumers. Please contact a NAHB member if you are
considering the purchase of a new home, or a renovation.
Are you building a new home? Tarion
Warranty Corporation, in the province of Ontario, provides warranties
for all new homes built for sale in the province. You can download
its 2MB “Construction
Performance Guidelines” for builders and buyers at this
site. It’s a useful primer on what to look for, in single
And last but not least, Taunton Press’ Fine
Homebuilding magazine is always impressive and that’s
why we’re subscribers too!