A picture is worth more than a thousand words in a technical manual when it comes to figuring out how to install house components to code. Or at least that's what Building Media's banking on as it develops its Web-based Code College Network. The digital network provides builders with on-demand access to building code information, as well as video training, eliminating the need to fight through text-heavy installation manuals and ensuring better code compliance.

Already the production company has partnered with agencies in 20 states to bring the information online to the local building community. California Building Officials (CALBO) is the most recent state organization to get on board with the collaboration. The network site should be up and running by August.

However, Tami Svarfvar, Building Media's director of sales and marketing, says that CALBO is taking the site to a whole new level. The organization hopes to take the site beyond just being an efficient and convenient source of pertinent information to becoming a hub for professional development. The new site will help CALBO to educate the code enforcement and development communities on a variety of subjects pertinent to the building industry.

“With CALBO, what they'd like to do is build out the site so people can get [education] credits for visiting the site. That's the next phase,” she explains.

Each network site is divided into three components: general code requirements and commentary from code experts, building science information, and product installation videos. CALBO's first video series will focus on proper HVAC duct sealing to meet the California Energy Commission's requirements.

Svarfvar says this type of online learning is “really the wave of the future” because it allows people to learn “at your own convenience, on your own schedule.” And with builders' schedules being wacky much of the time, it's a comfort to know that training time is flexible.

But the video component is arguably the greatest advantage to the online network because it saves builders time. Accoding to Svarfvar, “It's much simpler to watch a video that takes you 10 minutes than read a 20-page installation manual,” she says.

As a starting point, a series of video shorts will be produced and aired online, available at no charge, to three distinct stakeholder groups: consumers, the building industry, and the code-enforcement community.