DURING THE 2007 INTERNATIONAL Builders' Show (IBS), the NAHB Research Center presented “The Best Online Resources for Building Technologies,” an educational program aimed at updating builders on many of the most useful and time-saving resources available online. Because helpful information can easily get lost in the shuffle of all that's available on the Web, this program makes clear what resources are available online, the different services they offer, and how they can be used.

According to the program, nearly all builders use the Internet in some form. However, many may just be scratching the surface of what the Internet has to offer them. For example, search engines are among the Web's most valuable resources—offering language tools that can be useful to builders with contractors who are not fluent in English. Users can paste text, such as instructions, into a form that will quickly translate it, or type in the URL for a Web site that they want to translate.

RSS feeds are another time-saving, online tool for builders who want to stay informed but don't have time to browse several sites each day. RSS users can have new information automatically delivered to them in a format that allows them to quickly scan dozens of headlines that are targeted to their interests.

The Research Center's online resource, ToolBase.org, makes accessing these resources easy by housing specific links to popular search engines, news, and trade industry Web sites, including sites for public and private organizations, universities, and industry associations.

In addition to making other information sources available, ToolBase.org also continues to offer a wealth of information on building technology, traditional and green home building, mold and moisture, and energy efficiency from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), HUD, the NAHB, and others. Visit www.ToolBase.org/IBS07webresources.