BUILDERS SEARCHING FOR practical and reliable information on innovative construction products and practices now have a new place to go. Well, not exactly new, but certainly improved. A fully redesigned version of ToolBase.org, the online technical resource, was recently launched to help builders more easily navigate information on materials, technologies, housing systems, and business management.
ToolBase.org has played an essential role in keeping building professionals current on industry issues and research as well as accelerating the awareness of beneficial technologies. However, feedback over the years indicated that it was time for an upgrade.
The redesign was initiated to meet builders' needs by broadening the information available and giving access to that information more quickly and in greater detail. Changes were made in cooperation with a panel of industry experts, which then evaluated the site's overall usability. The redesign began in late 2005 with the introduction of an updated PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) Technology Inventory. Now, the rest of the site has been revamped, resulting in a more user-friendly resource with smarter navigation, greatly improved search capabilities, better field evaluations, faster downloads, and multimedia support.
Search engine optimization is a new feature that will make ToolBase.org easier to navigate and will increase the site's compatibility with popular external search engines. Whether users enter on the home page or at any of the popular technology pages, the new design will yield relevant information and helpful cross-references with one easy search.
ToolBase.org is administered by the NAHB Research Center, with funding from HUD, through the PATH program, and other private sponsors. Although the site maintains objectivity by declining advertising, sponsorships are available that include links to information builders want: spec sheets, CAD details, installation videos, and more.
For more information and to browse the new Web site, visit www.toolbase.org.