Steel Buildings

7 In Australia, steel buildings, were pretty common, from residential framing, right through to commercial and industrial. Over here in North America, particularly in the North West, steel buildings seem to be predominately for commercial and industrial buildings.

Olympia Steel Buildings

Olympia Steel Buildings is the leading provider of pre-engineered metal buildings and prefabricated metal building systems in North America and Canada. Our metal steel buildings are the best choice for commercial buildings, industrial buildings or warehouses, agricultural or farm buildings, storage buildings and residential buildings including workshops and garage kits.

Steel is a very efficient material to work with for building construction. With pre-fabrication possible for all structural elements, the guesswork is kept to a minimum, and these guys have a huge range of structures that they can build for you, either pricing up your design, or you can choose from a pre-designed structure suitable for your purposes, and it will last…

A steel building can save you up to 50% in cost and time compared to conventional construction. A 25-year warranty on the roof, a 40-year warranty on the paint, a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel screws for the roof, and a 50-year warranty on the structural frames all mean that Olympia out performs your every expectation.

Check out steel as a construction material, even on smaller jobs, it can be very economical. Note that this company manufactures and distributes in both the US and Canada.

Barcoding and Asset Management

In my role as Manager of Engineering, I am also responsible for asset management. Fortunately for me, the City is relatively small, and keeping track of all the various pieces of equipment, computers, fleet, buildings, etc is not a huge task. However, one option that has been considered, and has worked in Municipal and Commercial asset management systems elsewhere is barcoding of assets and documents.

For most engineers barcodes are the last thing they want to have to think about, but it’s not just the barcode that’s important, it’s the Barcode Verifier that is important. This could be a handheld scanner, similar to the ones at the supermarket, but designed to read the barcodes for your assets and allow you to store relevant information in a database.



So where do you go to get this Barcode Verification Equipment? A viable solution need to have an online presence, online store, offer turnkey solutions, as well as parts and suppliers. These guys seem to offer all of that, in a website that is pretty straight forward. Barcode Verification and writing equipment is not cheap, but for asset management and document tracking in organizations of any size, barcodes, offer a simple secure way to manage a database of physical items.

I’m not sure how we are going to manage our assets, particularly with the requirements that have been imposed by higher levels of government on capital asset management, but a barcoding system seems like a good idea.

Smart TakeOffs

4 In the world of contracting, the accuracy of your quantity takeoffs often define your profit or loss. If your competitors have a better, faster, more accurate construction estimating system than yours, they may be winning more bids than you, simply by being more competitive, and having to spend less time on working out what the real quantities are.

Takeoff Live PDF

Takeoff Live PDF is the most elegantly simple, affordable digital takeoff software on the market today. It makes working on, managing and sharing any blueprint – from anywhere – easier than you ever thought possible, right on your computer screen. No digitizer or plan prints needed…you can even use a picture of your plans from your digital camera!

Real Estate Websites and Business Blogging

Most companies that use the internet to market their wares have either of the following types of websites, a static page that tells the customer how to find their bricks and mortar address, how to contact them and perhaps samples of what they do or testimonials form satisfied clients, or if they have physical items to sell, they have a ecommerce website, complete with a “shopping cart”, cause that’s what people put a new computer in if they’re in the store, don’t they?

However, a new trend is to offer a product or service, and alongside of that, offer information, tips or news to your potential clients, usually for free. Most of the sites that are doing this well have a blog structure, using software like wordpress, typepad or drupal to run the content of the website. Today, I’d like to show you a website that I think meets the challenge of providing quality information and excels, without making the reader feel cheapened by the experience, (like on some sites – but I’ll leave that for another post!).

Studying Engineering Courses Online

I hate the thought of going back to school. I don’t want to be the guy that everyone points at, whispering, “I wonder how old he is?”

If I were going to do any further education, chances are it would be online, there are a number of reasons for this, firstly, flexibility of program with work, and secondly I live in the middle of the mountains in BC, Canada, withe the nearest real university with Engineering courses a minimum of 7 hours drive away in Vancouver, or about the same to Calgary.

The site is a great starting point for people interested in studying online, and they do have a section for courses related to Engineering…

Our online Engineering Bachelor’s, Master’s and MBA degree programs are ideal for working adults who need maximum scheduling flexibility and want to complete their degrees in less time than is usually required for on-campus programs. The rich multimedia and interactive features of these online courses are especially effective for teaching engineering topics.

If you want to start or accelerate your career in engineering, explore the online programs below and request more information from our accredited colleges and universities today.

Online Engineering Degree Programs |

The pickings are pretty slim at the moment, with five courses listed at different levels, certificate, associate degree, two bachelors degrees and a masters program. Now to make it entirely clear, at the date of this review, none of these courses by itself would allow you to practice or progress to become an Engineer, but are in related fields such as Construction Management, Engineering Management (Masters) and CAD/Drafting.

The service seems pretty straight forward, offering you a basic level of information pertaining to the course and leading to an online form to allow an information pack to be sent out.

They must have some sort of afilliate deal with the institutions, which is pretty smart, considering the institution no longer is restricted to a city in it’s marketing…

After working with more than a dozen online education providers, we recognized the need for a convenient, one-stop resource that could bring new students and educators together. Since its launch in May 2003, has successfully connected more than 3 million students to the adult online education programs of their choice.

With EarnMyDegree, you can easily discover a host of online and distance learning programs in your prospective field of study—from undergraduate to advanced degrees to professional certificates. Thanks to multiple levels of information about each school and its offered programs, you’re able to get an accurate sense of which schools and programs are worth exploring and learning more about.

About Us –


This service would be exceptional if more institutions were providing online courses, and teaming up with an organization like There are lots of courses I’d consider if only they were offered online.

Hmmm, at least then no one would be questioning my age on campus.

This has been a paid review via – Get Reviewed by this blog for $60 at ReviewMe!


Easy Sustainable Cooling

25410790_81be05d9d4_mI’m amazed by the number of people who think that shade is just something to keep you cool when you are sitting out by the pool in summer. But they think nothing of living in a house with tiny eves, no window coverings and the air conditioning cranked right up.

Simple solutions are often the most cost effective and measurable for benefits. Awnings are a simple way to make a home more sustainable and reduce your air conditioning bill. In Australia, we looked seriously at installing shade sails for the same reason, but found it hard as we were renting, we made do with our own temporary solutions, we found a bamboo shade during a trash to treasure day and hung that up to shade one of our outdoor rooms where the kids played, and rigged up a cloth gazebo to act as an awning over our kitchen doors. The big benefit was that the inside of our house stayed a lot cooler as well.

Other options are patio umbrellas placed close to the house to minimize afternoon sun entry into french doors or large windows. You’ve got to get creative to make some of these simple solutions work, but a couple of degrees cooler in summer will be worth it for the comfort, and maybe you won’t need to turn on the air con. btw, we’ve never had a place with air conditioning, even while living in Coastal Australia, where summer temperatures can easily reach the mid 40’s (Celsius).

Another great option is to create an arbor or a pergola, where a vine or climbing plant can flourish and provide shade in the warmer summer months, but in winter, when all the leaves have fallen off, provides sunlight and warmth to the inside of the house.  All in all you probably want to put something in that you can sit under on some nice teak patio furniture, while marveling at the fact that you’ve just saved yourself some big bucks on air conditioning too!

This has been a sponsored linkpost for TeakaLook, a great source of quality outdoor furniture, offering free shipping on all items to addresses in the mainland US states.

Finding the Exit

128141194_28d6bb854bExit signs are an important part of construction and building and facility safety. Do you think the exit sign in the photo is adequate? What about at night, what about if you were blind? There are different standards for exit signage and markings around the world, but as most of my readers are in the US, today, I’m reviewing a website that specializes in exit signs and emergency exit lights that comply with US regulations.

The store is very well laid out, great colors and easy navigation of products, particularly with some of the more specialist products such as photoluminescent aluminum stairwell nosings, which I’d never seen before, but look like a practical solution to the problem of emergency lighting not actuating or providing adequate lighting, or if the stair well were filled with smoke during an evacuation.

In addition to products, the website acts as a source of relevant code information, linking back to the relevant clauses in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website.

exitroute-braille One of the interesting products that doesn’t get a lot of attention is braille exit signs. The Exit Store carries a range of commonly used braille signs, including those specified by the ADA and Californian Building Code. In addition to this special orders and tenders for larger projects are accepted as well.

The pricing appears excellent, and as a bonus, the Exit Store offers free shipping to Exit Sign and Emergency Light orders of 6 items or more and delivers via UPS Ground Shipping within the 48 Continental United States.


Exit Signs

exit signThere are not too many blogs that I’ve found out there providing quality links to construction materials and products of use to the builder and those in the industry. Perhaps the assumption is that these people are too busy to hanging around on the internet blogging all day.

Anyway, I was asked to do a review of this page referring to Exit Signs. These days I’m mostly involving myself with the Civil and heavier infrastructure side of the construction industry, but over the years I’ve learnt a bit about the building industry and relevant codes.

On top of all that I also know a bit about Search Engine Optomisation and the value of of cross links and relevant review posts on relevant blogs. This is one reason why I’m happy to participate in paid promotion of products or pages that may alos be of use to my readers.


But really, I didn’t know much about the existence of products such as photoluminescent exit signs , but now that I’ve read up on them it seems rather obvious! The thought of getting stuck in a high rise building without knowing which way to go to get out is pretty scary, and that’s why there is legislation in all developed countries regarding the installation of Exit Signs.

So back to the website, this is a good primer article on the use and types of exit signs, including Self luminous exit signs which don’t require an external source of electricity. This site is authored by the Exit Store, which I had a browse of and thought was extremely comprehensive and well organised. The webite aims at and links to US sources, which makes sense for a US based company.