MADCAD was at the AIA this year as well and demoed their complete and growing line of online building codes. Building codes and standards are contained online in an all HMTL format so there is no waiting for PDF files to load into your bbrowser or download to your machine. Codes and standards at MADCAD.com are referred to as iPubs and currently that consist of several building codes and standards publishers.
You access iPubs online through your web browser and you subscribe to them in yearly increments. For instance, their is range of building codes available from the publisher International Code Council, such as BOCA National Code, 1993 or 1996. The yearly price for the latter is 28.98.USD. You can share access to a code online but only one person at a time or one concurrent user. For offices with multiple employees (like most firms) you would likely purchase a range of subscriptions that would cover the most common use of concurrent users in your firm at any one time.
ICC tiles include the Uniform Building Code (UBC), BOCA National Code, Standard Building Code (SBC), and International Building Code (IBC). There is a range of IBC titles and there is also CABO/ANSI A1171 and the International Fire Code. Speaking of fire, there is very complete section of titles from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) including NFPA 80, NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) and NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm Code).
Other publishers include: ASTM International and the state of New York. Building, Fire, Energy, Plumbing and Gas, and Mechanical codes are just some of the main titles for the state of New York. Arda Bascinar, VP and Product Management, told me at the AIA show that the company is looking to expand to include other state codes and well as other standards and codes in general.
Building Codes on your iPhone at the Job Site!
So again, like others I spoke to at the AIA show, I pulled out my iPhone and asked if MADCAD.com worked from Safari on the iPhone. The MADCAD folks were quick to point out it would and offered to let me login using my iPhone from the show floor. Thanks to AT&T’s poky connection, it took awhile but one inside it was clear that their web interface would indeed work with the iPhone. Those architects and building professionals waiting to obtain a second generation 3G iPhone next month will have a much better time enjoying online Web applications like MADCAD.com. The 3G iPhone will be more than 5 times faster at downloading web pages.
Aside from the fact that having building code access from anywhere you can get a Web connection is invaluable as an architect or building professional, being able to search across multiple codes and standards is just as powerful.
For instance, one could search for the term “thermal barrier plenum” to find out various requirements for plenums. This should take you to multiple codes that address aspects of plenums touching on things such as thermal barriers, fire areas, dampers, wiring requirements, limits to combustible devices, limits to the use of foam types of insulation and so forth. I have not logged in to test this exact term out, but Architosh will be looking more closely at MADCAD.com and its capabilities in a future report or product review. We are particularly interested in testing Web applications with the iPhone that are of value to architects in particular. So this is one that we will be looking at.
For more information go to: http://www.madcad.com/
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