Our office made the decision several years ago to forgo all hard copy product binders and rely only on electronic found information. As QA Director, I was charged with leading the endeavor. So many of the binders had not be updated in many years so there was an assumption that more up-to-date information was available on-line. I first went through and retained 5 – 10 binders that I chose to keep in my office for my personal use. Then, we opened the library up to all staff and said that on a first-come first-served basis they could take anything they wanted. After that, we disposed of the remaining binders. If I recall, I think we found a local charity that wanted binders so we had a student open and recycle paper and box the binders for donation. I don't recall, but in this process, I may have sent an e-mail to those sales reps I knew had recently updated their binders, called on us frequently, or I knew personally to let them know what we were doing with them so they could retrieve their binders if they wanted.
For research after that, I have relied primarily on www.4specs.com which I have always found as very useful. It is organized by CSI Masterformat numbers, has little to no advertising, and provides direct links to manufacturer's web sites.
Craig Hess, AIA, CSI, LEED AP, Vice President & Quality Assurance Director
p 612.373.4655 | c 320.260.1016 | www.esgarch.com
Product binders (except for physical product samples) have gone the way of the flip phone. All of that information is available on line, and is therefore always up to date. When we moved two years ago we threw out all of the binders, except for those containing physical samples. Out library now consists of material samples and materials regarding actual color samples, information that is not easily gleaned from the web. Makes for a much smaller library area!
Jerry K. Roller, aia, Leed AP Managing Principal w 215.928.9331 · c 215.285.3800 · e Jroller@jkrparchitects.com 100 East Penn Square Suite 1080 Philadelphia, PA 19107 jkrparchitects.com
Purged all several years ago.
However, we maintain and regularly update interior finish product catalogs, color charts/books and samples.
In addition, we have set up reference library with hard copies of building codes, ASTM, ASHRE, SMACNA, ADA and many other association standards. We include books on planning, urban design, historic standards, detailing, etc.
Source for product information is sought online directly from manufacturers' websites and as necessary from their technical representatives who willingly come to our offices.
Masterspec also provides information on many products throughout their specs.
Make sure you recycle the tons of paper and you can donate the binders to a local school or children's center.
Ronald J. Battaglia, FAIAPrincipal
617 Main Street, Suite S-401
Buffalo, NY 14203-1400
Firms that do forensic work might be interested in your old product information binders, particularly any binders for waterproofing, roofing, windows, sealants, etc. products.
Construction Consultants & Engineers www.mkainc.com
Kristina L. W. Raupach, AIA, NCARBMadsen, Kneppers & Associates, Inc. 100 Pringle Avenue, Suite 340Walnut Creek, CA 94596O 925.934.3235 | C 206.504.0975 | F 925.934.3894 | firstname.lastname@example.org
California Contractor License: 1002821
We try to eliminate all paper binders. We tell reps to spend the money on keeping their websites up to date. There are exceptions. Most notable are catalogs with colors samples in the catalog and samples themselves. We have not had ARCAT, Sweets, or anything like them for 10 years and have not missed either one.
We still hang on to some of them. So many websites have marketing information only. Finding detailed information is next to impossible. You cannot rely on them for current information on some aspects but at least it is a starting point.
What is worse is detailed information is becoming harder to find. They want you to call and talk to them so they can control what you see.
Yesterday a supplier explained to me that the new version of a steel stiffened fiberglass filled HM door drains water out of the top of the door though the core and out the bottom. Nothing on the website hints of this but they do not have any details for that door showing a cap. I spend two hours looking this afternoon and they are not putting technical information up on the new products. I hoped that they at least switched the fiberglass to mineral wool. It clearly states fiberglass for this model and another model says mineral wool.