It's not often that the building codes and standards folks have a hot new product. But a new Web listing that contains current contact and product information about software for building regulatory operations is a promising model of serviceable information.
The software database at www.ncsbcs.org displays as a simple spreadsheet. It offers a listing of vendors of products for regulatory operations in one column, with features available across the top. But each vendor or feature is hotlinked to either survey results of product information, vendor home pages, or a listing of jurisdictions actually using the product. Researchers can use the site to find software to fit their needs, and then vet it with users.
The software selection topic is the first of several deliverables promised by a group called the National Alliance for Building Regulatory Reform in the Digital Age. It is supported by grants from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technologies, and by in-kind services from a coalition of 30 public and private organizations and agencies.
Other products to come will address best-practices for information technology use in the building regulatory process; developing criteria for hardware and software when implementing new systems; and an outline for a national database of emergency response information for critical structures.