Frank Bennardo, president of Engineering Express, which specializes in product evaluations, is on a mission to help speed product approval information. He thinks ApprovalZoom.com can help users get information faster.
ApprovalZoom is compiling a collective registry of all building products. “We accept all building products that have some sort of approval rating,” he says.
The objective, according to Bennardo, is to deliver powerful search engine results that sift through mountains of building products (more than 90,000 and counting) and group them by each approval standard they match, or fail to match.
The site is now expanding to become the largest online collection of building products linked to the approval codes they fulfill. “You can't just Google this information, it's too industry-specific,” says Bennardo.
The Deerfield, Fla.-based company began with Florida and Miami Dade County-approved products but has expanded to include California, Texas, the International Code Council and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association approval systems. Next up: private approval companies.
“We're on the coast and have to know if products meet high wind load standards,” says Darius Grimes, a safety evaluator for Disaster-Smart Consulting Inc., Cantonment, Fla.
“The site keeps us from searching though many pages of each individual product approval website we need to check,” he says.
Grimes uses the site to get fast answers while running an inspection, and says that it has saved him a lot of time.
Bennardo says he hopes to have at least 100,000 products listed by September.