Each month RECORD reviews building product related web sites and blogs that might be of interest to our readership. We visit each site, kick the tires a bit, and share what it is about and how it functions. Please let us know if there is a site you've found particularly useful, well-designed, or easy to navigate. — Rita Catinella Orrell

Designers can reach the media by posting their work at this Web site. The 2006 winner of Building Design+Construction magazine’s “Best of the Web” award, Plaid Robot hosts member-submitted high-res images, which the media can download with approval. Pitches and press releases can be sent to publications that register with the site. Editors and freelance writers can search for design work, but designers do not have access to each other’s posts. A message board is being developed for the media to post exactly what it is they are searching for.


International panel manufacturer Trespa’s Web site lists pages of ideas for using its products, including images of panels on existing buildings. Brochures, CAD drawings, and certificates are available for download. A disclaimer explains that the site was specifically developed for browsing with Internet Explorer 6 and a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. Using other browsers, an older version of Explorer, or other screen resolutions may lead to visual distortions.


While Charles and Hudson is a do-it-yourself blog, it might be an interesting read for professionals. Topics covered include remodeling, design, repair and maintenance, tools and products, real estate, restoration, build-it-yourself, and green building. Founded in 2005, the blog is run by This Old House senior Web producer Timothy Dahl, although the site has no affiliation with the magazine. The site is filled with helpful information, as well as dozens of links to other blogs and magazine Web sites.


Impact, the St. Louis–based spec-grade architectural lighting fixture manufacturer, has added a product gallery to its Web site, which can be accessed from the vertical navigation bar at the left of the home page. A grid of thumbnails displays dimensions and names for a number of lighting fixture designs, and each image can be enlarged for closer viewing. However, there is only one image of each product and specific information is limited, a feature that could be improved.