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

A new company from the Henrybuilt Design Group, Viola Park was created to provide the mid-segment of the market with well designed kitchen systems at an accessible price while also improving on the way this type of product is sold. Through its website, Viola Park enables customers to explore layout options, view pricing for pre-configured designs, and develop a reasonable renovation budget. The online configuration tool provides kitchen layouts based on a simple series of questions about a customer’s particular space and appliance locations. The layouts provide customers with design solutions similar to the highly functional solutions that Henrybuilt is known for. In most cases, further refinement will be needed to fit a customer’s specific space, but in many cases the tool will give customers a sense of the layout possibilities and cost. Pricing for any layout selected is immediately presented within the tool, which is extremely convenient for busy specifiers.


Architectural glass fabricator Viracon, has launched a free online tool to help architects and building owners determine energy performance and cost savings achieved with different glazing configurations. The new Viracon Product Selection Tool offers an easy and affordable way to calculate energy costs, peak demand, carbon emissions, daylight, glare and thermal comfort for various geographic regions, building orientations, and glass configurations. It is one of the only tools available that calculates cost savings per square foot of glass and carbon emissions per square foot of glass. Until now, building designers only had access to simple product parameters such as U-factors and Solar Heat Gain Coefficients when considering glazing options. Viracon’s new tool puts all these factors into context, and gives building owners realistic square foot dollar comparisons to help them evaluate which type of glazing will have the highest energy payback.