Digital Toolbox: Getting an Education Without Leaving the Job Site - Fine Homebuilding
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Digital Toolbox: Getting an Education Without Leaving the Job Site

comments (2) January 3rd, 2013 in Blogs
FPR Fernando Pages Ruiz, contributor

Better building through better education is Sergio Grados motto at GradCo Structures & Homes. He believes great construction begins with a good understanding of building science. At GradCo, we never stop learning and seek to train others. We believe that well-educated workers in building science will lead to better-built structures. GradCo has proven this by recently completing its first LEED custom home that is seeking platinum certification through the USGBC LEED rating program. During the course of this project, GradCo made sure to educate every trade that worked on the project. No opportunity was lost in learning something new, says Grado.Click To Enlarge

"Better building through better education" is Sergio Grado's motto at GradCo Structures & Homes. He believes great construction begins with a good understanding of building science. "At GradCo, we never stop learning and seek to train others. We believe that well-educated workers in building science will lead to better-built structures." GradCo has proven this by recently completing its first LEED custom home that is seeking platinum certification through the USGBC LEED rating program. During the course of this project, GradCo made sure to educate every trade that worked on the project. "No opportunity was lost in learning something new," says Grado.

Photo: Sergio Grado

Guest post by Sergio Grado

 

Let's face it. As contractors and tradespeople, we spend most our time out in the field, with little or time for learning something new. If it isn't knowledge acquired at the job site, then why bother, right? Unfortunately, this is how many of us think.

We know that we need to work hard in our business to stay ahead, but the secret is that we also need to work hard on our business and let the business work even harder for us. But how can we do that if we are not taking the time to learn better estimating techniques, or how to increase sales by learning how to market our services better? Here, I will showcase some of the ways you can learn while in the field by using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer.

Finding the time to learn something new while in the field usually means that you have to do it either on your lunch break or during brief periods of downtime, such as while waiting for a subcontractor to arrive. This typically means you have anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes at most. How can you possibly learn anything during that time? The answer is through websites, blogs, newsletters, and podcasts.

If you have a tablet and can access the Internet, then you're well equipped to take advantage of all kinds of learning in the field. You may have a smartphone as well, with a data plan that will allow you to tether your smartphone to your tablet to give you an Internet connection without having to rely on Wi-Fi. This is most helpful when you are sitting out in the middle of a vacant lot in a new development somewhere. I have been fortunate from time to time to find myself sitting at the edge of a lake on the lot of a custom home I was building - a great place to do a little homework.

 

If you have access to the Internet, your first opportunity is to access key websites:

www.greenbuildingadvisor.com – This site is my first stop when I have a few minutes. It features videos, product evaluations, and detailed drawings that I can learn from. It also features several blogs where construction topics are discussed.

www.finehomebuilding.com – This is my second stop, and I always look for the short videos called There's A Better Way. In quick, 30-second videos, I have learned many a quick tip that I instantly put to work in the field.

www.ebuild.com – This is a great site for product news. They always feature the latest products and often feature them in their "eBuild TV" video segment.

The next rich sources of information that you want to tap into are industry newsletters. There is definitely no shortage of content here. Most are free and can be easily viewed on a tablet or a smartphone. Here are a few of my picks for best content.

 

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posted in: Blogs, green building, , education, digital, distance learning, online degrees

Comments (2)

Edward1234 Edward1234 writes: Thanks for this post.you might be interested in checking out fine luxury homes by Brejnik Fine Homes (www.brejnik.ca). They build fine luxury houses. Brejnik team consists of qualified and trusted: Architects, Interior Designers, Appraisers / Lenders, Trades & Suppliers, Geo-technical engineers, Structural Engineers, Arborists, Landscape Architects, Pool & Water Feature Specialists.
Posted: 3:15 pm on May 14th

TheTimberTailor TheTimberTailor writes: Fernando,
Thanks for sharing some great info and resources in this post..
I just bookmarked the toolsofthetrade.net website link for future reference.
Posted: 4:14 pm on January 3rd

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