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

Building Business


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


 

Builder Bytes – This newsletter also has a website by the same name www.builderbytes.com. The content here is brief and informative. You can expect to read the latest on politics, economics, finance, and education, to name a few.

Green Construction Bulletin – This newsletter offers more in-depth articles and white papers on everything from how to design an efficient mechanical system to how to increase sales through guerrilla marketing, just to name a few examples. The newsletter can be subscribed to at www.emediausa.com.

Professional Builder – This newsletter is a complement to the magazine publication. It is a rich source of builder information and is also a website driven by www.housingzone.com, where you can find more contractor-specific apps in their Tech section.

Professional Remodeler – This newsletter is similar to the builder one but has information more tailored toward the remodeling industry. The same website (www.housingzone.com) gets you to a treasure trove of information and access to their latest monthly emagazine.

Tools – This newsletter is valuable because they review the latest tools and even some older ones to see how they hold up in real use. On their website, www.toolsofthetrade.net, they showcase tools, how to use tools, and where to buy tools, and feature a blog and videos. I have changed my mind on which tools to buy after having read some of the newsletters. This is a tool you'll want in your digital toolbox.

 

Getting Credit

For those of you who want to take your time and pick up credentials or accreditation to help you stand out from the competition, you can find sources of higher learning. These online courses simply require payment without any prior school or trade degree.

San Francisco Institute of Architecture – SFIA will offer you everything from courses in green construction to the way to a master's degree in business management. The good thing about this school is that they will take your past work experience into account. All your courses are done online; you submit your coursework via email to assigned instructors. Expect this to be a two-year or less commitment. At the end you will have a final exam(s) and receive your degree. Check them out at www.sfia.net and click on "distance learning program."

Community College – Don't forget to check your local community college. Check their course listings for classes that are self-paced and require a computer. Your choices may be more limited here. They will require you to present your high-school diploma, but you at least have the advantage of visiting the school and talking with a real professor. Use this handy directory to find the community college nearest you: Community College Finder

National Association of Home Builders – Don't forget to check in with our national trade association. Their courses are available online as well as classroom-taught at your local homebuilder association. Go to www.nahb.org and check out the certifications you can get to increase your professional status. I did. I became a graduate master builder thanks to the NAHB.

As you begin to get familiar with each one of these major sources of information, you will discover new and less known publications also rich in tips and tricks of the trade. The point is never to stop searching these and other sites. Even 10 minutes spent in reading information will open your mind to new ways of doing business. You should now never find yourself with any downtime as your digital toolbox will always be full of the latest tools for you to use.

If you run across any newsletter, app, or blog that you find valuable and want to share, don't hesitate to contact me here at El Nuevo Constructor, your first stop for valuable industry information. To make sure I get your emails, I have set up a dedicated address at gradcool@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you all.


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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