PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

July 19, 2006

ToolBase Website Redesigned To Help Builders Find Technical Information Faster

Upper Marlboro, Md. - ToolBase Services, the home building industry's objective, technical information supersite, has been fully redesigned with the user's experience in mind. The site was recently relaunched to help building professionals navigate comprehensive information on materials, innovative technologies, business management, and housing systems more easily. By broadening the information available as well as providing more intuitive, customized navigation and a streamlined format, the new easy-to-use site will better meet the changing needs of building professionals and savvy consumers. Provided by the NAHB Research Center with support from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) Program, is an essential resource for accelerating the awareness of beneficial new technologies and updating building professionals on industry issues and research. [IMAGE:]

Created to simplify the process of technology selection and implementation, the website has expanded over the years, becoming the building industry's leading online resource for practical, objective information on building technologies and the findings of the PATH program. However, to keep pace with advances in product development, evolving industry issues, and the latest Web technology the time had come for an upgrade. The redesign process was initiated in late 2005, with initial modifications to the site's design determined in cooperation with a panel of building professionals who reexamined the kind of information needed by builders and evaluated the overall usability.

The enhanced site features repackaged information, color-coded Web pages and graphics, and easy-to-find tools to help users quickly locate what they need. The site also features search engine optimization that improves navigation and increases the site's compatibility with popular external search engines. Whether users enter the site on the home page or at any of the popular technology pages, the new design will yield relevant information and helpful cross-references with one easy search. Information is also cross-referenced to help users find other similar areas of interest.

Overall, these updates have resulted in a more user-friendly resource with dramatically improved search capabilities, more detailed field evaluations, and enhanced multimedia support.

The Research Center continues to refine the selection of online tools available through ToolBase Services as builders and consumers' information needs evolve. Some of the site's more specialized resources include:

Interest among manufacturers and industry groups looking to reach the residential construction community with their products has increased significantly. While the site is non-commercial and does not contain advertising, multilevel sponsorships are available that include enhanced links to the technical information builders, remodelers, trade contractors, and consumers want--specification sheets, CAD details, and installation videos- connecting them with manufacturers' literature and product information. is administered by the NAHB Research Center, with funding from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) program and other private sponsors. PATH and NAHB Research Center technical experts are actively seeking information on innovative technologies from researchers, trade associations, and manufacturers for inclusion on and in the Technology Inventory. Builders and remodelers that have implemented any of the Inventory's featured products or practices in the field are also encouraged to contribute testimonial information to the site. For more information and to browse the NAHB Research Center's new ToolBase Services website, visit

For more information:

NAHB Research Center
Kimberly Warren
(800) 638-8556 x6269

Kate Fried

Content updated on 7/27/2006

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