Free steel design tool may help save money
Available as a free download from American Institute of Steel Construction's Web site, Clean Columns v3.1 can help reduce the overall cost of steel framing for a project. The software tool calculates the lightest column section that can be used without stiffeners and/or double plates, which can increase the cost of a moment connection by an equivalent 1000 pounds of steel. www.aisc.org
AGC mold guidebook available online
To help construction contractors avoid mold claims and litigation, and to improve their prospects for future insurance coverage, AGC has published a 35-page booklet on the subject. The free publication, which is available online at AGC's Web site, breaks down the science of mold, how building systems and materials affect mold growth, risks during the construction process, proper building operation and maintenance, and special measures owners can take to minimize the risk of mold growth and consequent litigation. www.agc.org
Roof insulation calculator
In January 2003, under ASTM C1289-02, new Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values became effective in the U.S. for polyisocyanurate roof insulation. To help simplify the learning curve, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) offers a free online LTTR calculator that determines the appropriate thickness and r-value for polyiso insulation for virtually any roofing application.