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Architecture 2240: Codes, Specification and Contracts-Product Review Paper: Home

Product Review Paper

Choose a building product using trade magazines or library references. In your paper you’ll be justifying your choice of this product for use in a hypothetical building project. Research this project in-depth using Library databases, magazines, and the Internet.

Choosing Your Product

Your goal is to find a product that interests you.  If you don't have one yet:

Come to the Library to browse journals and magazines

Browse online magazines in Flipster, Overdrive, or another article database

Browse trade websites such as Building Green, ARCAT

Search the Internet to get ideas of products

Library Journals and Magazines

A few suggested titles are below, along with where you can find them:


Architectural Record  (available on Flipster and in the Art and Architecture Complete, Associate Programs Plus, and Business Source Complete databases)

Architectural Digest (Available on Overdrive)

Better Homes and Gardens (available on Overdrive)

Detail: A Review of Architecture and Construction Details  (available in Print and in the Art and Architecture Complete database)

Domus (available in Print)

Dwell (available on Overdrive)

Engineering News Record  (available online and in the Associate Programs Plus, and Business Source Complete databases)

Landscape Architecture (available in Print and on Overdrive)

See the Selected Databases section below.

Selected Book Materials

Construction Databook
Green Building Materials
GreenSpec Directory: Product Listings & Guideline specifications

Additional Book Materials

Search the Library Catalog

Use our catalog to find books, videos, and other resources in our collections.

Advanced Search

Finding Information About Your Product

**You will need your COD MyAccess username and password to use the article databases from home.**

You'll find information about your product from a variety of sources. The most obvious choice is the manufacturer's website. Look for technical details and specifications provided for contractors or private consumers.

You'll also be looking for articles about the general category of the product, such as plumbing fixtures or lighting. To find articles from magazines and journals, use the Construction Databases.

Selected Databases

Or browse the online construction journals. This is a super comprehensive list. Look for titles that make sense for your purpose. For instance, Construction in Japan may not be a great choice. But a journal like Construction & Building Materials or the Journal of Construction Engineering & Management could be good choices. ALSO, make sure you choose publications from the U.S.

Using Websites

When you use a website as a resource, it is important to make sure the site is credible and unbiased. If you are using information from the manufacturer's website, you can bet that the information will be biased toward their own products. Be sure to look for diverse opinions about products! (google: review or comparison) When using other website material, such as sites that review products, make sure that the author of the article has professional qualifications. Here are some you can try:

Codes, Standards, and Reference Materials

The Library holds many recent national codes, standards and building management guidelines from the International Code Council and the U.S. Green Building Council in the reference collection. Some older iterations of these materials are available for check-out in the general collection. Browse the Reference Construction materials here

For fire codes, electrical codes and safety standards, consult this online resource: NFPA Codes Online. You'll need a current library card to access the NFPA from off-campus.

The International Code Council makes their codes freely available to read on their website. You'll not be able to print the whole code, but you can copy and paste small sections.

Create an APA Bibliography

A bibliography is a list of the information resources you used to write your paper. For help formatting your bibliography, use the Library's Citing Sources page for APA examples. For help citing your sources in the text of your paper, consult this guide from Purdue.
How to cite Codes & Standards


Organization That Made the Standard. (year). Title of the standard (Standard No. 1234). Retrieved from URL

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE (2012). Standard practice for inspection and maintenance of commercial building HVAC systems (Standard No.180-2012). Retrieved from: https//


Organization That Made the Code. (year). Title of the code (Code name and number). Retrieved from URL

International Code Council. (2015). Stop work order: Authority (International Building Code 115.1). Retrieved from:

Getting Help with Writing Your Paper

The COD Learning Commons will work with you to develop a strong paper and help with editing your writing and developing a correctly formatted bibliography. Also browse the Purdue OWL site for tips on how to write a paper, do in-text citations, and create a bibliography.

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