Construct Per Specs

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For a door and hardware manufacturer, it’s not easy to provide engaging training for architects and specifiers, or to entice trade show participants to enter our booth for a chat about locks, panic hardware, and door closers.  Most architects and specifiers do not like hardware, in fact so many of them have told me how much they hate hardware that I started to try to make hardware a little less painful.

As we prepare for the CONSTRUCT show in Nashville this September, we have put a lot of thought into how to provide an educational session that will keep the participants alert and engaged, and how to make attendees hate hardware just a little bit less when they visit our booth.  Of course we have samples of new products on hand, and are available to talk about new technology or a specific problem on a project.  We want to make sure architects and specifiers know that we provide hardware specification writing and consulting services nationwide and in other countries as well.  But how do we keep people from wandering by and gazing at our people and products from afar?  Candy?  Giveaways?  A contest?  Consultants dressed up as various types of hardware?

We recently came up with an idea that is guaranteed to entice even those who hate hardware to stop by…a mini version of one of our “luncheon-learn” courses called Code Jeopardy.  I have been using various versions of my Code Jeopardy course for 10 years, and we can now offer it to firms all over the country.  The course content is presented as a game, pitting teams of architects and specifiers against each other to test their knowledge of door-related code requirements and teach them a few things in the process.

UL 1784To give trade show attendees a taste of Code Jeopardy, we developed a mini version that we play on iPads.  This gives us an opportunity to connect with conference attendees, talk about the luncheon presentations we offer and our consultation services, and maybe even help with a specific question.  Here’s an example from the “Hot Stuff” (fire doors) category of Code Jeopardy:

This might seem like an obscure question – who’s even heard of UL 1784??  But from a hardware standpoint, it’s important.  The IBC does not specifically require smoke gasketing for fire doors, but does require certain doors to limit air infiltration when tested per UL 1784.  Without smoke gasketing, it’s difficult or impossible to meet those air infiltration limits, which means that fire doors in corridors and smoke barriers need to be specified with smoke gasketing.  If it isn’t specified properly, the project may be delayed and additional costs incurred when the code official requires the missing smoke gasketing to be installed before issuing the Certificate of Occupancy.  When teaching Code Jeopardy, we follow up the question and answer slides with information explaining the requirement:

UL 1784We’ll be playing Code Jeopardy in our booth at CONSTRUCT, so stop by and play for a chance to win an iPad mini!  Bring your hardware questions and problems…I’ll be there with several other hardware consultants who can help.

See you in Nashville!

If you’d like us to conduct the Code Jeopardy class for your firm, click here to get the ball rolling.

Don’t forget the survey – to BIM or not to BIM!  Thanks!



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