Building Online: How Architects Use Extranets for Online Collaboration

Traditionally, architects are a conservative bunch who fiercely guards “company secrets.” As a result, the idea of using an extranet to share documents and collaborate with others has been totally alien.

But tradition is rapidly changing.  Increasingly, architectural firms are using extranets to share documents in a secure environment. Why? Because projects move faster, clients are happier, and everything – from schedules and budgets to CAD drawings and renderings —   is more accessible.

An extranet allows engineers and construction companies to immediately access all pertinent information about a project. It eliminates the frustration of waiting until the architect decides to share his plans.

Client relationships are enhanced through the faster and easier access to the vast volume of documents. Approvals are made more quickly, and the client has the comfort of knowing that they can review anything, at anytime.

What is an Extranet?

An extranet provides a secure workspace for clients, vendors and business partners.  It is an area where all the pertinent information for a project can be made available to all of the parties involved in the project.

Studies show that almost 50% of architectural firms have used an extranet. Some firms have resisted using the tool due to the high cost of implementation and maintenance. It is true that the cost of setting up an in-house extranet can be expensive. It requires the purchase of equipment and software, and hiring or training personnel to setup and maintain the system.

However, hosted extranets have become a popular alternative to in-house solutions. They can be purchased for a monthly fee from an application service provider. This approach eliminates the need for hardware and software, and requires no internal staff to maintain the system. In fact, most hosting companies provide training for your staff.

Today, as people become more accustomed to doing most of their business over the internet, clients are requiring that architectural firms use extranet technology. The good news is that extranets have become affordable. More importantly, they make the complex task of collaboration more efficient, enhancing the relationships with clients and partners, and accelerating project completion.


Max Control Valves

Model VC-210 Mini-Max Control Valves are manufactured with stainless steel bodies and specifically designed for controlling liquids, gases and vacuums.  Control valves are single seated and the bellows are sealed tightly to stop any type of leakage.  They can be used for seating materials and flow characteristics for several different types of applications.

A pneumatic actuator is comprised of a molded 11 square inch Dacron reinforced diaphragm inside of an aluminum frame.  The readily accessible spring nut allows for simple field adjustment of the starting point within the selected spring range.  Synthetic gaskets located between the valve bonnet and the actuator frame decrease the heat transfer from the valve to the diaphragm.

For more information about different kinds of control valves, click here.  You can also find out more information about pinch valves here.

What is nuclear power?

Nuclear power, also known as nuclear energy, is the use of exothermic nuclear processes, to generate useful heat and electricity. The term includes nuclear fission, nuclear decay and nuclear fusion. Presently the nuclear fission of elements in the actinide series of the periodic table produce the vast majority of nuclear energy in the direct service of humankind, with nuclear decay processes, primarily in the form of geothermal energy, and radioisotope thermoelectric generators, in niche uses making up the rest. Nuclear (fission) power stations, excluding the contribution from naval nuclear fission reactors, provided about 6% of the world’s energy and 13% of the world’s electricity in 2012. In 2013, the IAEA report that there are 437 operational nuclear power reactors, in 31 countries, although not every reactor is producing electricity. In addition, there are approximately 140 naval vessels using nuclear propulsion in operation, powered by some 180 reactors.  As of 2013, attaining a net energy gain from sustained nuclear fusion reactions, excluding natural fusion power sources such as the Sun, remains an ongoing area of international physics and engineering research. More than 60 years after the first attempts, commercial fusion power production remains unlikely before 2050.

For more information, check out the wikipedia entry here: