Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: the COD Library building is closed until further notice.

Architecture 2240

Architecture 2240: Codes, Specifications and Contracts

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 building project.


1. Paper length: 2-3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 11 pt. font.

2. APA Style Bibliography: not included in total page count.

3. Minimum resource requirements: 1 book or 1 article from the Library, 1-2 credible websites.

Choosing Your Product

Come to the Library to browse journals and magazines to find a product that interests you. You can also browse the reference materials in the Library.

Library Journals and Magazines

These titles are available in the current periodicals section of the Library:
Architectural Record
Better Homes and Gardens
Detail: A Review of Architecture and Construction Details

Selected Book Materials

Try a Subject search for these headings:

  • Building materials
  • Building materials--Environmental aspects
  • Barrier-free design
  • Sustainable buildings

Search for ebooks at Ebook Central (have your library card handy.)

Finding Information About Your Product

**You will need a COD Library Card 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

Associates Program Source Plus
Associates Programs Source Plus is designed specifically for trade research. It includes a ton of full text articles from trade magazines, engineering-related journals, and news. Use it to find case studies, reviews of products, articles about manufacturers, and more.
Business Source Complete
Business Source Complete provides access to content and indexing for 1,300 journals. This database is focused on business and management. Use it to find articles about construction management, case studies, product reviews, and other subjects.
NFPA Codes
Includes the National Fire Codes, the National Electrical Codes, the Life Safety Code and many more National codes from the NFPA.
Building Green
Building Green is an online trade magazine for architecture, construction, and related industries.

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.

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.