Resource Advantage

Last April I had the privilege to attend a Virginia Tech continuing education course titled “Introduction to Structural Design of Wood Buildings per the 2015 NDS” (I wrote about it briefly here). The course instructors included Frank Woeste P.E. Ph.D., John “Buddy” Showalter P.E., and Joe Loferski Ph.D. This year there is another course titled “Structural Design Topics in Wood Construction”. I encourage those involved in the design and construction of wood structures to consider attending.


One thing that was impressed upon me last year is the availability of resources—often times at no cost to those in the industry. Consider the International Building Codes with free public access.

Another resource that has become invaluable to me is the American Wood Council. They provide a significant amount of publications, calculators/software, position papers, online courses, prior webinars available to listen to again, and new webinars that even offer Continuing Education credits.


Stagnation occurs when we stop growing. When I think of stagnation, I think of a pond that receives very little fresh water and has no real outlet. Let’s just say that it is not an idyllic place to swim on your summer vacation. Stagnation occurs when there is nothing new entering and nothing being poured out.

As people we are the same way. We will die inside if we are not learning and then applying what we have learned in our daily lives.


For anyone, continuing education should be the pursuit of every individual who desires to grow as a person and in their profession—and this not merely imposed on them from outside influences but directed from a desire within to get better at who they are and what they do—each and every day.


While I’m obviously encouraging continuing education within your field of expertise, I would also encourage broader avocational study and practices. If you typically read non-fiction and technical papers, try reading some literature and poetry starting with once a week. If you sit at a desk for 10 hours a day, try standing up for part of that time. Maybe break up the day with a walk outside… and do yourself a favor and leave your phone behind.

What we are finding is that these forays into areas outside of our expertise or natural inclination tend to refresh and invigorate us. When we do return to our work our capacity for creative problem solving, for planning, for reading, etc. are all enhanced.


It is important to say that GDI, INC isn’t receiving any kind of kickback from ICC or the AWC or Virginia Tech for the mentions in today’s article. We bring it to your attention because of their value for you. We’ve been longtime proponents of “Pay It Forward”.

Tim Hoke

Design Manager / Sales

Gould Design Inc.