Posted by: nedpelger | August 29, 2009

Would Phone Apps be Helpful to You?

My friend Erik Schouten suggested I should be making iPhone and Blackberry phone apps for the various helpful items on I imagine it would be useful to have the most common ADA requirements or some concrete form tolerance requirements right at your phone, to access immediately when a question arises on the jobsite. Often there just doesn’t seem like there’s time to get to a computer and search for the answer.

Erik uses his phone with all sorts of crazy apps. He’s a drywall contractor and I recently asked him to investigate some complaints about excess noise from an elevator equipment room to adjacent apartments in several buildings we just completed. Erik had an application on his iPhone that measured sound pressure in decibels and also a frequency analyzer.

So he was able to tell me that in several of the units the bathroom exhaust fan made more noise than the elevator, but one unit had substantially more elevator noise than the others. He was also able to pinpoint that the noise was almost all mid-range (500 Hertz to 1000 Hertz). Knowing that it wasn’t real low frequency sound transfer, helped us devise a simple solution to the problem for that apartment.

Previously, I was thinking expensive lead drywall may be the best answer. Because of the tools from Erik’s iPhone and some basic knowledge of sound transfer, we can save the owner substantial costs and ourselves some serious headaches.

I don’t think most guys on the jobsite will want or need a sound frequency analyzer, but I am wondering if they wouldn’t use clear building code and technical info that is easy to find in their smart phones. What do you think about this concept? I’d really appreciate some comments here, as it will be a major step to develop these apps.

As a final note, I understand lots of PMs, Supers and Foremen don’t currently have the more expensive smart phones, but I’m fairly sure within a couple of years we will all have them. The benefits, even just having instant access to email and the internet, will be too high vs the lowering cost.

Please take a few moments and leave me a comment about your thougths on this issue. I appreciate it.


  1. Hi,

    I’m writing from StoryCorps, America’s largest nonprofit national oral history project. I thought you and your readers would be interested in listening to StoryCorps’ latest story to broadcast on NPR this morning. Ironworkers Kerry Davis and Ken Hopper, who have been working together for 25 years, talk about rescuing suicide jumpers on the Golden Gate Bridge. You can take a listen here:

    StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening. Since 2003, tens of thousands of people from across the country have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to take home and share and is also archived for generations to come at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to the award-winning broadcasts on public radio and the Internet. Select stories have also been published in the New York Times bestselling book, Listening Is an Act of Love.

    I hope you take the time to listen and share.

    Amber Leigh

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