OSCAR is ready to learn!

Now that you’ve met OSCAR, you know that he is still very young, and has much to learn. What can you teach him? We’re sure it’s quite a lot. At his tender age, we can guarantee you know far more than he does!

We’ve been working hard to make it easy for you to share a lesson or two with OSCAR. Please join us! (Contact me at: trembc@gmail.com) Let’s find a way to tap into your enthusiasm and expertise!
There are six primary ways that you can help us give OSCAR his education.

1. Divide larger topics into logical subtopics
This is a task for someone with expertise in a topic area.
We have an extensive outline that systematically organizes our information for placement on the website. Some topics (ex: curtain walls, concrete walls) need to be broken down into more manageable subtopics (precast concrete walls, cast-in-place concrete walls, etc.) in order to better address the questions OSCAR asks*.
Are there different categories of curtain walls that must be considered differently? What about concrete walls? Or tensile membrane roofs? Aluminum or vinyl windows? What about other types of components that we haven’t even considered yet?
* – OSCAR’s questions at this stage are:
-How do each of our 10 types of energy use relate to your building component, if at all?
-Can you repair the component? If so, how do you break down the building component assembly to address what may be repaired, and how?
-What interventions can you make (to the building component, or to the building to work with this component effectively) to improve the energy performance?

2. Jot down information
This is a task for someone with expertise in a topic area. (Or: someone enthusiastic to learn by interviewing practitioners with this expertise and/or researching the topic.)
In this step, we are looking for informal, bullet-point bits of information that address the topic. If you’ve got considerable experience working with a building component, this isn’t a research project so much as it is just jotting down what you know. (Imagine having a quick conversation with an intern or junior staff member in your office.)
 
We have a set of questions for each topic/ subtopic on the outline.** This helps to organize the information in a useful manner.
 
**- Ex: Can your (building component) be repaired?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: (Yes, it can be repaired./ No, it can’t.)
WHAT:
WHY:
HOW:
CONCERNS: (that is, why might you not want to do this)
ADDITIONAL SUSTAINABILITY CONSIDERATIONS:
CLIMATE-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS:
EXAMPLE: (case study? photo?)
RESOURCES: (where would you send someone for more information?)
You will of course be credited as an author.

3. Format and formally document information
This is a task for someone with enthusiasm for learning about a topic and the time to do so.

In this step, the jotted down notes from step 2 are formalized. Clear, concise sentences/ paragraphs are written, citing good resources. This is a more time-consuming step than step 2, but with the jotted notes in place, the task is not difficult, and is an excellent learning opportunity for a grad student or young professional.

You will of course be credited as an author.

4. Peer review
This is a task for someone with expertise in a topic area.
 
Like any APT publication, the text written in step 3 is to be peer-reviewed for accuracy and validity prior to being published on OSCAR. This is a task of redlining the text and returning it to the content team of step 3 for revisions as necessary.
 

5. Identify relevant images
This is a task for anyone with a good aesthetic eye and a collection of illustrative photos or drawings.
This task helps make OSCAR visually appealing and even more useful. As all images are credited, preference goes to contributing photos from your office or personal collections. Permission is required for photos from other sources, of course.
Drawings and diagrams are also wonderful, of course!
 

6. Administrative tasks
This is a task for someone at any experience level, with careful attention to detail, who is looking for a way to get involved in the project.
This task is very important, if not immediately glamorous, but quite rewarding. Consider this the “drafter” position, as we flesh out the pages of the site. In many ways it is not dissimilar to compiling a set of construction documents. Many hours are spent doing the equivalent of setting up the drawing sheets. It’s a great way to get to know the project and the project team while making a real contribution. (Plus, at the end of a long day, it’s one that doesn’t take as much creative thought!)

Remember: every little bit helps educate OSCAR and make him as robust a resource as can be. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING there is to know about a topic. (Is such a thing even possible?) Share what you can, and others can build upon your knowledge base. (Think of how wikipedia pages grow over time.)
Thank you, in advance, for your contributions to OSCAR’s education! By teaching this young resource, you are contributing to APT’s positive outreach to the larger building community!