Civil and Environmental Engineering

Cost Estimating Information

Civil Engineering design standards

Note: Previous/historical versions of these standards are available through the above links. Some CSA standards are also included in the relevant design handbook, which we may have in print - see the other box on this page.

Note: We generally do not have electronic access to ACI concrete standards, but we can usually get a copy! Email me for guidance.

Evaluating information from websites

Websites for companies, products and organizations can be a valuable source of information for engineering design projects. However, it's important to keep in mind that this info is less reliable than scholarly articles - you need to evaluate it with a skeptical eye. Companies are trying to portray themselves in the best light. One handy acronym for evaluating web content is the CRAAP test (created by Meriam Library at CSU Chico):

  • Currency: How recent is the information? When was it posted or updated? Do you need current information for your search, or is older information fine? Sometimes product websites might still be live even though the product is no longer available.
  • Relevance: is the information really related to your topic? Who is it intended for - designers, contractors, academics, the general public?
  • Authority: Who is the source of the information, and are they qualified to write on this? What are there credentials and affiliations? If the website doesn't list an author or organization, that isn't a good sign. Can you find information about the source elsewhere on the web? However, even people with PhDs can provide unreliable information. 
  • Accuracy: How reliable does the information appear to be? Does the source back up its claims with evidence, data, and/or links to credible sources? Is the writing restrained or does it use exaggerated words (like claiming that a product is the world's best)? Are there spelling errors or typos?
  • Purpose: What is the reason for the web page? To inform people, to sell something, to add something to the writer's CV, to entertain? If it isn't clear what the purpose is, be skeptical.

There is a more detailed handout from CSU Chico here.

Design handbooks