The Humble History of Building-Intelligence Center

Since 2003 the Building Intelligence Center has been providing reference resources to a variety of visitors including home inspectors, commercial property inspectors, HVAC contractors, Plumbing contractors, homeowners, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Adjusters, property maintenance providers, Property Management Firms, Government entities, and other trades.  From our humble beginnings we have grown to over 76,000 visitors to our site per week. Well over 1 million visitors have used our site since its inception as one of the most important reference websites for businesses and individuals in determining the date of manufacture, production, or age of HVAC and water heating equipment.

Our Roots

Our founder, John, created this site as a labor of love in 2003 with the sole intention of providing a quick and easy method for home inspectors to determine the age or production dates of furnaces and water heaters.  The site was originally built on a simple free website platform with severely limited options. This original website was not readily promoted or advertised, but as a residential home inspector, Bill stumbled across it and used it routinely for assistance in decoding serial numbers. It proved far more useful and complete than the common PDF resource that had been passed around and referenced at that time.

The original site was built on an obsolete free Microsoft platform that, unbeknownst to John, was to be decommissioned permanently within a few months. Bill contacted John regarding this matter to determine if other plans were being made before losing all his work, and a friendship was born. Bill pooled his personal limited knowledge of website creation with John's research efforts to recreate the site on a new and (then) more modern platform. With assistance from Dominic Maricic of Home Inspector Pro, the site was recreated and improved on the original HIP webhosting platform.  For quite a number of years, Dominic graciously hosted us at no cost until this platform also became outdated and the number of regular users had grown significantly. We again recreated the site on an inexpensive shared server from a popular website hosting company with a different Content Management System. This version of the website lasted several more years until the shear volume of visitors eventually crashed the site. Hosting company was unfortunately not helpful at all, taking them a week alone to determine that the problem stemmed from the sheer number of visitors to the site. We were quite unprepared for this chain of events, and as some of you may remember (and stressed over), the site was down for a few weeks until we could determine our next course of action with our limited financial resources... We had a major decision to make. Let it go, or build it bigger. Of course we chose the latter.

And so we yet again embarked on the large task of migration and recreation...

Growth with Support

This last move came at a significant personal financial cost for a dedicated server and CDN with enough bandwidth, premium plugins, as well as dedicated and improved security measures to prevent hacking and DoS brute force attacks on the site which were becoming evermore sophisticated and increasing in number. We persevered and created what we have and continue to try and improve on today... Of course it's not without it's faults and occasional hiccups. We've had quite a few bumps and setbacks, and learned a lot about web development over the years. All in our spare time between full-time businesses and personal family life, as well as our personal financial costs to provide this free resource.

A Lot Of Help From Our Friends...

We'd like to thank organizational friends as well as individual friends and colleagues for their encouragement, financial support, and resource/research assistance.  John has since retired, and The Building Intelligence Center is now currently maintained by two individuals (Bill, & Sean) who solely provide full IT, research, content creation, and development in their limited spare time in-between their full-time inspection businesses and personal family lives.  The combined efforts of John, Bill, and Sean have spanned well over 20 years with thousands of hours and tens of thousands of their personal finances dedicated to this site. Without support from our friends and colleagues, the task and costs of maintaining and growing this website would be impossible.  A special thank-you to the National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors and Thermographers for their never ending support, Home Inspector Pro for their early years support, EBPHI and the National Home Inspector Examination for their recent and continued sponsorship, and to the countless Home Inspectors, Commercial Property Inspectors, Contractors, and individuals that have assisted us molding what was once simply a labor of love, to making this site the most comprehensive resource in determining the date of manufacture, age, or production of HVAC and Water Heater equipment.

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