Social networking meets energy-efficiency advocacy in an interactive Web resource launched by the Building Codes Assistant Project (BCAP), which works to reduce energy consumption in U.S. buildings through improved building codes.

The Online Code Environment and Advocacy Network (OCEAN) is designed to facilitate sharing of experiences, best practices, educational resources, and key facts relating to building-energy-code adoption, implementation, compliance, and enforcement. OCEAN also allows stakeholders to discuss and learn about code issues, connect to trainers and educators, and find policies and existing programs that can serve as models.

As a social-networking tool, OCEAN allows its users to connect in a virtual community. Over time, OCEAN will become a product of its users as it provides information based on real experiences, acts as the point of reference on current happenings in the energy code arena, and informs and educates users on timely issues and critical needs. For example, OCEAN’s “Discussions” feature—conversations about recent code topics and events—allows users not only to respond to the ongoing discussion but start their own discussion threads.

OCEAN also has organized a database of existing-code resources into an online library covering all facets of energy codes: technical documents, best practices, studies, reports, and more.

While BCAP frequently uploads its own work to the site, OCEAN members also are encouraged to share resources for the benefit of the entire codes community. Becoming a member involves registering with OCEAN and indicating areas of expertise and needs, allowing OCEAN to be optimized for each member’s use.