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Using the Website. Begin by going to Click on My Deskpad Enter in your User Name and Password. My Deskpad. This is the main area you will use while navigating the website On the left, you will see “Project Quick Search”

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using the website

Using the Website

Begin by going to

Click on My Deskpad

Enter in your User Name and Password

my deskpad
My Deskpad

This is the main area you will use while navigating the website

On the left, you will see “Project Quick Search”

Using this, you can search for jobs that you already know exist.

You can search by any phase of construction

Archived projects are projects that have been awarded. We keep plans and specs online for 19 months after the project has been awarded

You can search by the name of the project, our internal project number, the bid date or your own internal notes.

Once you have your search parameters, click submit. The jobs will be listed from the earliest bid date to latest bid date

project summary
Project Summary

When you hit submit, all matching projects will come up.

The project summary is a brief description of the project, with quick links for the owner/design team, bidders, plans and specs

If you cannot find the project, the project request form can be filled out and sent to our main office

Please provide us with as much information as possible. We handle 500-700 requests per year, and follow through with information on 80% of those projects.

project details
Project Details

Click on the name of the project to access the project details

The details will give you more in depth information, from the scope of work to the estimated cost if one is provided. All information comes directly from the spec book

We also provide information on who to submit bids to, where to obtain plans and contact information for any company involved with the project

At the top you will also find the 8 digit project id. This is the easiest way for us to locate a project should you have a question.

tracking projects
Tracking Projects

One of the ways we make bidding easier for you is with the ability to track jobs

On the project details page , on the top, you have four tracking options

Tracking projects with email will keep abreast of any change that happens. Most of these updates will come to you in a morning email. Addenda, Memos and Amendments are emailed to you as soon as they are placed online. This typically happens within an hour of any one of our 4 offices receiving the addenda!

Tracking without email will set the project aside for you so you do not have to search for it every time you sign in.

Hiding a project will remove that project from you filter.

You can also add a reminder to your Outlook Calendar by clicking of “add a reminder to MS Outlook.

the bid list
The Bid List

The bid list is updates at least once a week and just prior to the bid date. We update our bid lists from planholder lists and pre-bid meeting attendance. This gives our members the best approximation of who is interested in bidding the job.

We also allow our members to add themselves to the bid list

To do this click on Add to Bid List on top of the page.

From here you can edit contact info, how you are bidding and any other pertinent information about the bid or about your company in the Bidders Information notice.

You can also view company bid history by clicking on the icon next to the company name

Finally, as long as we have an email address, you can batch email quotes to prime bidders. To do this, simply check the box next to the name of the person you wish to send your quote to, and hit batch email next to the company type.

viewing documents
Viewing Documents
  • To view specs, click on view specs
  • Each spec section is an individual pdf individually broken down by CSI section
  • To view plans, click on view plans
  • Click on the icon that says IVS Pro 2009 to begin the free install
  • After installed, simply choose which drawing you want to view.
getting started with ivs 2009
Getting Started With IVS 2009
  • The Plans Tab
    • This will allow you to zoom in and out
    • If you own a plotter you can also print from this page
    • You can also save drawing by clicking on save. If you then click on the saved plans tab, you can view selected saved jobs, export files to email directly to subs or suppliers, or email directly from this tab
  • The Estimating Tab- See next slide for guide
    • First set your scale (A)
    • Chose rectangular or elliptical area to do regularly shaped objects (B)
    • Use closed area to find area and perimeter of irregular objects (C)
    • Use measure line for linear measurement (D)
    • Use Count to count objects on objects on the drawing (E)
setting up search filters
Setting Up Search Filters
  • Click on Tracked Projects Companies and Filters
  • Click on New Filter Search
general search parameters
General Search Parameters

Construction Phase

Pre-Bid No A/E project in development

Pre-Bid A/E project has a design team

Pre-Bid CM/GC project has a CM/ GC selected

Active. Projects Actively out for bid.

Apparent Lows.

Contract Awards

Project Types-Hold mouse over the description of how we categorize projects into types

Categories- Again hold your cursor over each category to see our classifications

selecting counties
Selecting Counties

The Builders Exchange, Inc. covers the whole state of Ohio, the eastern third of Indiana and Northern Kentucky. Our whole reporting territory is the default setting.

Click on Select Counties and or States to bring up a county map

Simply click on the counties you would like to receive leads for, the ones for which you want to receive leads will be highlighted in pink.

adding search words
Adding Search Words

Spec Index Search

SAM Search

This stands for spec and addenda mining. This search will find very specific keywords, phrases and trade names

Examples: Carrier, GE, Mitsubishi, Pella

  • This search will find general terms you would expect to see in the titles of CSI sections.
  • Examples: HVAC, Electrical, Masonry, Door, Site, Seeding, Technology
  • This is your default search
saving your filter
Saving Your Filter
  • Once you have your search parameters set up, click on “Save Filter” at the bottom of the page
  • On the next page name your filter something specific to you. By default, you will be set up to receive daily email updates for projects that meet your search criteria. Save again on the bottom of the page
running your filter
Running Your Filter

To manually run your filter, click on the name of the filter.

When you do this, a list of projects meeting your search criteria will appear.

Simply click on the name of the project to view the project details

If you are using SAM Search, click on “Always Expand Results”.

While the will take a few more seconds to open it will link every spec section from every project that had a hit for your keyword ( see slide 16)

statistical research
Statistical Research
  • This is found on My Deskpad in the list of links on the right
  • The first option is to research for a specific company.
  • If this company is an architect, owner or engineer, you can track them with email
  • You can also access their bidding history by clicking on the company name, which will not only give you their past history, but any project actively bidding or in the planning phase.
  • The second major component of statistical research is to search for company type.
  • This will allow to find “top companies” in a given area.
  • The basis for the rankings is by the amount of projects a company has been affiliated with on our site.
  • If you were interested in seeing who the most active architects were in Summit County, you would be able to filter out just that county and our site would produce a list of architects who have done work in that county for the past 2 years based on our bid lists.
  • If you are looking for new contacts in any of the major fields, this is a superb place to begin.

Private Planroom is a free tool for any general contractor.

You can use Private Planroom for building projects, whether you are a member or non-member

As a member, you can keep your private jobs disclosed from our whole membership. Non-member GC’s must also place their projects on our site.

Private Planroom allows a GC to distribute a code to subs and suppliers to access jobs through our site at no charge to them. The GC is responsible for distributing this code

Subs and suppliers can view, download and print both specs and blueprints from our site.

In turn, your subs and suppliers can call any Builders Exchange office if they have any technical issue or questions.

Private Planroom Plus is a tool for only members of the Builders Exchange

While there is a fee for this service, the service provided by the Builders Exchange for our members more than pays for the investment made by the company.

Like Private Planroom, Private Planroom Plus distributes a code to subs and suppliers, however, the BX distributes the code electronically via email and fax

In addition, the Builders Exchange verifies your database, making sure that we have the correct contact information, point of contact and company information

If an ITB or message does not make it to your sub and supplier, the Builders Exchange follows up with your contact, fixes any errant information and redistributes the ITB for you at no additional cost to you

If a GC utilizing the service needs to find new bidders or is expanding into a new area, that GC has access to our database of over 60,000 companies from all over the state of Ohio, and soon, Kentucky!

Like Private Planroom, all tech support is handled by BX staff at no charge to the GC , the subs or the suppliers.


Main Office:

The Builders Exchange, Inc

9555 Rockside Rd. Ste 300

Valley View, OH 44125

P: (216) 393-6300

Toll Free: (866) 907-6300

F: (216) 393-6304


Cincinnati Branch

4350 Glendale-Milford Rd. Ste 120

Blue Ash, OH 45242

P: (513) 769-4800

F: (513) 769-7888


Toledo Branch

555 Airport Highway Ste. 140

Toledo, OH 43615

P: (419) 865-3833

F: (419) 865-8014


Builders Exchange of Dayton

2077 Embury Park Rd.

Dayton, OH 45414

P: (937) 278-5723

F: (937) 278-3843


membership contacts
Membership Contacts

Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Western Pennsylvania: Neal Moir (

Cincinnati and the Tri-State: Ashley Grandetti (

*Columbus and SE Ohio: Jon Hewis (

Dayton: John Grandetti (

Toledo and Southern Michigan: Sarah Skiver (

*Please note: We are not affiliated with the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio. While we do report on information in Central Ohio, our members do not have access to the Columbus Planroom unless they are also members of BX Central Ohio.