Ron Jones as Keynote Speaker
During lunch on Friday, August 22, Ron Jones will be featured as the keynote speaker for the annual education conference Great Lakes Green.
Is your best work behind you, or
still ahead? Is 'mainstream green' a contradiction in terms? It's not easy to overcome the
fear of change, or to step out of the shadows of denial and into the bright
light of the future, but a legacy of sustainability will require leadership,
and that has to mainly come from within.
Later in the day, Ron Jones and Green Built President, Arn McIntyre will present changes to the ANSI Green Building Standard, followed by an in-depth Q&A session.
Great Lakes Green 2009Mark your calendars for Great Lakes Green 2009, one of the largest, most comprehensive green educational conferences in the mid-west. The conference will be held Friday, August 22 at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For more information on exhibiting visit the website at www.greatlakesgreenconference.com
GLG Changes Format
We've changed the format for Great Lakes Green 2009. During a slow building time in which all of us are trying to do more with less, we found that attendee's were primarily interested in education.
Great Lakes Green will be one day only--Friday, August 22. We have eliminated the Exhibit Hall this year so that you can focus all of your attention on the education programs.
For a full list of education programs, course descriptions and to pre-register, visit Great Lakes Green online at www.greatlakesgreenconference.com
General Admission is $35.00. Green Built Michigan Members can attend all of the sessions for just $10.00.
Register before August 14 and receive $5 off!
Green MLS Listings Benefits Both Sides
Arn McIntyre, McIntyre Builders
McIntyre is President
McIntyre Builders Inc., a 20 year
business that built the First Certified Green Built home in Michigan in 2002. McIntyre Homes was the Gold recipient of the 2009 National Energy Value Housing Award (EVHA). Currently, Arn serves as President of the Green Built Michigan Board of Directors.
The National Association of Realtors issued a Call for
Action, urging their members to contact senators and encourage them to vote
against a universal energy efficiency rating to be included with home listing
information. They believe that mandating home energy labels will hurt the
fragile housing market by steering homeowners away from older, less efficient
Green Built Michigan Board President, Arn McIntyre, who is both a builder and
real estate broker responded.
"As realtors do we not represent both buyers and sellers?
In Representing Buyers:
An energy label does nothing more than inform the buyer of what they are buying
and if they are interested in energy performance, they will be able to make an
informed decision. Is that not our responsibility to our buyer?
It is no different than buying a car. If mileage is important to you, you
will be looking at the MPG sticker, if it is not, you won't.
Home performance is a major part of our energy dependence in this country and I
would hope the National Association of Realtors (NAR) would support that
fully. Incentives are good but how does a consumer know what they are
buying in order to use the incentive? They don't.
Sellers: NAR needs to support universal labeling as well as identification on
MLS listings. Once these homes are labeled and identified, appraisers
will be able to identify the better performing homes and begin to build data
for their value. Then these houses will be identified to the buying
consumer and they will likely pay more for the benefit of lower utility bills,
the appraisers will then establish a higher value and we will now get a higher
selling price for our sellers. So now were not just representing buyers we are
now helping sellers get more for their homes.
In addition, universal labeling will encourage those who have older homes to
take advantage of those "incentives" in order to improve the
homes performance and increase their rating. Resulting in an increased
sales value for their home.
By not supporting this it is not in the best interest of our clients."
Sales Agents, Appraisers Underestimate Value of Green
Professionals with expertise in green building sales and marketing
attending the National Green Building Conference in Dallas on May 8-10
reported that they are seeing steady progress in educating real estate
appraisers and sales agents to recognize the added value of homes that
can save energy, promote comfort and indoor air quality and go easy on
Reprinted forom the Nation's Buildign News Online
However, at a time when builders in general are encountering
difficult appraisal problems because of slow sales and surging
forecloses, finding appraisers who know how to make suitable property
comparisons to provide accurate valuations of green homes is
particularly challenging, they said.
The large majority of those who play a role in the residential
appraisal and sales process don't have enough expertise in green homes
to value them correctly or to promote their unique features to
prospective buyers. Because of that, consumers aren't always aware of
the improvements that their builders or remodelers make, whether their
information comes from these professionals or from the tools that they
use - like the local MLS system.
Putting Green in the MLS
Al Medina, director of the Green Designation program of the National Association of RealtorsŪ,
said that only about 1% of the nation's independently owned and
operated MLS's have a green feature. His organization is working to
change that deficiency by educating its sales agents about the value of
green and the importance of establishing its benefits in the listings
and in the minds of consumers.
Toward the end of last year, roughly 1,500 RealtorsŪ had completed
the educational requirements to receive the green designation, Medina
said. "Agents are a great conduit to consumers and the public," he
said. "There is clearly pent-up demand for green education."
As part of its mission, the association's Green Resource Council is
working to include entry fields in MLS's to identify green features and
certifications that will help agents search for sustainable homes and
properties and allow builders and sellers to market their green homes.
As a prototype, Medina recommended MLS inputs initiated by RealtorsŪ in Traverse City, Mich. and its green disclosure statement,
which is the most comprehensive greening of a MLS that the council has
received. "This is one great example," he said, "and it wouldn't have
gotten done without the collaboration of the local Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area."
On the appraisal side, we are behind any movement or education that
gets the appraisal world on board with this stuff," Medina said.
Don Briggs, whose company Briggs Associates Inc. specializes
in green appraisals, said that a builder or RealtorsŪ should expect the
appraiser who comes to view their green property to be competent, but
if he isn't knowledgeable about green building he may fall short in
determining the most probable price a property will bring in the open
market. "He can leave things out, and he is responsible for that,"
While green may not yet have received the full market recognition it
deserves, Briggs added, "90% of people looking for a home have at least
some awareness of green."
In the meantime, "you're going to have to educate appraisers," he
said, and go out and look for those who are competent in assessing
For appraisers who are in the business of making market comparisons
in order to assess home values, "data from the Multiple Listing Service
is the right place to look," said John Stovall, vice president of EcoBroker. "But most MLS's don't identify green properties."
Stovall said that NAHB members can help promote the higher value and
customer benefits of green homes by working with knowledgeable agents
to include appropriate data in the MLS.
His own company, which was honored during the NAHB Green Conference
as the "Green Advocate of the Year," now has some 5,000 members
spreading the word in all 50 states about the advantages of green
As an example of emerging companies that are dedicated to selling green housing, Stovall cited Seattle-based GreenWorks Realty, which bills itself as the first real estate brokerage in the country to specialize in green properties.
The company's agents drive their business by volunteering with various local organizations in the area, including Built Green of King and Snohomish Counties, the Northwest Eco-Building Guild and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Shoving Buyers Out the Door
Blazing some new territory of her own, Beth Johnson, of Advocates Realty in Dallas, has earned all of the national green credentials available and was the first certified EcoBroker in Texas.
"When a buyer comes to me, they tend to be green leaning," Johnson
said. "What makes them comfortable is the resale value. They understand
the concept that you don't want a white elephant home that's not even Energy Star five or 10 years from now."
About 37% of the homes built in Texas are Energy Star certified, she
said, and Texas ranks as the leading state for that program.
Conceding that there are some extra up-front costs in making homes
more energy efficient - which is a growing priority for municipalities
across the state - Johnson said that they tend not to be significant
amounts of money and they can be mitigated by savings on utility bills
and energy tax credits.
Johnson warned green builders that listing agents who aren't
knowledgeable about their homes could be doing more harm than good. She
said she has encountered agents who can't tell prospective buyers the
program under which a home has been certified, which is "very
confusing" to them. "Sometimes your own sales staff is shoving them out
the door," she said.
With plenty of trained RealtorsŪ coming into the market, "you might
as well choose someone who can articulate your product accurately and
enthusiastically," she said.
Rich Kogelschatz, Heartland BuildersKogelschatz is a member of the Green Built Michigan Board of Directors, chair of the Great Lakes Green Committee, and chair of the Green Built Michigan Marketing Committee. Owner of Heartland Builders, LLC based in Rockford, Michigan, Rich
Kogelschatz currently serves as Builder Vice President of the board of
directors of the HBA Greater Grand Rapids. In 2005, Heartland Builders he was recognized by
Disability Advocates and the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan for
our commitment for universal design.
Times are tough. That
is true. Nevertheless, these are the
times where you have to focus on marketing and improving the business side of
your business and the processes of your construction practices.
Let's start with marketing?
Do you have a website? Is it up
to date? Is it fresh? Does it say what you want it to say? Does it have the logo of Green Built Michigan
prominently displayed? Is your website
linked to and from both your local HBA and Green Built Michigan? One third of my website traffic is generated
by the logo link that appears on my HBA website. How do I know that? I track my traffic through Google Analytics
which is a free service. If you do not
currently track your traffic you should?
Is your website optimized? How
can prospective customers find you?
Start a blog. I
started mine through Blogger
. Word Press
is also a blogging service. They are both free. I have tied mine to my website. This is a great way to post content that is
relevant to your business. It is a great
way to get your message a crossed.
Have you thought about press releases? Another free opportunity. The marketing committee within Green Built
Michigan and Elyse are working on developing press releases that highlight the
great work of our members. More to
The best source of marketing is your local HBA
. Participate in events. Join committees. I consider my local HBA as one of my primary
marketing sources. Parade of Homes. Home Shows.
Committee chairmanships and the Presidency. All are great sources of marketing
opportunities. My belief about HBA
involvement is that "you give what you get and you get what you give." It takes effort, but there is great
On to money.
Typically, we builders spend more time worrying about the number of
2x4's in the estimating process than we do in the actual building process.
- Develop a scope's of work program. When you send out estimates send them out
using your scope of work (by trade) for every house you build.
Want to cut the cost of your homes? Start value engineering your plans. Cut out waste.
Want to stop slippage?
Why did we need 100 more sheets of OSB and what happened to the 104 that
we returned? Yikes. Get control by starting to use purchase
What about change orders?
First, make your customers decide all of their selections in advance of
construction and if change orders occur charge them. Charge your customers for the changes. Do not give your work away, but getting them
to make decisions in advance of construction will save time and effort.
Take classes. Your
HBA likely offers several classes throughout the year. Start taking them. Reward does follow effort.
Start making things happen.
There is business out there.
Green builders seem to be the ones that are busiest (relative term I
know). That is good. It is a credit to what you are doing. It is also a credit to our cause at Green
Built Michigan. Let us know how we can
help you. We care.
Have something you would like to share? Submit articles to Green Built Michigan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Opens Recycling Facility
Waste Management Inc. is opening a new
63,000-square-foot recycling center in Detroit, a facility that will handle 150
tons of material every day.
Managementīs Detroit Recycling Center is an example of how Detroit is
transforming into an economically diverse metropolitan area," Mayor Dave
Bing said. "The company was able to take a large vacant commercial
building and turned it into a sustainable business operation."
Management, based in Houston, spent $2 million on the project that will
initially employ six people, the company said.
center will handle paper and plastics at first, and the company hopes to expand
operations in the future.
"This facility is an investment in the city of Detroit and all of
southeast Michigan," CEO David Steiner said.
Red Hot Trends in Green Roofs
Red Hot Trends in Green Roofs
July 30 | 2 PM EDT
Free Buildign design & Construction Webcast
"Red Hot Trends in Green Roofs" provides architects, contractors,
building owners and other professionals with a top-level discussion of current
issues and approaches to sustainable roof applications and products. Attention
is given to how sustainability affects design, specifying and procurement of
roof materials.Specifically, the webcast offers an understanding of the successful
applications of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs), vegetative roofs and
cool roofs. Key issues include energy use and ratings, roof performance,
maintenance and code compliance.
REGISTER FOR THIS WEBCAST
TOPICS AND SPEAKERS:
"Keys to a Successful Vegetated Roof System" Laura M. Cavanaugh, LEED AP, Facility Engineering Associates, P.C. (Fairfax, VA.)
"Building-Integrated Solar Technologies" Elie Rothschild, Sustainable Energy Partners (San Francisco, CA.)
"Energy Ratings for Cool Roofs", Sherry Hao, Cool Roof Rating Council (Oakland, CA.)
Try using case studies, success stories, testimonials or examples of how others used your product or service successfully. Solicit material from clients and vendors, or ask your readers to write. It's a win-win! You get relevant content, and they get exposure.
Insert a "read on" link at the bottom of your article to drive traffic to your website. Links are tracked, allowing you to see which articles create the most interest for your readers.
Your Logo Here
By becoming a $100 sponsor of Great Lakes Green 2009
, your logo as a clickable link can appear here for an entire year!
Member Log-In Members can log in to the Green Built Michigan website to access member only information.
All you need to do:
- Go to the website.
- Click on the members button on the main page.
- Enter your member log-in name and password.
- Don't have a log-in name and password? You'll be prompted to create one. It may take 24-48 hours for your account to be activated.
Will You Be Our Friend?
Green Built Michigan is now on facebook! Become our friend and stay up to date with what's new at GBM as well as connect with other Green Built Members.Find us on Facebook
Don't have a facebook account? Don't know how to create a facebook account? Join us for a conference call education session, date to be scheduled.
If you are intersted, email email@example.com
Next month's issue of the Green Built Update will discuss Green Flooring.
Is there something you would like to know?
Are you an expert?
We Need You!
Your help is needed at Great Lakes Green. We're looking for outgoing, friendly people with a passion for green building and remodeling to serve as greeters, help with registration, and assist the speakers during the education sessions. Download the volunteer form
, or call Pam Frakenburger, Director of Great Lakes Green at 517-646-2572. You can also email Pam
Who's visiting Green Built Michigan and learning about our members?
- We receive just under 1,000 unique visitors to our website each month.
- This month, 47% of those come to us through search engines, like google or yahoo
- This month, 38% of those who visit, go to a page we are linked to our site
- 73 people who visited Eastbrook Homes, clicked from their site to learn more about Green Built Michigan
- Over 2,000 people this year have wanted to learn more about home certification
SWPPP Training for NPDES
No it's not alphabet soup, it's Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Iif that isn't enough acronym's to have you singing the ABC's...it's worth 8 CEU's, or continuing education cretis.
Thursday, September 3
Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, MI
Presented by The International Erosion Control Association and West Michigan Soil Erosion Control Network
For more information call 616-530-8230
What action, if any, do you want your members to take? Add a "Find out more" link to additional information that you may have hosted on your website.