From: Green Builder Media [[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 2:15 PM
To: Barbara York
Subject: Green Builder's Special Post-Election Newsletter

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November 2008 - Vol. 1, No. 9

A reminder to all readers of Green Builder magazine:

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Congratulations to both Barack Obama and John McCain for engaging in an historic, exciting, and challenging election to become the 44th President of the United States.

Regardless of who you voted for, there is an important lesson from the election that has nothing to do with winning or losingóit has to do with community building. Analysts and politicians from both sides of the aisle agree that President-elect Obama executed a highly strategic campaign and accomplished something extraordinary in the way he mobilized people, offered them a vision of hope, and created a strong community around him. He motivated people to use their voices to affect change in an unprecedented way.
 
With the future leader of our country established, itís time to put partisanship aside and follow the precedent that has been set with this election. Itís not enough to talk about the change that we want for our future. We heard from both candidates last week that change wonít come from government alone. We must proactively create it ourselves.

I ask you to join us, Green Builder Media, to create the change that we truly need in this country. Letís not allow the sound of our individual voices to fall silent this Novemberólet us capitalize on this atmosphere of change and use the strength of our collective voice to beckon our government and corporate body to move towards greater sustainability.
 
One of the most effective ways that we can do this is by opening the highly subsidized oil economy to create price parity for clean technologies. Right now, large, risk-adverse corporations, investment banks, and other investment groups donít have the proper financial incentive to invest in clean technologies because fossil fuel-based systems have a clear financial advantage. With unpredictable oil costs and increasing environmental concerns, these advantages are shrinking, but we need more action. We need government policies that open the market, stimulate demand, and mitigate the risk of sustainable systems. By doing this, large and small organizations alike will be able to compete to deliver cost-effective, environmentally appropriate technologies that successfully address the problems of our time.
 
We are on the verge of a new, virtuous business cycle in which sustainable thinking begets sustainability. Only by using our voices to stimulate government action, corporate responsiveness, and market demand can we reach the critical mass that we need to shift the supply/demand curve towards greater sustainability.  
 
As President-elect Obama said in his speech last week, ďa new dawn of American leadership is at hand.Ē We are that leadership. Let us join together and use our collective voice to create the change that we want to see in the world.

Warmly,
Sara Gutterman
CEO & Publisher
Green Builder Media

 

 
Green Reel

Ron Jones Speaks About Managing Moisture

This video is designed to be viewed in Windows Media Player. Download the free player here.

Each month Green Builder Media will bring you a video of important information about green building. This month Ron Jones talks about the importance of managing moisture in durable building structures.

Differentiate yourself in your market place with a Green Builder Certification from Green Builder College

 

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Better Sales 101

Got a sales force? In a slowdown, its important to keep things upbeat. Heres some advice to keep them going.

Salespeople nationwide are anxiously trying to hold on to their jobs in the face of a downward spiraling economy. Whats the best way to stay positive and survive these trying times?

Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders and author of Strategic Sales in the Building Industry, shares answers to several questions he has recently received from stressed out sales people who are eager to grow during the economic downturn.

Q: I'm getting shot down a lot right now because of the economy. It's so bad that it's hard to motivate myself to keep going to people and asking for their business. Any advice on how to stay "up" during these "down" times?
A: An athlete continues to fight through tough times and puts forth the best effort possible by staying in physical shape and continuing to do the right things with the faith that good results will eventually occur. Keep your mind focused on performing the right tasks without becoming overly concerned about short-term results. Remember that your results are relative to others in the market place and your true benchmark of success is market share and not total sales volume. Keep training your brain to continue doing the right things.

Q: Every day I see sales people get cut from our company payroll because of the economy. What extra things can I do to enhance my value to my company so I'm not next on the cut list?
A: There are three types of employees: vacationers, prisoners, and contributors. Do more than your job definition. Too many people are trying to get by or feel stuck. I call them vacationers and prisoners. The most valuable people to any organization are contributors. Those are the people who realize they are virtually subcontractors and their value to any organization is assessed only in the value they bring to the table above and beyond their compensation.

Q: I'm getting beaten up on pricing during every sales call. Of course, it's the economy and pressures people are feeling. How can I combat the pricing message to close the sale?
A: First, slow down. One of the reasons that price negotiations become combative is that a salesperson has not taken enough time to understand the situation. There are certainly times, particularly during economic downturns, when you may actually need to offer price concessions. But first strive to understand the situation and, before reducing your price, consider offering additional services or benefits as concessions to increase the value of your proposal rather than reduce your price.

Q: My company has almost completely eliminated advertising due to the economy. That means, when I go to make a sale, I'm struggling against the economy and explaining to customers why they don't see us promoting our products. Any advice?
A: You are the marketing of your company. Sell what your company is about by using literature, testimonials, and samples as the means to promote your company. Of course, let your customer know that, in order to provide those customers with the best possible service, your company is stable and reinvesting money in people and service rather than marketing during the economic downturn.

Q: I go to sales seminars, read the books, refine my presentation and still, my sales are down. The industry is just dismal. What can I do more to improve my selling skills during these tough times and snag the sale away from my competitors?
A: Even as a sales trainer and consultant, I still keep listening to different speakers, read books, and attend seminars. Dont stop this excellent practice you have begun. The message will continue to sink in. The problem for most people is that they expect golden bullets that will solve all their problems. Your success lies in the dedication to learning and the trust that will pay off in the long term.Based in Chicago, Building Leaders www.buildingleaders.com is a sales management education specialist in the building materials industry. The company offers the DriveTime Diploma Series of audio sales training and the book, Strategic Sales in the Building Industry.

 

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Plug and Drive

Leading utilities join forces for a plug-in vehicle trial.

Advanced Energyin partnership with Duke Energy and Progress Energywill initiate a smart charging trial of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Twelve converted Toyota Priuses will be equipped with charging management technology from Seattle-based V2Green and deployed in North Carolina and Florida.

The trial will assess the potential of plug-in vehicles to positively impact electric grid operations, maximize use of clean energy, and prove PHEVs are a viable alternative to today's carbon-emitting cars.

"This is the nation's first PHEV trial to involve multiple utilities," says Ewan Pritchard, hybrid program manager at Advanced Energy, the organization that will lead the design and implementation of the charging management scenarios to be explored in the trial. "Our collaboration will lay the foundation for the wide-scale adoption of plug-in vehicles to deliver cleaner, more cost-effective transportation and diminish our dependence on foreign oil."

Each of the Priuses involved in the trial will be equipped with a V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM) to establish two-way communication with the electric grid and make the vehicles grid-aware. V2Green server software will be used to manage the flow of electricity to the Priuses, successfully meeting the needs of both drivers and the grid.

When renewable energy, such as wind or solar power is available, charging behavior can be altered to maximize the use of cleaner energy. In periods of peak demand, charging can be delayed or slowed to avoid grid congestion and the need to provide electricity from high cost sources.

The involvement of both Progress Energy and Duke Energy will allow the trial to explore the billing and operational requirements of supporting plug-in vehicle "roaming" between adjoining utility service areas. Many plug-in vehicle owners will charge their vehicles at home in one service area, then commute to work and connect to the grid in a different service area. Valuable insight into driver behavior will result from the PHEV trial, informing future consumer programs and inter-utility information exchange.

Progress Energy will operate six of the grid-aware vehicles, deploying four in North Carolina and two in Florida. Duke Energy will use three plug-in Priuses in North Carolina. The University of Florida's Program for Resource Efficient Communities, along with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences extension service, will also participate with one vehicle.

Similar to the hybrid vehicles available today, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The primary difference lies in the PHEV's larger lithium ion battery that can be "plugged in" and charged at a household electrical outlet. The battery pack functions as a second fuel tank that can be cost-effectively filled with electricity. PHEV technology has enabled vehicles to travel 100 miles or more on a gallon of gas, while producing significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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Green Meetings

Meeting Strategies Worldwide announces the launch of its latest website tool, Best Places to MeetGreen."

If your company holds meetings, you should check out this site before booking your next event. It provides two free resources: the Best Places to MeetGreen Scorecard and Calculator, for helping meeting and event planners to select the best green destination for their group.

The scorecard feature ranks cities according to the green programs implemented by the destinations convention and visitors bureau, convention center, and hotels in the citys conference package. The practices are third-party verified by Meeting Strategies Worldwide and entered into a scoring rubric for each of the areas listed above.

Visitors to the site may sort cities by total score, city name, and city size. Listings for each city include their respective section and total green scores, brief descriptions of the city and its green practices, as well as URL and contact information.

The calculator feature allows visitors to evaluate which potential destinations have lower estimated emissions footprints relative to their attendee travel. Visitors enter how many attendees they have from each region around the world, and then select destinations where they are interested in holding their event. The calculator provides a report comparing the attendee travel footprint for each of the cities they are considering.

 

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Professional Book Shelf

Design for Water.

Water, once abundant and cheap, is poised to become the new oil as the entire world faces the reality of a decreasing supply of clean water.

If we are to avert a devastating shortage, we must look at alternate water sources, both in our homes and in the planning of new developments. This book looks at passive and active system setup, storage, stormwater reuse, distribution, purification, analysis, and filtration. Case studies offer builders tried-and-true information on systems that might be appropriate for your homes. The book is published by New Society Publishers.

 

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Jobs From Rubble

Can green collar jobs expand in a shrinking job market?

One company says yes. Re-Use Consulting runs a national training program on sustainable alternatives to demolition and has been working to speed up building deconstruction and can now disassemble a home in three to five days or tackle a warehouse in one to two weeks.

The key ingredient for this is hard workers and lots of them. Lets say that the average similar demolition project takes three people for one day, or 24 hours of labor. We might use 240 hours of labor or ten times more jobs than demolition.

The labor cost is offset by the benefits of this service, including lower disposal costs and thousands in resale or donation value. The result is ten times more jobs at the same project cost as demolition, the company claims.

To find out more, contact Dave Bennink at RE-USE Consulting at 360-201-6977. Also, if you are in the Great Lakes area, consider attending the 2008 Great Lakes Building Reuse Conference, November 1618.

 

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