10 Trends to Watch - part 4 of 4

Concluding Our 4-part Series on Developing Systems and Methods That Are Shaping the Future of Construction.


 9. Dynamic Structural Performance Monitoring
The safety of a structure can be jeopardized by accidents, extreme loads, hidden construction flaws, wear and tear, and other vicissitudes. Until recently, the only way to tell how a structure was performing was to observe changes in the length or shape of individual structural components and calculate if they were within safe design assumptions. This could require instrumenting scores or even hundreds of locations on the structure, and a time consuming effort to collect and interpret data. Another drawback is that movement within a few components may not accurately reflect performance of the structure as a whole.


Dynamic structural performance monitoring is a fundamentally different approach. It uses precise accelerometers to measure building movement in three axes, and algorithms that tease out movement patterns, oscillations called standing waves. These oscillations are fundamental properties of the structure; wave frequencies that are determined by the size, mass, and flexural performance of the structure's elements. They can reveal weaknesses and behaviors that do not match the predicted behaviors of the design, and then are used to characterize and locate problems.



Strukturocardiograph
Instead of placing strain gauges or accelerometers at hundreds of monitoring points,  STRAAM reads structrual performance with this one instrument called a Strukturocardiograph(TM), placed at a handful of points in a building, on the deck of a bridge, or on top of a dam or other structure. 

After 30 years of research, dynamic performance monitoring is being commercialized by STRAAM LLC. Once STRAAM has recorded a baseline dynamic signature of a building's movement, the STRAAM system can provide nearly instantaneous alarms if the structure's dynamic signature changes. It can be used to assess existing structures, for periodic or event-driven (blast, accident, natural disaster) check-ups, or to continuously monitor critical structures. It is being used in buildings, bridges and other structures around the world.

Recommendation:  Who else knows how to do the same thing you do, better than you do it now, and how did they get there?



10. Light in a Bottle

While our ten-best list is full of high-tech wonders, there are many places where shelter concerns are far more basic. For millions of people, the best new building product in the world might be a used 2-liter plastic soft drink bottle.


Light transmitted by a 1-liter plastic water bottle inerted through the roof


With little or no access to electricity, they live in dark housing. A hole in the roof admits only a concentrated shaft that spreads little usable illumination throughout the interior. However, a water-filled plastic bottle inserted through the roof gathers sunlight and diffuses throughout the interior below. Alfredo Moser from Brazil is credited with pioneering plastic bottle skylights, and non-government organizations like A Liter of Light are spreading the light.

Recommendation: When we think about progress, it is important to consider not only the leading edge, but also the trailing edge.

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10 Trends to Watch - part 3 of 4

Continuing Our 4-part Series on Developing Systems and Methods That Are Shaping the Future of Construction.
(see Part 1 3/20/12 and Part 2 3/22/12)


6. Advanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer CompositesThe new generation of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites has been incubated by aerospace use -- composite materials account for 50% of the primary structure of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner jets, including the fuselage and wing. As production capacity soars, prices will come down-to-earth, making architectural applications feasible.


In addition to advances in carbon, aramid, and other high strength fibers, new resins and finish coatings have been developed. For example, CCP Composites offers resins that can be used for fire-resistance rated walls; their impressive strength-to-weight makes this useful in high performance environments. 

FRP composites also create new opportunities in form-making and new construction methods.  One impressive example is the "bridge-in-a-backpack." It consists of arched FRP tubes that are made rigid by high-pressure inflation. They can easily be transported in a compact, deflated form, deployed quickly, and used as both formwork and reinforcement for cast-in-place concrete. This idea, invented at the University of Maine, is being used on a number of short and medium span bridges. 

Recommendation: Adaptation of materials developed in other industries can bring new solutions, but it usually requires outside the box thinking, too.


7. APP + BIM + CNC = WOW
The construction industry is challenged to find a way to integrate all our powerful digital tools into a cohesive process. Seeyond may be showing us the way with a clever system for tessellated partitions, ceilings, and other surfaces. What qualifies it for this list is not the product, but the process by which they connect the designer's vision with the company's digital fabrication process.


Using the company's "proprietary parametric design tool," in the company's words, "the user selects the feature type, then modifies its size, form and tessellation, and finally, chooses any relief or visual effects." The tool provides feedback on material, hardware, and manufacturing requirements. It further provides preliminary structural analysis so that designers can make informed decisions earlier in their project. And since it is parametric, each change in a variable automatically modifies the relationships among other variables within the design. Seeyond then uses data from the user's design to drive the manufacturing process, creating a unique specialty feature." 



Conventional practices require an architect to go through at least five steps to use a custom manufactured product. Each of these steps takes time and creates opportunities for error. The steps are:

1) Find info in catalog or by calling a sales rep. 
2) Interpret info and incorporate into a design.
3) Prepare bid and contract documents.
4) Answer questions about bid and contract documents.
5) Interpret shop drawings to make sure they meet design intent.



With Seeyond, the designer may be able, at least in theory, to do his or her work in just two steps: 


1) Use the interactive design tool.  
2) Press "play".  


That says, "Wow," to us.


Recommendation: The digital workflow is on the rise, and it will not-so-gradually become the norm.  It is time to make your products and services compatible with it, and take advantage of it. 




8. Solar Paint
Quantum dots work in two directions: running power through them generates illumination, as described above, and shining light on them generates power. A research team at University of Notre Dame is developing "solar paint" that uses quantum dots to produce energy. Their goal is to create an affordable coating that can be applied to conductive surfaces without special equipment.


"The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we've reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells," explains one of the scientists. "But this paint can be made cheaply and in large quantities. If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future." They call the technology, "Sun-Believable."
Two types of solar paint, coated onto optically
transparent electrodes.

Their work uses nano-sized particles of titanium dioxide coated with either cadmium sulfide or cadmium selenide. Nano titanium dioxide is already used in "self-cleaning" concrete, where it acts as a semi-conductor to convert sunlight into electrical charges that convert pollutants into relatively benign compounds.

Development of solar paint may cross-fertilize with other innovations. For example, WE Energies has developed electrically-conductive concrete that, when used with the new paint, could conceivably form an electrical generating and storage system that is built into the very structure of a building.

We should proceed with caution, as potential risks of nanoparticles are still being assessed. For example, the nanoparticles in self-cleaning concrete accelerate deterioration of concrete, and may be detrimental to fragile ecosystems if released into the environment through erosion or improper disposal.


Recommendation: Both of the materials mentioned here are products that multi-task.  It's a property often associated with the move towards greater sustainability.  It's worth asking yourself if the things you make could do more than they do now.


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LEED 2012 Review Period

Michael recently drew your attention to the LEED Pilot Credit Library. It is full of interesting new credits to which your product may contribute. Now that the comment period for LEED 2012 is nearly over, it is time to see which of these creative new credits will be elbowing out your old favorites. You may be pleasantly - or unpleasantly - surprised.

Read more...

10 Trends To Watch - part 2 of 4

Continuing Our 4-part Series on Developing Systems and Methods That Are Shaping the Future of Construction.
(Part 1 appeared on March 20, 2012) 

3. Transparent Aluminum

Aluminum was discovered in 1826, but pure metal was hard to separate from its ore. In 1855, aluminum bars were displayed at the Paris Exposition alongside France's crown jewels, which was appropriate since the metal cost about half the price of gold. 30 years later, an economical process for extracting aluminum was discovered, making it an inexpensive and commonly used metal.

100 years later, transparent aluminum was invented... in the mind of a writer for Star Trek. It was envisioned as a commonly available material in the 23rd century.



Now, 200 years ahead of schedule, several forms of transparent aluminum have already been developed. In one, an immensely powerful X-ray laser knocks electrons out of aluminum molecules, rendering it nearly invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation. This process is completely impractical in its current form: each laser pulse consumes enough electricity to power a city and the invisibility lasts only about 40 millionths of one billionth of a second.


Transparent aluminum oxynitride, however, is already in use as a replacement for bullet-resistant armored glass laminates. The ceramic material is half the weight and twice the strength of armored glass. It is also twice the cost of armored glass. But that deal-breaker will probably not last long. Aluminum's history suggests that today's "completely impractical" can be tomorrow's "nothing to it."


Recommendation: We used to ask, "How can we solve new problems with existing materials?" The new paradigm is, "How can we solved existing problems with new materials?"  

4. Big Wood
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) has made the jump across the Atlantic and is now available in Canada from Structurlam and other fabricators. Like plywood, CLT is fabricated into panels with multiple layers of wood, each set perpendicular to adjacent layers. But instead of using thin veneers, CLT uses lumber to create panels that can be five or more inches thick. And instead of commodity 4 x 8 ft. panels, panels are custom engineered and fabricated in sizes limited only by handling considerations; plywood on steroids. 


The panels can create load-bearing walls or decks that are 1/6 the weight and 1/3 the thickness of concrete with similar load-bearing capability. Its building code classification as inherently fire-resistant heavy timber construction, plus its structural properties, makes CLT a viable candidate for mid-rise buildings; indeed it has already been used for nine-story buildings in the UK



Since wood sequesters carbon dioxide and is a renewable resource, CLT has good environmental bona fides. It may become even greener as it enters the US. A team here proposes to assemble CLT with interlocking dovetails, eliminating the need for adhesives.  More, they propose to source wood from dead, standing trees in forests devastated by Pine Bark Beetles. This wood has low economic value, but a vast supply: millions of acres in the Intermountain West are victim of the infestation.

Recommendation: This may affect your business, even if you are not in the wood industry.



5. Think Blue
Climate change has a pernicious effect on the availability of water for human consumption, agriculture, and industry. Consider, for example, communities (and nations) that depend on a steady supply of water from melting mountain snow pack. With glaciers in retreat world wide, melt water can be exhausted before a hot, dry summer is over.  Here are three types of responses.


An alternative water source is atmospheric humidity, and new processes are reducing the energy required for condensing it into liquid water. The new AirDrop system uses photovoltaic cells to power fans that drive air through underground pipes where the air cools, condenses, and is captured. While initially proposed for agricultural irrigation, the same concept should work using the thermal mass of a structure to condense moisture. 


Another source is what is now call "waste water." Global Environmental Technology Services (GETS) has technology for wastewater treatment that is, compared to conventional treatment plants, odorless, takes 8 seconds instead of 20 days, does not use hazardous chemicals such as chloride, and fits on 1% of the land. Their small and fast system may allow water to be treated and reused on site, and to eliminate costs of connecting to a centralized sewage system. 


A third trend to watch is a growing range of products to implement a very old idea: rainwater collection. With our former water abundance challenged and price on the rise, rainwater collection is suddenly innovative.

Recommendation: New products and systems may have to be implemented on a small scale at first.



Watch for Parts 3 & 4 next week

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10 Trends To Watch - part 1 of 4

Developing systems and methods are shaping the future of construction.


Chusid Associates endeavors to identify trends that will shape our client's future business.  We have observed a number of recent developments worth watching, and we present them here, with products emblematic of those trends. Some are still in early phases of laboratory development; others have been lurking in the periphery of construction and are now poised to leap, fully grown, onto the architectural stage. What they have in common is that they challenge our thinking and help us anticipate construction's future.

We present 10 trends in a special, 4-part post.  Watch for parts 2, 3, and 4 over the next 2 weeks.


1) Lighting Beyond LED
After a long gestation period, light emitting diodes (LED) have finally become commercially viable. Yet, even before they have risen to their full potential, the next wave of illumination sources is on the horizon. Particularly significant are a trio of new technologies for producing very thin, flexible sheets of illuminating material. Unlike LED panels that are made up of hundreds of point light sources ganged together, the new technologies provide even illumination output over their entire surface.

Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) are already seen in flat TV screens, monitors and smart phones, and several companies are racing to turn them on in the lighting market. (oled-display.net/oled-lighting/) Light emitting capacitors (LEC), developed by Ceelite Technologies (ceelite.com), are being used in back-illuminated signs to create thin fixtures with even light distribution. And quantum dot light emitting diodes (QLED), developed by QD Vision (qdvision.com), are crystalline semiconductors that can be tuned to emit very pure colors of light.
Rapid progress is being made towards improving longevity, improving efficacy, and larger sheet sizes. Costs should decrease once these light sources are produced on high-speed "printers," as currently proposed.

 Their flexibility and thinness suggest new ways to design with light: Creative new forms for luminaires. Walls and ceilings liberated from the need to use surface-mounted or recessed luminaires. Glass that is transparent by day and light emitting at night. Cabinet shelves that illuminate their content. Doors with illuminated faces to aid emergency egress.
OLEDs used a window blinds
GE proposes that thin, flexible OLEDs can be used as window blinds.

Recommendation: Look for innovative ways to incorporate lighting into your products


2. Robots Rising
Robots are already in use in building product manufacturing. For example, Boral Brick uses robots to stack green brick for kilning, and to pack finished brick for shipping as palletless, minimally-packaged cubes. The news is that robots are moving into the field. For example, robots are being used to lay bricks in elaborate patterns that would be quite labor intensive to do manually.  (For example, see treehugger.com)


Theometrics has a fleet of mobile robots that measure a building interior in three dimensions, capturing more data points than would be affordable with manual surveying, and automatically generating a model of the structure. Equipped with a marker, it will mark the layout of conduit, partitions and other work. Equipped with a drill, it will assemble components.

The pace of robotic research is quickening. Southern California Institute of Architecture's robot lab, for example is exploring "freeform additive" fabrication and onsite construction in "unprecedented emulation, simulation and animation environments in which computational geometry, material agency and fabrication logistics merge." 
Robots at SCIARC Lab.
Large industrial robots configured in a multi-robot work cell are exploring the future of robotic construction.
Recommendation: Robotics will change the ecology of construction.  How will you evolve to survive?


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Truth in (my own) Advertising

I recently received the following email:
Can you produce evidence that you are "North America’s leading product marketing and architectural consultant"? This is such a broad and outrageous statement that it gives me suspicion that any consultation advice or information coming from Chusid Associates is likewise suspicious. But if it is true, I am quite impressed.
I started describing Chusid Associates as "North America’s leading building product marketing and architectural technology consultant" about twenty years ago. The slogan was suggested by my father, a man with substantial marketing insight. "But," I protested, how can I say that? I have just a small business and there are lots of consultants with much bigger practices."
Dad replied, "There are lots of way to be a leader. You can lead by providing valuable insight and outstanding service to your clients, by being at the leading edge of innovations in your industry, and by being the most creative."

I learned a valuable lesson from my father, that day. And ever since, I have proudly described Chusid Associates as a leading consultant. It reminds me of the high aspirations I have for the work I do. To justify the claim of being "leading," my associates and I have to lead. It is a goal that inspires us to do our best.

Here is my email reply to my correspondent:
"Leading" has a range of meanings. Chusid Associates is leading in the sense of providing leadership or guidance, and advancing ideas that are often in the forefront of the industry. Each person can decide for themselves whether the description fits.

There is also the sense of leading that means being first; when I began practice about 30 years ago, I did not know anyone else providing the type of focus on building product marketing and technical consulting.

If you want evidence to prove the claim, speak to my clients. Most of them will tell you that Chusid Associates helps them create better business outcomes. Chusid Associates' work has also been recognized with awards of excellence from Construction Specifications Institute, Construction Writers Association, and other industry associations.

Perhaps it is hyperbole is to call Chusid Associates "the" leading, rather than "a" leading consultant. This type of puffery* is acceptable in general marketing claims. For example, Coke does not claim to be "a real thing;" it is "the real thing," and most consumers understand it in context. When, however, I provide the specifications about Chusid Associates' credentials and capabilities I try to be objective and avoid exaggerated promotional claims.

The claim that the company is a leader inspires me, every day, to do the best I can for my clients and to improve best industry practices in construction.
Thanks, Dad, for providing such leading advice.

----------
* The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defined puffery as a "term frequently used to denote the exaggerations reasonably to be expected of a seller as to the degree of quality of his product, the truth or falsity of which cannot be precisely determined."

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Free Webinar about Green Codes

Many environmental considerations have been incorporated into building codes and, increasingly, are mandatory. This free webinar can help your sales and marketing department stay on top of the green game:

Cities, states, and national organizations are working to establish minimum, enforceable sustainable construction requirements to complement, not replace, highly popular above-code incentive programs, like LEED. Green rating systems like LEED are an incentive that pulls the more daring owners and designers toward a sustainable ideal, thus fostering creativity and innovation, while green codes establish a base minimum requirement which is broadly accepted. Green codes, which raise the bottom line, result in significant positive environmental impact just by the sheer numbers of projects that fall within that category. Also, by raising the ceiling and implementing more stringent above-code rating systems, innovation in green design and construction is encouraged.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the difference between building codes, standards and rating systems.
2. Understand why we need both green building rating systems and green building codes at this time.
3. Discuss several recent efforts to develop green building codes.
4. List some of the challenges inherent in developing and implementing green codes.
It is produced by McGraw Hill and sponsored by ICC-ES - an organizations that now certifies the green characteristics of products.

Time:  2012-03-12, 2:00 pm EST
Register: Click Here

Chusid Associates is also available to help you answer your questions about green marketing.

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LEED Pilot Credits create Marketing Opportunities

In addition to the many credits already adopted into LEED, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) also has "pilot credits" that have temporary approval while being investigated and refined. Many of these pilot credits create marketing opportunities for building product manufacturers.

For example, pilot credits may increase demand for your product or make it more competitive on projects going for LEED certification.

The pilot credits are less well known than regular LEED credits, and are subject to more frequent revisions. By staying on top of new credits, you can be of service to your customers by bringing new credits or modifications to their attention.

USGBC also seeks input into the review of pilot credits, providing you a chance to influence the formalization of standards that affect your competitive situation.

Here is a list of some of the current pilot credits; scan it to see which might apply to your products:

Pilot Credit 3: Medical and Process Equipment Efficiency
Pilot Credit 55: SS - Bird Collision Deterrence
Pilot Credit 56: EA - Renewable Energy-Distributed Generation
Pilot Credit 57: EQ - Exterior Noise Control


Pilot Credit 14: LT - Walkable Project Site

Pilot Credit 7: SS - Light Pollution Reduction
Pilot Credit 16: SS - Rainwater Management
Pilot Credit 45: SS - Site Assessment
Pilot Credit 64: SS - Site Improvement Plan

Pilot Credit 10: WE - Sustainable Wastewater Management
Pilot Credit 17: WE - Cooling Tower Makeup Water
Pilot Credit 18: WE - Appliance and Process Water Use Reduction

Pilot Credit 8: EA - Demand Response
Pilot Credit 27: EA - Reconcile Designed and Actual Energy Performance
Pilot Credit 65: EA - Monitoring Based Commissioning - new!
Pilot Credit 66: EA - Community  Contaminant Prevention - Airborne Releases - new!


Pilot Credit 52: MR - Material Multi-Attribute Assessment
Pilot Credit 53: MR - Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials
Pilot Credit 54: MR - Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern
Pilot Credit 61: MR - Material Disclosure and Assessment
Pilot Credit 62: MR - Disclosure of Chemicals of Concern
Pilot Credit 63: MR - Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment

Pilot Credit 21: EQ - Low Emitting Interiors
Pilot Credit 22: EQ - Quality Interior Lighting - Lighting Quality Only
Pilot Credit 24: EQ - Acoustics
Pilot Credit 44: EQ - Ergonomics Strategy
Pilot Credit 59: EQ - Occupant Engagement  
ilot Credit 60: ID - Integrative Process
Contact Chusid Associates to discuss how these credits can work in your favor.

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Is Sustainability Hazardous?

Recent studies have turned up a correlation between construction aimed at LEED certification and worker's injuries.  In an article in Engineering News Record Mountain States, Katie Frasier describes a pair of studies that found an increased number of injuries associated with certain construction activities often performed on LEED projects.

Some of the reported hazards included "perceived increased risks" of falls from roofs while installing photo-voltaic (PV) solar panels; falls due to installing or working on high reflectance white roofing materials; falls from installing skylights and atriums to meet daylighting requirements; and increased cuts, abrasions and lacerations from handling construction waste - specifically, from dumpster-diving to retrieve mistakenly-trashed recyclable materials.

When the initial study revealed the basic correlation between LEED certification in increased injuries, they did a follow-up study to identify specific risks and uncover the nature of the risk.  The study offers a list of risks, and recommends possible mitigations (quoted extensively in the article).  Many of the suggestions seem very sensible, but not necessarily obvious: they really needed to be pointed out.

This list of risks and mitigations - to my eye - also suggests that some of the increase is due to construction crews not yet being experienced at handling materials and working in the situations they encounter installing skylights and heavy PV panels.

 In that regard, manufacturers can help.  Makers of materials associated with these increased risks may well consider adding to their packaging precautions and safety suggestions based on this study (and others like it that are sure to follow).    Manufacturers might even consider doing some studies of their own, aimed at increasing workers' ability to install their products safely.

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Where Young Architects Learn

I recently discovered Architexts, a cartoon published at architexts.us by two young architects that tell it like it is.

Most of the strips deal with the frustrations of CAD, interoffice politics, and the difficulties of making a living as an architect. Some of their cartoons, however, contain insights that are valuable for building product sales and marketing people. 

I plan to  occasionally repost some of the strips and offer my comments about them in this blog. 

There is a lot of truth to the strip above. To a large extent, architectural schools teach theory, and architectural practices focus on production. This educational vacuum creates opportunities for building product firms to build their brand and get specified by providing training to young architects

Good building product sales reps, for example, take time to answer questions from young architects. Continuing education programs - both in an architect's office and in other venues -- are also excellent tools.

Your website, print collateral, articles in industry publications and online, and other marketing communications play an important role, too.

An educated, trained customer is more likely to appreciate and stick with better quality products.

 Published February 2nd, 2010, http://architexts.us/2010/02/02/school-vs-work/
Creative Commons License Architexts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
This means you are allowed to download our work and share it with others as long as you mention
Architexts and link back to us. You can't, however, change it in any way or use it commercially.

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The Optics of Advertising

I recently had a little lesson in the power of visuals in advertising.

I had knee surgery, and was surprised to learn - afterwards - that I would not be allowed to walk at all on that leg for 4-6 weeks.  This required some fast re-arranging of my life.  Hobbling on the other leg with crutches or a walker quickly produced more collateral damage than I found acceptable.  I realized I needed some kind of mobilized transport.

I picked up a used 2-wheeled electric Razor scooter, a model with a seat.  It's about a yard long, and can maneuver around in the house reasonably well, but it looks like a toy.  Standing on one leg, I can just manage to lift it into the back seat of my car.  However, I was concerned about going abroad with it, specifically, about being thrown out of stores if I tried to ride it inside.  Would I look like a person with a disability and a legitimate reason to ride into Home Depot?  Or would I look like an arrested-adolescent joyrider, worthy of the disapproving sniff, or perhaps even the bum's rush?

I decided it was an advertising problem.  It needed the quality that all good advertising needs in the information-overload age: The Fast Read.  I needed to convey to store personnel and other shoppers - at first sight - that I wasn't stepping over the line, because I couldn't walk.

I took off one shoe.

(I was wearing white socks that first day, which made it even better.)

When I rolled into OSH, two employees parted before me like they were auditioning for the roll of The Red Sea in the remake of The Ten Commandments.  One of them blurted, "Nice!"

(I might add that when I go places with a walker but wearing both shoes, I get some doubtful looks.  Which is to say, ineffective advertising can hurt your credibility.)

Effective advertising talks about the one thing that's most worth saying, and finds a way to say it with maximum efficiency.  Often, that is visually.   Sometimes, it's just a few words.  A single ad can't carry the whole sales pitch; it's the all-important foot in the door, where the sales pitch can begin.  Pick the right thing to say, and the best way to say it.

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Use Social Media to Protect Reputation

Design and construction professionals pay attention to what their peers are saying. You might never know what people are saying about your company or products when they gather around the office water cooler, but you can monitor their discussions in online social media.

An excellent example of this is a recent exchange on the Construction Specifications Institute's group at LinkedIn.com where someone posted a question soliciting advice about window films that can be applied to glass for shading, safety, privacy, or insulation.

Within hours of the question, an architect posted a warning:
"I would strongly suggest staying away from window film. You can end up voiding the warranty for the insulated glass unit (IGU) since it can overheat the airspace."
In subsequent days, several other individuals gave qualified endorsements of films, but the tone remained, as one post put it, "don't use it on IGUs."

Then a manufacturer's rep responded. He began by stating his credentials to speak knowledgeably on the subject, then explained,
"The "airspace" in a typical IGU is evacuated and replaced with an inert gas...typically Argon, but sometimes Nitrogen or other inexpensive inert gases. Inert is the key word...those gases are there to be an insulator and, as such, can't hold onto heat energy."
He then went on to share guidelines for situations where films should not be used; his honesty about these demonstrates that he is a fair broker who can present a balanced appraisal of the product. He ends by offering assistance and giving his contact info.

His answer seems to be the last word on the topic, as no one has challenged it in over two weeks. The forum automatically sends updates to individuals posting comments, so the people with concerns about films have the benefit of the reps knowledge. Further, anyone finding the conversation through an online search will benefit from his insight.

RECOMMENDATION
Identify the social media channels used by potential buyers and specifiers. Then assign someone on your team to monitor each channel to seek opportunities and to protect against misinformation.

Image from http://www.kolbe-kolbe.com. 

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Michael Chusid has been a consultant to over 100 successful organizations in the building products industry. He serves an international clientele from offices in Los Angeles, California.
- Marketing Strategy, Start-Up, Repositioning
- Product Development, Testing, Approvals
- Advertising, Public Relations, Online Media
- Promotion, Continuing Education, Trade Shows
- Sales & Technical Literature, Guide Specifications

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