Miller thinks that the continuing strength of the housing market may also be hampering dealer efforts to get into green building. “The problem is that business is too good right now,” he says. “When business is slow, you come up with new and creative ways to sell.”
That said, he's convinced that green building is already a mainstream practice. “You'll either be a green builder or have to get out of the market within five years,” he says of his peers. “Suppliers that are interested in increasing and sustaining their businesses are going to have to deliver to that kind of market.” —Rich Binsacca is a contributing editor to PROSALES.Green Resources
Among a sea of green building and environmental design and construction resources, consider the following sources to start your journey:
The GreenSpec Directory, 4th edition ($89; www.buildinggreen.com; 800.861.0954 x191). Lists more than 1,750 green building products screened by the editors of Environmental Building News, organized into 250 categories within the CSI MasterForma. Features product descriptions, environmental characteristics and considerations, and manufacturer contact information with Internet addresses.
Summary of Green Building Programs (NAHB Research Center; www.nahbrc.org). Follow the “green building” link to download a PDF file or view the most current list of state or local green building programs in 30-plus metropolitan markets, including certification requirements and qualified products.
The EcoIQ.com Green Design & Building Web site (www.ecoiq.com/greendesign). Offers the EcoGateway Link Center to more than 10,000 sources of green building and design practices and products.TipSheet: Green Builders
Whether you initiate it or take a responsive stance to builder demand for green building materials, consider the following tips to best serve the market:Leave time for research and delivery when sourcing nontraditional materials or components.Focus on value and performance, as well as the environmental benefits, to make the sale or maintain your margins.Investigate the source of the product(s) to add interest and value, such as wood reclaimed from an old factory or boards reused from high school bleachers.Determine a builder's green building priorities and objectives, whether they are energy efficiency, indoor air quality, or another environmental sensitivity.Share the risk by involving all parties, including design professionals, homeowners, manufacturers, and distributors, to develop a track record of performance and durability.Start with only a few product categories to develop a feel for the market and potential demand, as well as their long-term availability, pricing, and performance in application.
Green products, including radiant barrier roof sheathing, flexible and zoned ductwork, and resource-efficient engineered lumber, are increasingly mainstream.
Photovoltaic roof panels power solar hot water and other systems at Armory Park del Sol, a 90-home infill project in Tucson, Ariz.; parapet walls help shield the panels from view on the street level to limit their impact on design.