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Mar 14, 2014 11:00 AM  PST  

Building Skills to Build Green 

Build It Green's programs continue to set the standard for educating building professionals

This article appeared in Build It Green's 2012-2013 Impact Report.
Education remains an integral part of Build It Green's work and mission. Through education, we inspire homeowners with green remodeling ideas and the benefits of a green home. Through education, we give building professionals the skills they need to build and sell high-quality green homes, increase their customers, and grow their business.

Professionals Rely on Build It Green

People look to Build It Green for residential green building information, education, and a community of like-minded professionals. They rely on us for answers and insight. We're committed to supporting professionals who can in turn help us transform the market for green homes.

"Build It Green has always been at the forefront of an industry that is continually evolving and changing," says Christopher Becker, Education Department Manager. "We have deep technical knowledge and through our trainings and education efforts we are helping building professionals stay up to date with the latest best practices."

In 2012 and 2013, Build It Green empowered a broad range of professionals—builders, raters and consultants, architects, contractors, and real estate professionals—through a range of resources.

Educating the Homeowner

Remodeling trends saw a slow down when the housing market crashed, as homeowners could no longer take out lines of credit for large remodels. But 2012 saw homeowners starting to invest in small remodeling projects, often trying to do the work themselves to save money.

To nurture an interest in green remodeling among these homeowners, Build It Green launched a do-it-yourself green remodeling resource on the GreenPoint Rated website. Now, homeowners can find advice on everything from appliances to windows through helpful "GreenPointers." They can also sign up for monthly e-newsletters and join a social media community where they can share green remodeling ideas with other homeowners.

This new resource resulted in 4,000 new visitors to the GreenPoint Rated site each month!

"Homeowners care first and foremost about beauty, comfort, and the health of their family," says Janine Kubert, Director of Marketing and Product Development. "If we want them to understand the value of a green remodel and start doing upgrades, we need to emphasize those benefits."

Educational and Networking Events

Trainings: Across the state, 66 BIG trainings brought in 1,736 attendees, and 437 certifications were achieved by building professionals as a result. Trainings ranged from our introductory Certified Green Building Professional training to GreenPoint Rated Core, Energy Upgrade California Basic and Advanced Packages, and Certified Green Real Estate Professional.

Workshops, Webinars, and Presentations: BIG held educational and networking events four times per month throughout the Bay Area, covering a range of cutting-edge practices from "Rainwater Harvesting & Graywater Reuse" to "Building Science Failures & Fixes." We also held webinars and presentations on timely topics like green financing and the 2013 energy code updates. In total, BIG organized 148 such events.

Build It Green Membership: In 2012 BIG revamped its membership offering to help our network of building professionals learn, share, and succeed. A stronger membership package included discounts on trainings, local hardware and lumber retailers, building industry magazines, expos, and newly launched Build It Green networking events to help professionals connect.

Educational Resources

Ask an Expert: Build It Green continued its highly successful "Ask an Expert" hotline for PG&E customers, which provides answers to all of your green building questions. Thanks to our utility partner's support, we answered 1,461 technical questions from contractors, raters and other professionals in 2012 and 2013. The questions we field are becoming more detailed and complex, reflecting the growing knowledge of the professionals we serve. With the major code changes coming online in 2014, we expect Ask an Expert to remain an indispensable resource.

Green Product Directory: In 2012, we added and updated numerous products in our online Green Product Directory to help contractors and builders stay abreast of the latest residential green building products that can help them comply with certification or code requirements. In 2013, we launched a new Green Product Directory of nearly 100 best-in-class offerings, to make choosing green appliances and products far easier for both professionals and homeowners.

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For additional information on this Build It Green News article, please contact:

Luis Espinoza
(510) 590-3360

Source: Build It Green

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