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Green recognition program reinforces area of expertise

Monday, October 10, 2011


Green recognition program reinforces area of expertise
By Morgan Zenner
 
In business, it can take a lot to build up an area of expertise. It may be years of practice before clients start recognizing you for your specialty niche.
 
Neil Struby, president of Struby Construction LLC in Decatur, Ga., has been slowly breaking into the green remodeling field. “I know green remodeling is sort of a trend right now, but I’ve always been interested in energy efficiency, having a background in mechanical engineering,” Struby says.
 
Though green has been on Struby’s mind, it wasn’t always on his client’s mind. So, one of the ways he’s been able to tout his green expertise is through NARI’s Green Recognition Program.
 
“I thought that winning a national award for a green project says a lot about who you are and what you do,” Struby says.
 
Thankfully, Struby had a project worthy of gaining recognition. His client’s 1925 bungalow was in need of a second-story addition consisting of two bedrooms and a large playroom. The entire house, including the existing portion, was outfitted with spray-foam insulation, energy-efficient HVAC units and water heater, sealing and insulated windows.
 
The project, which earned an EarthCraft certification as well, was a sure bet for NARI’s Green Recognition. NARI Green Recognition projects meet the criteria associated with that type of renovation—interior or exterior specialty projects, interior or exterior renovations, and residential additions or entire house categories. Participants must gain minimum points reflecting various green remodeling aspects in order to be recognized.
 
Part of Struby’s point total came from having doubled the size of his client’s home and maintained either equal or less energy usage. Even though this project didn’t win a regional CotY award in the Residential Addition $100,000 to $250,000 category, the recognition provides him with something tangible to promote to clients, on his Website and in his sales conversations.
 
“Clients ask about the award and what was involved in achieving it,” Struby says. “And they are all very impressed.”
 
Of course the homeowners whose home was recognized are even more proud and take the liberty of bragging about it to Struby’s new clients. “The homeowners welcome new clients of mine into their home to show them the work that I do,” he says.
 
In addition to NARI’s Green Recognition program, NARI is rolling out a similar recognition program for universal design. The Universal Design Recognition Program is structured similarly to the Green Recognition Program, in that each project must achieve certain number of points in various project categories.
 
For a remodeler who is looking to break into a new area of expertise like universal design, this may be just what it takes.
 
For more information about either Green or Universal Design Recognition Programs, please visit the Awards page of the www.NARI.org site. Deadline for the CotY program entry request form is Nov. 30, and binders must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2011.

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