Green building is all the rage right now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going out of style any time soon. Millennial home buyers love the idea of homes that are better for their bodies, pleasing to be in and to look at, built to last, and to top it all off, also save them loads of money each year in low heating and cooling expenses.
Want to sell to millennials? Show them value.
They are willing to spend if you’re willing to provide real value, and right now “green” is valuable on a number of levels. Don’t know where to start? Read on friends, read on…
Why go online for construction education?
You might not have thought about it — but learning something online is often a win-win-win. It’s a win for you because you probably don’t have to get in your car or on a plane to travel to a brick and mortar classroom to hear someone speak, spending money and time away from the jobs you’re running or your busy life. It’s a win for the online instructor, because they don’t have to put on a live classroom session and spend travel time and money. Rather, they were able to just record themselves once and make their education available to an unlimited number of people.
And finally, it’s a win for the environment because you can learn what you need in a pretty “green” way, even if that isn’t your goal. You don’t spend gas; you don’t waste a bunch of paper — you just go online, learn what you need, and go on with your life.
While online learning is not a new concept to the construction and trade skills industry, we think it’s fair to say it’s an under-utilized one. So, for example, you might see a “continuing education” section on your association’s website that offers online video education. Or maybe you’ve taken online training courses for some continuing education units you needed, or to train your team in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. And of course, you’ve watched YouTube — either to watch a cute kitten video (we wouldn’t know anything about that), or to learn a specific skill or find an answer. All of those examples are ways that trades professionals like you have begun to realize the power and efficiency of learning online.
But we want to take it a step further.
Construct-Ed: the online learning platform
Our thinking is: there should be one place where pros can publish their knowledge, training, or education in the form of online courses — free of charge to them — so they can educate the industry fast and easy. And there should be one place where anyone can go to learn from real pros in the industry on an exact topic, trade, or issue they need. So, we created that platform, so pros and experts could offer their education to the world (and get paid doing it), and the industry could learn from them on-demand.
YouTube can be hit or miss and doesn’t really allow the trades person publishing the video to make instant money, give quizzes, attach documents, etc. And you pros in the industry are limited right now in where you can go to learn what you need. You can spend time searching forums, Googling answers, or searching your association’s platform, but even they don’t let just anyone publish.
Here’s an example: Jim just started his general contracting business last year. He’s growing through word-of-mouth, but needs to step up his marketing game and wants to get more leads for the winter season. How can Jim quickly learn marketing, from a pro contractor that has done it before and speaks his language?
Or Scott, a landscaper who plows and landscapes residential areas and wants to get into bidding commercial, but it’s overwhelming because he doesn’t want to get the numbers wrong. Where can Scott go to learn from a veteran in the industry exactly what formulas to use, and how to bid commercial jobs, at 11 p.m. at night before bed?
Increase your green building know-how with Construct-Ed
And finally, the last example: you.
Green building is all the rage right now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going out of style anytime soon. Like I said, millennial home buyers love the idea of homes that are better for their bodies, pleasing to be in and look at, built to last, and to top it all off, save them loads of money each year (if you don’t think it’s possible, check out the beautiful Unity Homes available now).
The questions for you are:
- How can you learn about basics of green building practices, so you have a working knowledge of it (and so can better dialogue with customers)?
- In your busy life, how can you learn just what you need so you can start incorporating green building practices into your business?
- How can you learn what certs, CEUs, etc. you’ll need, and which will benefit you?
Well, we might be a little biased, but our answers come down to: “online learning courses.” Because the truth is you might not have time to research hours on end, join an association, or travel to attend conferences. But online learning lets you either earn CEUs on your own time, or at least gain a working understanding of green building practices so you can more quickly learn how to incorporate some of those building practices, materials, or offerings to your prospective clients.
Try a free green building course
For example, GreenHome Institute just published a number of courses on Construct-Ed so you can learn about everything from LEED for homes, to how to manage subcontractors on green home builds, to home energy score, and even zero step accessibility: how to make homes beautiful and functional for aging in place.
In fact, they’re offering US Builders review readers (that’s you!) a special offer. Their newest course created especially as an introduction for residential builders to green roofing, “Basics of Residential Green (Re)Building” is free with the use of coupon code “usbuilders” in checkout.
When it comes to building new homes, remodeling, additions or developing multifamily housing, it’s important to incorporate green strategies which can help save your clients money, improve resale value and give you more of a competitive edge in the market. In this course, you’ll learn the basics of the five pillars of Green Building: Energy, Health, Water, Materials and Place along with some of the different green certification systems that can help guide your decisions and give you a marketing tool to tell your story.
Click here to learn more, and be sure to use your coupon to enroll free now.
Green building is popular, and it isn’t going away anytime soon so it’s important for contractors, manufacturers, and all professionals in the industry to stay up to date on green building trends because the future of your business may be impacted by it. But we’re not telling you that every one of you should join a green association or go scrambling after CEUs.
What we are saying is this: learn what aspects of green building there are, narrow down which can help your business grow and help you provide more value to the next generation of consumers, and then learn what you need online, at your own pace, saving time, money, and the carbon. It’s green all the way around.
About the author
Construct-Ed is an online platform where anyone in the industry can watch, or publish online learning courses. Jeremiah Rizzo serves as communications director and is one of the founding members of Construct-Ed. He works alongside the operations director and co-founder Rory Detweiler to help grow the online learning platform so that those in the industry can learn from real pros the skills they need to grow their businesses, knowledge, and skills.