Ever since our post on 2012 trends in the building industry, the IMRE social marketing team has been loudly trumpeting the importance of taking brand content to the next level. Simply put, online audiences are demanding rich, visually-compelling content from brands on their social media channels. “Man on the street” videos and photos snapped on your mobile phone still have their place, but most brands will begin to see engagement decline on their social channels unless they invest in higher quality content production. It’s a matter of supply and demand: As more brands supply social content, online audiences feel comfortable raising their demands for better quality. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category
The biggest trend of this week cannot be anything other than the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While it may be lacking the “newness” this year, there’s no shortage of technology.
We have been watching the show closely as each innovative technology was introduced this week. Here are the five products that captured our attention, products that will appeal to builders, designers and homeowners alike.
- Steelcase introduces media:scape mini & mobile, new tools that heighten collaboration & interaction. – Custer (@Custeronline)
- NetChef turns Android into a kitchen appliance – CNET News (@CnetNews)
- Dropcam’s Wi-Fi Video Monitoring Camera with Night Vision Provides Peace of Mind When On the Go – Screen Media Daily (@MotionStream)
- Belkin WeMo looks to make home automation simple, all controlled from your iPhone or iPad – iMore (@iMore)
- Nearly every device in your house, from your television to your refrigerator, is going to be networked and could very well be Android –powered – CNET (@CNET)
With so much news this week from the Show, what stood out for you?
Why do we love lists? Because they keep on giving, and we have more for you.
Last week, we covered the 5 best building and sustainability wrap-ups of 2011 around the blogosphere. This week, we tackle the design space. Contractors, architects, designers and remodelers are constantly challenging themselves to create powerfully designed interiors for modern homes, businesses and municipalities alike, a new breed that refuses to view beauty and performance as mutually exclusive. The same rules apply as last week: To know where the industry is going in 2012, you must have a strong grasp of what themes drove 2011. Here’s our picks for the best 5 summaries of 2011′s most important design trends:
- Interior Design Magazine’s top 10 of 2011 – Wow. Just wow. The definitive interior design publication highlights their top 10 articles of the year, including 3 “Best of Years” articles for office renovation, fashion retail space and kitchen.
- Design Milk’s 2011 year in review: Best of interior design – Let your mind run wild! Design Milk always finds interiors that push the boundaries. Here are their top ones from 2011.
- People’s Choice: Top 10 most popular Curbed posts of 2011 - Curbed is a favorite site of ours for keeping a pulse on design, but their editorial team also does a fabulous job of uncovering projects that break from tradition, challenge the status quo and rethink the norm. Their top 10 most viewed posts of 2011 is almost a highlight reel of these types of projects.
- Freshome’s 20 most popular projects presented in 2011 – Freshome.com is one of the sites we go to when we want to see truly breathtaking design. Each of these 20 aspirational projects could lay the seed for the next new powerfully designed interior.
- BUILDER’S 10 top design trends of 2011 – Amy Albert highlights 10 trends supporting a key overarching theme of 2011: Innovative responses to the shifting priorities brought on by economic conditions and tough times.
OK, your turn: What design trends influenced your work in 2011? What “trends of the day” will continue to inspire you this year?
The beginning of a new year always brings thoughtful reflections on the year that has just passed. The building industry is no different, and our team of industry experts spent some of their time off around the holidays doing the very same thing. To find out what’s to come in 2012, they first had to review the most important news of 2011. Here are 5 articles that guided our thinking. It’s the great list of lists: The top 5 wrap-ups of 2011’s biggest stories.
- HousingZone’s top 11 stories for 2011 – HousingZone editors highlight the top housing news and trends for the year, breaking out their most popular stories based on web traffic.
- Curbed’s 10 weirdest, strangest houses on the market in 2011 – Curbed editor Rob Bear digs up the most eye-popping homes he saw on in the real estate listings last year. A great read for some inspiration… or maybe just fascination.
- BUILDER’s 10 most popular articles of 2011 – Clair Easley reveals the top 10 most popular articles from BuilderOnline’s Reader’s Choice Awards. No less than 6 of our votes made the list. Can you guess which ones?
- Top 10 Jetson Green Articles of 2011 – Jetson Green is always at the top of our RSS feed reader. This recap highlights the top 10 stories on sustainable building, eco-building and green technology based on retweets, Facebook shares and Google +1s.
- BuildingGreen.com’s 10 biggest green building stories of 2011 – Paula Melton recaps a huge year for the green building industry with the top 10 most-read articles in Environmental Building News.
Help us add to our list. Post a link to a 2011 recap you read in the blogosphere over the last few weeks.
Companies and their stance on communicating the human benefits of smart grid
Learning how smart grid technology works is important but even more significant is figuring out what the technology will do for people. As a way to monitor power demands and reallocate resources there are many companies adopting smart grid technology. The recent buzz around this technology is not only about preventing blackouts and blowouts but also about the human benefits that comes from smart grid. With the evolution of the smart grid, companies have been creating a channel of communication, clearly highlighting the positive aspects of smart grid. Considering the current influx of interactive microsites, YouTube videos and pricey commercials, companies have become highly invested in communicating to the consumer that the smart grid, is a good thing.
As a prime example, Google has partnered with several utility companies and has been heavily involved in dialogue advocating for smart grid technology. The internet giant’s smart meter project called, Google PowerMeter is meant to organize and track energy consumption in homes and/or businesses. In efforts to support the program, Google has developed a free Web service, which allows consumers to view their electricity consumption on a daily basis. As the developers of the PowerMeter, Google.org (the philanthropic arm of the giant) has taken a deep dive in focusing on the positive impact this system will have on societies everyday use of energy.
By having information about your energy consumption, Google believes consumers will be in a better position to make smarter choices. Monitoring and having access to information about your daily energy intake will allow consumers to make informed decisions on how and when to cut back. This notion of access to information is a consistent message resonating within Google’s push for smart grid technology. Check out the video on Google.org’s Youtube channel, which gives a deeper look on how they are communicating the human benefit of smart grid technology.
GE, another company that has publicly support smart grid technology has been a heavy investor in updating the national power grid. As a part of their communication efforts GE paid $100,000 per second for a commercial that aired during this years Super Bowl. GE’s microsite provides an interactive inside look on how smart grid works. Additionally, The commercial and the microsite coupled with GE’s strong partnerships with Google and other companies like California’s PG&E and American Electric Power are clear initiatives in educating the public about smart grid. As the company continues to develop commercials and partnerships, GE has been a key player in communicating the positive impact smart grid will have on consumers.
Other major companies, like Microsoft, Seimans, Johnson Controls (client) and IBM have also been key players in advocating for smart grid technology and emphasizing its benefits.
Are there any risks in highlighting and communicating the human benefits of smart grid? Yes, there are. In the February 17th issue of USA Today the cover story of the Money section highlighted several cases in which homeowners have been unhappy with the smart grid. Instead of saving money some homeowners had seen their electricity bills skyrocket. Given this article and others, there are clear pros and cons to smart grid.
Nevertheless, this blow back and any others that follow will not put a damper to the next phase of smart grid technology. Current data shows that by the end of 2010 nearly 35% of houses and businesses will have smart meters – a clear representation that consumers do believe there is a human benefit in smart grid.
Here at Build Intel we recognize the importance of cutting through the clutter. According to Technorati, there are more than 112 million blogs running rampant on the Internet. That statistic alone makes us want to thank you from the concrete foundation of our blog posts for visiting this site. We strive to deliver meaningful, succinct content on a regular basis and to do so, we rely on a few fellow blogs to do just that.
Here are our recommendations for some (11) of the best building-related blogs ready to RSS feed your daily intake of industry knowledge. Also, we’ve taken the liberty to identify those written by industry media (professional journalists) and those spawned from the passion of industry experts and/or those in the workforce (citizen journalists).
Tell us your favorite professional and citizen journalist bloggers to follow.
Housingzone.com – The online home of Reed Business publications (Professional Builder, Housing Giants, etc.), Housingzone.com stores a variety of blogs written about specific categories to a wide audience.
eBuild Blog – The online outlet for Hanley Wood’s Building Products Magazine, the eBuild blog highlights hot industry news and the latest in new product developments.
WSJ Developments Blog – Developments features exclusive news, analysis and commentary on residential and commercial real estate. You can always find a good conversation going on among the blog’s hottest topics.
Residential Design & Build – Editors of this Cygnus Business Media publication deliver up-to-date information and encourage discussion among readers around important industry topics.
BuildingGreen.com LIVE – BuildingGreen.com editors provide real-time event coverage, reviews and unvarnished opinions on green building news.
Green Building & Environmental Trends – Richard Cartlidge, a graduate of Stetson University College of Law and a LEED AP, blogs about areas of real estate development, land use, and environmental law. If you like what you see, he provides comprehensive consulting services for those industry categories, too.
BUILDblog – With a focus on modern design from the Northwest corner of the U.S., this blog will definitely interest the designer and architect.
Construction Informer – Self-proclaimed as a place to find information and participate in free-spirited discussions about building, Construction Informer is chock full of news and views about the industry.
Toolsnob.com – Look no further for the latest new products put to the test and reviewed in a way that will answer your pending questions. Doug Mahoney aggregates everything for us nicely with his monthly roundups.
BLDGBLOG – Not to be confused with BUILDblog, writer Geoff Manaugh provides architectural news and conjecture, heavily illustrated.
Inhabitat – Self-described as, “a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.”
If you think you should be added to our blogroll or want to recommend a new blog, comment and let us know.
Looking for a competitive edge in the green building industry? The experts at Build Intel have a simple suggestion for you – head to your local bookstore and pick up one (or all) of the following new titles in sustainability literature. Check out our list of books every builder should read, and be on the look out for new books to add to your personal green building library in upcoming months.
Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Ray Anderson knows more than a thing or two about taking an industry dependent on fossil fuels and transforming it into a model for sustainable business everywhere – and guess what – profitability was boosted as a result.
Green School Primer – Lessons in Sustainability: Eight detailed case studies that will leave you wondering why any school would continue with the business as usual attitude. If learning is the priority, re-thinking building design should not be overlooked as a means to achieve it.
Silent Spring: Rachel Carson defines the saying, “ahead of the times.” Her book puts our current environmental issues in perspective – they were an issue over 30 years ago, they are a bigger issue now and are growing exponentially. Sustainability is not a trend – its an issue we have been ignoring for way to long.
Green Building Trends – Europe: Europe is at the forefront at the green building revolution, so it makes total sense that this American author headed across the pond to interview some of the the continent’s most brilliant innovators in an attempt to paint a picture of the future for America’s builders. If you can keep up with Europe, you are a leader in the US building industry.
Green Recovery: Economic recovery and the green economy go hand in hand - one will be lost without the other. Andrew Winston paints a powerful picture of what business should look like if it’s going to have a sustainable future and connect innovation and productivity directly with environmental responsibility. If you want to be relevant in 10 years, read this book now.
Green building is a constantly evolving industry, so knowledge of the latest trends and innovations is a key factor in maximizing your business potential.
The importance of energy efficiency has become highly standardized and widespread among the green building industry. We all recognize the effects energy use has on air pollution and global climate change, but what about its drain on our natural resources?
Water efficiency, though commonly overlooked, is now becoming a major global concern. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, “about 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 1% is available for human use.” That 1% is continuously being depleted, which is why it’s crucial that we embrace water efficient practices. It’s time to bring the connection between energy and water efficiency to the forefront of green building dialogue before this dark horse runs dry.
The good news is that water efficiency standards are now being set higher, so contractors, builders and architects have the opportunity to lead the charge in conserving our limited amount of water. Following are two stand out initiatives from the EPA’s Office of Water highlighted in a speech by Michael Shapiro, its Acting Assistant Administrator, that pave the way for new levels of water efficiency in green building.
- WaterSense Certification and products – Think of WaterSense as the buzzword for water efficient products, just as Energy Star is to energy efficient products. The goal of the WaterSense program is to reduce water use across the country by creating an identifiable label for water-efficient products. In the three years since its formation, WaterSense labeled products are estimated to have over 277 million gallons of water per year. In the near future, look for the WaterSense “New Homes” label that raises the bar in home water efficiency by
combining water-efficient products, enhancing design features, and providing education to homeowners.
- Green Infrastructure Initiative – This strategy is based upon building storm water management systems that mimic natural hydrology. For members of the building industry, green infrastructure practice will include elements such as rain gardens, porous pavements, green roofs and cisterns. See the green infrastructure initiative in action in Chicago.
Along with these efforts to save on water use, we have to mention a no brainer, which leads us back to energy efficiency. Energy generation is one of the main culprits of excessive water use, so if we reduce our overall energy consumption, water efficiency will follow. Energy Star suggests taking advantage of organizations such as Portfolio Manager to track water and energy use together. By doing so, builders have the ability to track and assess the correlation between energy and water consumption. The proof is in the numbers, so learn what Portfolio Manager can do for your business today.
Congratulations PROSALES for 20 years of news and information about building materials dealers. In a time when many will argue that print has become obsolete, you continue to provide great value to your readers, and have picked up on a few social media tricks along the way to expand the reach of your expert content.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, PROSALES has presented The PS20 – their list of the 20 people, trends, concepts, tools, and initiatives that we believe have had the greatest impact on the construction supply industry during PROSALES’ history. You won’t be surprised by much of the list, but it stood out to us because it’s sure to create conversations. Imagine the discussions taking place if they had ranked them.
What/who you’ll find on the list:
- Joe Hardy
- The Home Depot
- The Housing Bubble
- Information technology
- Mobile phones
- Specialty materials dealers
- Engineered, composite and plastic lumber
Information technology seems like such an archaic term these days, but you could venture to say it had the biggest impact on the list, especially if you consider how it has radically transformed communication today, making it possible for someone to never have to leave their home. Where do you rank the PS20 members?
Assuming they make it another 20 years, and we hope you do, imagine what’s going to be on the 4oth anniversary list (PS40 we presume)? Social media, iPhone applications, augmented reality, robots, implanted computer chips, time travel…
It’s Friday and that means another #followfriday round-up focusing on interior design. There is a significant number of interior design-related tweeps. We found this out during #NeoCon 09.
Interior design is concerned with anything found inside a space, but it’s not just about colors and patterns. The work of an interior designer draws upon many disciplines. Today, interior designers must know everything about architectural detailing (many are architects as well) including floor plans, home renovations, construction codes and now green certifications. Interior design is not everything you see on TLC, but the work they do is meant to create a space that inspires you.
Maybe these Twitter accounts will inspire you.
@Interior_Design – the magazine for the interior design professional marketplace
@luxuryinteriors – follow interior designer Laura Bielecki and her luxury projects
@yankodesign – a web magazine dedicated to introducing the best modern international design, covering from industrial design, concepts, technology, interior design, architecture, exhibition and fashion
@designerpages – Designer Pages is an online community to help designers search, save, and share product information. They also helped bring the live tweets to #NeoCon 09.
@ASID – the official Twitter feed for the American Society of Interior Designers