Engage! – The Challenge for Building Science Webinars

Lucas Hamilton

CertainTeed recently launched a series of free Building Science webinars geared to architects and building professionals.  The series qualifies for Continuing Education Units with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and kicks off with a series on A Systems Approach for Residential Buildings

We received very positive feedback about the content but what the audience did not like was the platform for the webinar.  Participants were required to call in on the phone for the audio which tied up their phone lines. They preferred a voiceover internet protocol.  As a result, we researched and moved to a new platform to correct this situation and it has had a positive effect for all.

Since many of you may have experience with holding and/or participating in webinars I am asking for your input on some best practices with regard to platforms and content. Such as:

  • Are there types of webinars or subjects of webinars that have been more impactful or of greater value for you?
  • Are there platforms that are more impactful?

CertainTeed wants to improve the connection we are making with the audience and ensure that the content is being shared as fully as possible and that requires engagement. The challenge with a webinar over an in person presentation is in the ability to engage the audience.

The engagement is a critical aspect of the webinar because it is often in the engagement that the real ‘chestnuts’ fall from that engagement – not what is on the slides – and provides the most valuable application of the content.

Does anyone have any experiences to share on engaging audience during webinars? I would love to hear from you.

I invite you to join me for the webinar series and look forward to your feedback.

Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation

Sustainability Sprint – The Dash to Keep Up

Lucas Hamilton

The days of not keeping up with trends is over. Like it or not sustainability is here to stay and you don’t want to get left behind.

The race is on to keep up with the ever-changing world of sustainability and it is causing manufacturers and building professionals to scramble to catch up. It’s a subject matter with a great deal to learn. There are outside influences like building codes and socio-economic influences driving sustainability into the mainstream, and people may feel like they are out of step and that their vocabulary is insufficient to accurately communicate about sustainability. 

Training is the key. We, at CertainTeed are in the midst of a continuing education initiative for our sales force, our customers and others on sustainability. We are addressing what programs have changed, what requirements have changed and what new technologies are available. Sustainability is influencing our trends, in terms of types of products we use. There is increased use of vegetative roofs, photovoltaics and other, much needed, energy efficiency methods being incorporated into buildings to improve performance. 

In addition to these “outbound” activities, we have a significant internal focus on our manufacturing facilities and CertainTeed employees. First you have to “green” your products, then your facilities, and then your people and practices. It is an on-going “organic” process which never stops.

Urban areas outpace rural areas with regard to sustainability, which was discussed in a previous blog, indicating that there is still a long way to go with regard to education and training on sustainability.

I am finding that people are a little afraid of sustainability because the practice is still new and it’s catching them off guard.  The trick is to get into it, stay into it, have conversations with people and learn from each other about sustainability. 

Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation.