• Beldon and his wife, Susan, in Rhode Island

USGBC named as defendant in lawsuit

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court involving the LEED® rating system.

The lawsuit, which alleges USGBC's claim it verifies efficient design and construction is "false and intended to mislead the consumer and monopolize the market for energy-efficient building design," was filed Oct. 8, 2010, on behalf of mechanical systems designer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving Inc., New York.

The lawsuit accuses USGBC of fraudulently misleading consumers and misrepresenting the energy performance of buildings certified under its LEED rating system and argues LEED is harming the environment by leading consumers away from proven energy-saving strategies. Other allegations include deceptive marketing, unfair competition, deceptive business practices and false advertising under New York State law, wire fraud and unjust enrichment.

The lawsuit demands USGBC cease deceptive practices and pay $100 million in compensation to victims, as well as legal fees.

Respond to customer needs and complaints

Communicating with angry customers can be frustrating and difficult, whether by telephone, e-mail or in person. Dissatisfied customers generally have a relationship problem with your organization and a specific problem that prompted the complaint. The relationship problem should be addressed first and can be mitigated by responding to the customer's need to feel valued, appreciated, understood and comfortable, which can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Valued. Let the upset customer know you value his or her business and apologize for the mistake.
  • Appreciated. Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention.
  • Understood and respected. Tell the customer you understand why he or she is upset. This lets him or her know you acknowledge and respect his or her point of view.
  • Comfortable. Ask the customer what you can do to correct the situation.

Source: Adapted from Communication Briefings, September 2010 issue.

Publication estimates green building costs

RSMeans, a construction cost information supplier and division of Reed Construction Data, released its first edition of Green Building Cost Data 2011, which is available for purchase at www.rsmeans.com.

The publication helps construction professionals estimate, plan and budget the costs of green construction. It provides cost information for a variety of green building products and systems, including photovoltaic panels and green roofs; LEED® and Green Globes® building rating systems criteria and building certification cost schedules; on-site environmental remediation costs; and city cost indexes and location factors for more than 930 three-digit ZIP codes in the U.S. and select locations in Canada.

Development is key to motivating employees

Training programs, books and videos often are used in employee development programs but aren't always effective. The following tips can help motivate employees and promote growth.

  • Know your strongest performers. The best employees already have shown they work hard and enjoy challenges; offering them the chance to develop their skills will raise the bar for other employees.
  • Look ahead. Talk to employees about what they'll be able to do in the future given the proper training and development. Focusing on positive goals rather than weaknesses provides more motivation.
  • Figure out what employees want to do. Ask employees questions, and provide guidance. Let them lead the way while you assist in setting goals.
  • Develop yourself. Improve your own skills—let your work force know you also want to develop.

Source: Adapted from The Motivational Manager, December 2010 issue.


Bradford D. Beldon

What is your position within your company?
I'm president and chief operating officer of Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio

What is the most unusual roofing project you've performed?
Waterproofing a fountain over customs at the San Antonio Airport—installing a fountain over an occupied space isn't a great idea, let alone it being customs.

Why did you become a roofing contractor?
It's in my blood. My grandfather started the company in 1946, and my father followed in 1962.

What was your first roofing experience?
I've been working here since I was 12 and did everything my father told me to do. Now, my two oldest daughters are working each summer.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox; however, my athletic abilities just weren't there.

What is the most high-tech thing in your house?
All our computer, telephone and television cables are wired to one closet. My wife claims that is the closest I'm coming to a man cave.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Back to Israel—I love traveling there.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Someone being late. Our philosophy is: If you are early, you are on time; if you are on time, you are late.

What quality do you most like in a person?
Integrity—you cannot teach integrity.

What three condiments are always in your fridge?
Orange juice, parmesan cheese and decaffeinated tea

If you could invite any three people (dead or alive) to dinner, whom would you invite and why?
My grandfathers and Lisa, my best friend, who died when we were 16 years old. I've learned so much since then that I'd now like to ask them questions.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Competing against others who are not playing on the same field

List three words that best describe you.
Anal, anal and anal

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I'm a member of the National Roofing Legal Resource Center's board of directors and previously was a member of numerous roofing-related boards of directors.

People would be surprised to know …
My 16-year-old daughter drives a pick-up (only in Texas).

ASTM committee approves new standard

ASTM International's new standard, ASTM D7120, "Guide for Evaluation and Preparation of Roof Membranes for Coating Application," tells consultants and contractors how to assess a roof system's condition for coating and recommends how to prepare a roof system for a coating.

ASTM D7120 was developed by ASTM's Subcommittee D08.20 on Roofing Membrane Systems. Carter Slusher, Indianapolis-based Firestone Building Products Co. LLC's modified bitumen/polyiso systems engineer and chair of several D08 task groups, says using the new standard will promote energy savings and environmental preservation and sustainability.

Increase chances of project success

Not every project is guaranteed success, but the odds can be in your favor if you follow certain precautions.

  • Form a dedicated team. Part-time employees might find it difficult to focus on one project while holding down other jobs. Gather a central team of employees who can fully devote their time and attention to the project, and bring in other people if necessary.
  • Maintain contact with your team. Regularly meet with your team to discuss progress, setbacks, available resources and anything else that can affect the project's success.
  • Make a budget. When planning a project, create a budget and schedule to allow for extra resources.
  • Identify your goals. Make your objectives specific and attainable to gain support from others in your organization.
  • Remain diligent. Employees can be tempted to cut corners to finish a project on time. Emphasize to your team a workable end product is necessary.

Source: Adapted from The Manager's Intelligence Report, November 2010 issue.


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