Thursday, March 17, 2016

Using Instagram for Your Business

With more than 400 million active accounts, Instagram is an exceedingly engaged global community. The creative context and visual language of this photo-sharing app is a great way to inspire countless individuals and influence customers or clients in regard to your brand.

Businesses that use Instagram are able to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual and viral environment. There are seemingly endless opportunities for businesses to use the brand-building app effectively. Take our tips into consideration when looking to shape your company’s Instagram strategy and presence:

·         Establish What Your Company Wants to Achieve with Instagram:
o   Start off by researching and creating a well-formed strategy. You should create clear goals and concepts that mirror your company’s campaign goals.
o   Develop a schedule that suits the needs of your intended followers, industries and sectors.
o   Brainstorm lists of ideas, concepts and imagery to fulfill the schedule as well as engage and involve your B-to-C and / or B-to-B audience(s).

·         Cultivate a Following:
o   In order to gain followers, you have to follow other accounts and “like” their posts. Influencers in the same industry, clients, and engaging users are a few suggestions to increase your followings. Create two-way dialogs in this way, inviting and encouraging others to do the same with you and your business.
o   Follow and interact with others on Instagram specific to your marketing objectives; work across all of your sales and prospect segmentations to ensure you leave no important sector unattended.

·         Set a Tone:
o   It is important to choose a visual style for your account, such as certain filters to use, what content each image will focus on, and common language / hashtags to use for captions. For example, by sticking with the same filters, you establish a style that becomes recognizable to your followers.
o   Conversely, plan posts and content that is flexible, ultra-creative and interesting. This involves photos that showcase your business’ brand persona- meaning its would-be personality or interactive and lively role within your scope of work or areas of expertise.
o   Generate strategic messages and sound bites to be used in captions and a list of best practices and posting standards your entire team can practice and implement to create a cohesive brand-voice.

·         Captivate Your Audience:
o   Each post has a story to tell. Use a high-quality image and captivating caption. You can also cross-post with other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, which becomes an easy source of visual content and connectivity throughout social media platforms.
o   Possibly like no other social media channel, Instagram is shaping up to be the customized or bespoke online networking tool. Proactive and tactical Instagram managers create posts that are completely tailored to their brands; unlike Facebook and twitter, these posts tend to feature a more personalized “day-in-the-life” view of a business’ inner-workings, news, happenings, and achievements.

·         Monitor Achievements:
o   Tracking the performance of your account will help you and your team stay in tune with what resonates with your followers. This allows room for improvement; a chance to evaluate ongoing content goals your company is achieving; and a hands-on look at that which needs to be achieved.
o   As you develop photo and caption content, experiment with applicable hashtags. Keep them on-topic and one to two key words most of the time. Don’t forget to check the general content to which hashtags lead. You may be surprised at which ones do and do not echo your brand’s messages.
o   Monitor captions with and without hashtags to see which prove successful in gleaning interaction, likes and online dialog. As you learn what makes your Instagram effective, repeat the pros and revise the cons.


Remember, with Instagram now considered the hub where people view the visual identities of businesses, products, services, and brands- it is a crucial consideration to effectively promote your business on Instagram.

Instagram has been a great way for the Eberly & Collard Public Relations social media team to successfully promote our services and news throughout the fields of architecture, construction, interior design, horticulture, and our other industries. We are helping many of our clients kick-off their own Instagram accounts and other social media accounts as well. Check back to our blog for updates and additional social media insights from our team, and follow our Instagram: @eberlycollardpr.


For even more Instagram tips, check out Instagram and Hootsuite.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kick-it in the Kitchen & Bath Industry during 2016!

As the calendar year draws to a close, kitchen and bath industry professionals everywhere – from product manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to interior designers and showroom retailers – are taking stock of their sales and marketing efforts from 2015.

With this in mind, any review of a prior year’s marketing tactics should involve a strategic look ahead to seek innovative methods that can lead to business growth for the new year.

After all, as the favored end-of-year song “Auld Lang Syne” reminds us, “…times gone by are important to remember.” Recalling the past in business also guides the process of improving and enhancing our best practices- including how we market our businesses, services or products.

Relative to your kitchen and bath business success, the victories and even potential failures from the last 12 months can help generate new ideas and create promotional and publicity opportunities for the future.

Point blank: Customers and clients have many choices when it comes to residential and commercial Kitchen and Bath construction, remodeling and installation projects- making it challenging for businesses in the field to stay ahead of the competition.

Watch our newest video below and get inspired about a whole new type of integrated marketing from our team at Eberly & Collard Public Relations. We conceptualize and implement creative marketing programs to introduce interior designers, architects, builders, contractors, as well as consumers to our clients’ Kitchen and Bath businesses, brands, and product lines. For designers and architects, we publicize their kitchen and bath design projects through articles, press coverage, advertising, videos, and all forms of digital and print media.  


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Smart Design Improves Efficiency and Lands Cover Story

As many public relations practitioners know, our work in regard to media campaigns can often be misconstrued with its relation to advertising. Advertising is a viable means to promote a business. However, securing publicity based editorial and media coverage about the business and its products or services can yield a near-limitless strategy for publicizing the company and its key marketing messages.

In the November issue of Civil + Structural Engineer, our ECPR team secured the following cover and feature story for one of our clients, the talented Stevens & Wilkinson. 

The photos of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina have enough appeal to speak for themselves, and Stevens & Wilkinson’s engineering design work has become a thrilling project featured by this and many other magazines, a project that is now on the path to becoming the largest net-zero energy building the southeast. – Click to enlarge the images. 


The new Darla Moore School of Business was designed with the goal of furthering the school’s mission of providing students with top-tier education, and is slated to achieve LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.


We would like to give a huge thank you to the editors at Civil + Structural Engineering for working with us on this cover story, and congratulations to Stevens & Wilkinson for an impressive architecture and engineering project.

View the entire November digital issue: www.ow.ly/VqBW5.

Learn more about Stevens & Wilkinson: www.stevens-wilkinson.com.  

Uncover the ways in which we can assist your design, construction, urban planning, commercial real estate development, engineering, and / or architecture business with strategic, dynamic public / media relations and integrated marketing: http://eberlycollardpr.com/our-industries.asp

~ ECPR 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Designing Spaces with a Sense of Place

Our blog followers often ask us about media coverage our team secures with or for our clients. Editorial placements for us are an everyday practice, a part of our integrated marketing services our team enjoys and embraces. Campaign results run the gamut from trade publications, journals and industry newsletters to consumer magazines, newspapers and blogs. Then, too, there are on-air segments via radio and television when applicable for many of our clients.

Today’s blog post gives you a glimpse at our talented client Ami Austin, President of Ami Austin Interior Design, who was recently featured in two regional living / lifestyle magazines. Thanks to all of our editor friends at Memphis Magazine and At Home Memphis & Mid South for working with us and Ami for these great stories.

At Home Memphis & Mid South 

We secured this article and interview with our client for inclusion to At Home Memphis & Mid South magazine regarding design ideas and advice for dining rooms. Be sure to take a look at the November issue to see the full feature story and learn more about Ami Austin Interior Design by clicking the link below.
To view the full article and magazine issue, please visit: www.ow.ly/UeJH7. (See pages 40-45 and 97).

Memphis Magazine

Being a renowned designer in Memphis and the entire region, our client initially secured this article, while our team helped facilitate aspects of the interview and planning process. The November issue features an article about one of Ami’s client’s, Dr. Jonathan McCullers, who sought Ami’s interior design services to update his three-bedroom townhouse to better reflect his tastes and lifestyle. Click the link below to see the full feature story and learn more about the McCullers’ home design story.
To view the full article and magazine issue, visit: www.ow.ly/Uix5c. (See pages 65-69 and 99).

Learn more about Ami Austin Interior Design: www.amiaustininteriors.com.

For designers, architects and builders, take a moment to read about our specialization in publicity and branding.

·         Designers: www.eberlycollardpr.com/services.asp?id=29.

·         Architects: www.eberlycollardpr.com/services.asp?id=24.

·         Builders: www.eberlycollardpr.com/services.asp?id=35.

Editors and Journalists, contact us anytime you seek interior / exterior design-build content or experts in the design, architecture, construction, furniture, kitchen and bath, and similar industries as quotable sources.

~ ECPR 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Public Relations for Construction Companies

Getting more construction jobs in 2016…

While new construction project starts continue to grow across most sectors, the advancement of sales and marketing goals are still top of mind for construction owners and managers, general contractors, and engineers. The need for more efficient and results-producing marketing also keeps many building envelope product manufactures and commercial real estate developers up at night. Undoubtedly, in a new and evolving era of building and construction, those working in the industry are up against tough competition to win new jobs. The promotion of a construction or development company’s marketing messages is equally as important as timely project delivery, standards compliance and every other aspect of successful business management.

For the industry’s businesses and professionals setting their sights on unprecedented sales growth for 2016, there are many innovative, available opportunities to boost brand visibility, generate press campaigns, and develop integrated marketing.

At Eberly & Collard Public Relations, our team has specialized in generating brand exposure for construction companies and developers for more than a decade. Give us a minute and a half to watch the following video, and gain ideas and inspiration to kick-off a robust marketing plan that achieves the type of results you have been seeking for years. 


Learn more about our construction industry marketing and public relations programs, and contact us for a free assessment at www.eberlycollardpr.com.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stevens & Wilkinson Completes Architecture and Engineering Design for New College of Law Building at Georgia State University

One of our esteemed clients, Stevens & Wilkinson, an architecture, engineering and interior design firm, provided architecture and engineering design services for the new Georgia State University College of Law building, which opened its doors this summer.

Stevens & Wilkinson’s project team conceptualized and executed the design development for the exterior skin, and implemented the architecture and engineering for the building. The completed building features a three-story public gathering space in the lobby; a two-story active learning space; and reading and study rooms adjacent to an outdoor garden terrace on the sixth floor.
Recently, three members of our Eberly & Collard Public Relations team, Don Eberly, Jeff Collard and Kristen Pappaterra, had the privilege of joining our client as well as state government and judicial leaders, alumni, and others for the building’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event and tour yielded us an in-person vantage point to learn about the design solutions provided by Stevens & Wilkinson and other members of the project team, information we will be using to develop and execute an architecture and construction public relations campaign for our client.

Take a look at the following photos from our tour. Watch for updates on our blog and Facebook page about the progress of the public relations campaign.
The College of Law Building was designed for collaboration, content sharing and group learning. It quickly has become the heart of Georgia State University and a gathering place for both internal and external communities. 

The lower level consists of a 230-seat moot courtroom and auditorium, which was designed for diverse uses, including practice jury or appellate court, learning, breakout, and legal proceeding areas. 

Audio / visual equipment and devices, including screens that can be lowered from the ceiling, were specified and installed for students to watch their moot court performances following learning and exercise sessions. 

A world-class conference center with movable walls and breakout rooms is used for catering and events, which is available for table seating or lecture format for up to 300 people.

Access control, turnstile systems, close circuit TV, and fire-rated glass were engineered by Stevens & Wilkinson to provide security and safety for the building at large.

Hallways, classrooms and offices were designed to take advantage of natural daylighting, shedding light upon the next generation of lawyers, judges and others who will study, develop and apply law in the future. 

The academic floors consist of large classrooms and seminar rooms with flexible learning settings and meeting rooms, commons, and support spaces for faculty. The design setup is intended for content sharing, with advanced audio / visual equipment for learning and technological conveniences.

The law building’s library is the largest part of the overall concept. The library is made available only for Georgia State University law students, and is designed with a variety of environments, such as study rooms, café’s, classrooms, and an alumni reading room. 

The law library includes a high-density, compact storage system for accessibility and preservation as well as conference and library workrooms. Its glass box design style acts as an exterior expression for the entire building.

The top level includes an exterior garden terrace with native plantings and an interior reading room with a view overlooking the adjacent Woodruff Park. 

Along with Stevens & Wilkinson’s project partners, SmithGroupJJR and Harris+Smith, and builder McCarthy Building Companies, the project team collaborated to design and deliver a leading-edge building of individual and joint learning that also offers students, faculty and staff all the customary amenities necessary for institutional excellence.

Our congratulations to the entire project team for a job well done. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Top Building Products Chosen by Readers

Throughout the year, our editor contacts with Professional Builder magazine provide news of the latest and best home building products. In the August 2015 issue, Professional Builder featured the “Top 100 Products” selected by the publication’s readers from the past year. The editors of the magazine, as always, did a top-notch job of covering the many products of interest.

The products chosen were grouped in eight categories: Windows & Doors, Exterior Products, Interior Products, Kitchen & Bath, Outdoor Living, Structural / Insulation / Housewrap, Mechanical / Electrical / Home Tech, and Lines & Collections- all the best from the Building and Construction industry.

Since all of the editorially featured products were based upon building professionals’ favorites, and the 100-featured products are indeed numerous, we decided to choose our own top product pick from each category to share with our blog readers in summary. 


Windows & Doors – Bi-Parting Patio Door | Ply Gem

Photo credit: Ply Gem
This patio door is unlike any other. It is available up to 12-feet wide and in 46 exterior colors. The Ply Gem Windows Mira Premium Impact series is also available in a variety of sizes, which can become a perfect way to customize both interiors and backyards. Whether you are an Interior Designer, Builder, Remodeler, or Developer, use this door to open up your clients’ walls and wallets. 


Exterior Products – Glass Mosaics | Marazzi USA

Photo credit: Marazzi USA
The glistening colors of Caicos glass mosaics from Marazzi USA have six mottled seascape colorways from which to choose. We love the modern touch on this art glass, and it looks great outdoors with its ever-changing light present within a space. Builders and Landscape Architects can upsell jobs with this truly impressive glass.  


Interior Products – Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace | Innovative Hearth Products

Photo credit: Innovative Hearth Products
Our most favored choice! The Astria Montebello DLXCD Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace is from one of our own PR clients, Innovative Hearth Products. This fireplace is available in an array of options, available glass media colors, and an adjustable flame height to modify the perfect look for any home or applicable commercial space. For Contractors, Builders and Architects, find information about this fireplace online here


Kitchen & Bath – Ensemble Shower with Freestanding Seat | Sterling

Photo credit: Sterling

Who wouldn’t enjoy the ability to sit while you relax in the shower? The Ensemble includes built-in shelves and is available in a neutral color to match any bathroom. The shower, with its convenience, was designed for the increasing number of buyers concerned about aging in place. Builders and General Contractors can specify this product as an upgrade for residential projects as well as medical facilities. Ensemble is worth a second look for Kitchen and Bath Remodelers and Interior Designers seeking innovative solutions for projects. 


Outdoor Living – Hardwood Deck Tiles | Advantage Lumber

Photo credit: Advantage Lumber
We are inspired by this unique deck because it gives the illusion of both a tile and hardwood foundation. Advantage Lumber offers four types of smooth-surface hardwood tile and has amazing durability. Landscape Architects and Lawn and Garden design specialists, take note of the eye-catching coloration of the tile, giving rise to new options for outdoor room design / build jobs. 


Structural / Insulation / Housewrap – Self-Adhering Underlayment | Tarco

Photo credit: Tarco
Tarco’s LeakBarrier EasyLay UDL SA has an impressive amount of uses as a roofing underlayment. It can be used in shingle, shake, slate, tile, and metal roofing applications in steep-slope roofing. It is also made from many hardy and robust components for long-term, weather-barrier performance that anyone from builder to construction owner can appreciate.


Mechanical / Electrical / Home Tech – Wireless Charging Surface | DuPont

Photo credit: DuPont
The Corian Charging Surface will make you want to get rid of those phone or tablet chargers forever. Nearly all smart devices can be charged with a charging ring from Duracell Powermat or a charging case. Just connect the ring or case to the mobile device, and voilà! If this isn’t a Kitchen and Bath designers dream, we aren’t sure what is. 


Lines & Collections – Keystone Hardscapes

Photo credit: Keystone Hardscapes
Keystone is a leading provider of hardscape products for landscaping and retaining walls as well as erosion control and surface stabilization solutions. The company’s portfolio consists of beautiful stones and borders for a stunning landscape design for any yard and to suit any Landscape Contractors’ outdoor room and patio project portfolio.

To see the rest of Professional Builder’s “Top 100 Products” and read the digital version of the issue, visit: http://www.probuilder.com/issue/pb-august-2015.

To learn how to develop media coverage and publicity for your own building products, take a look at our website’s What We Do and Our Industries pages. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Get a Jumpstart on Your 2016 Sales and Marketing Plan!


If you are like most business owners or marketing professionals, you know all too well that cultivating leads, prospects and sales requires advanced planning. Waiting until the onset of the new calendar year puts your marketing programs at a huge disadvantage.

In fact, it is any marketer’s critical question: What is the best and most strategic step to keeping powerful and creative marketing momentum alive for a successful calendar-year ahead? 

Strategic marketing plans can help you reach your target audiences, boost your customer base, enhance branding, qualify more sales leads, and, ultimately, increase your bottom line. Not to mention, having a well-written and executed marketing program lends to the process of setting clear, realistic and measurable objectives for your sales team and business.

For businesses focused upon residential and commercial interior design; architecture; building and construction; kitchen and bath; furniture, accessories and lighting; horticulture and agribusiness; lawn, garden and landscape; or hardware and homeware- we customize and execute long-term integrated marketing programs that generate qualified and quantified sales.

Take a look at the following video, and gain a whole new perspective about what it means to create upward growth for your business before the busy 2016 year is upon us.



Jumpstarting calendar-year marketing, with the help of a PR firm that fully understands your industry, guides your customers to recognize why your product or service is better than or different from the competition.

By way of our brief, no-cost marketing assessment, we can provide you with a proposed strategy for kicking-off your 2016 brand plan- one that will provision for getting and staying ahead of the new year.

Contact us at 404-574-2900.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Old is the New Trend

Calling all architects, designers, engineers, developers, and anyone who appreciates the art and science of repurposing older buildings for new residential and commercial uses…

Have you seen the May / June 2015 issue of Retrofit magazine? In case you missed it, take a look at the following images, showcasing a feature story our ECPR team secured, written by our very own Don Eberly, about one of our clients, the very talented Stevens & Wilkinson architecture, engineering and interior design firm.

Ponce City Market, the former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building in Atlanta, was redesigned into a live-work-eat-shop-play destination.

Atlantans have watched the adaptive-reuse plan unfold for more than two years, and the area is abuzz with new interest about what many are calling the building’s rebirth.

Stevens & Wilkinson, a full-service commercial architecture, engineering and interior design firm, served as architect for the adaptive reuse and historic renovations for the new and impressive FLATS at Ponce City Market.

As lead architect for Ponce City Market’s residential portion of the building, Stevens & Wilkinson oversaw the comprehensive creation of the FLATS to include a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including 17 two-level lofts.

Stevens & Wilkinson had LEED certification in mind when finalizing how the FLATS would be designed. The energy-efficient appliances coupled with efficiently engineered mechanical and plumbing systems contributed to the coveted sustainable design designation. 

As the largest adaptive reuse project in Atlanta’s history, the entire Ponce City Market project is estimated at more than $200 million. The developer, Jamestown, was the originator for the project. The company conducted market research by consulting with neighborhood residents to determine the best uses for the building.

Kudos to Stevens & Wilkinson for an architecture design job well done, and our thanks to the magazine’s editor for her willingness to share this great story with her readers.

Read the online version of the article here: http://ow.ly/MQSBs.

Learn more about Stevens & Wilkinson: www.stevens-wilkinson.com

Discover the ways in which we manage public relations for architecture firms and other clients as well as our creative approach to integrated marketing for building and construction companies, and more:  http://www.eberlycollardpr.com/our-industries.asp

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Color Perspective: Embracing Trend Colors for Interior and Product Design

Twice each year, international color authority Pantone determines the upcoming season’s most popular colors in design and fashion called the “Color Report.” These coveted colors become ongoing inspirations for interior designers, architects, landscape architects, and residential and commercial product manufactures.

This season’s colors have taken a few steps toward the color spectrum’s earthy neutrals or, what we might call, a back-to-beautiful-basics approach. With the addition of select harmonizing hues, the new color trends are being accented with a range of soft-to-bold color statements and patterns.

Some of our designer clients are addressing the new hues by sourcing design and decor items with colors motivated from the fall color report- a color-inspired design concept that generates memories of less-encumbered times. These design themes stem from softer palettes and, at times, are used with floral patterns, geometric shapes, or even enchanting beach- or tropical-like settings.

With the announcement of the Fall 2015 Color Report, and enthused by the many breath-taking design projects we publicize, our team voted upon our favorite five color trends for the late-summer and fall seasons. See below, and let us know which you prefer for your 2015 projects.

Biscay Bay:  The ECPR favorite!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/509751251549623729/
Photo Credit: Polyvore

Biscay Bay is our team favorite! It combines the serene qualities of blue with the stimulating aspects of green, and is one of the top Pantone colors for fall. The dreamy shade of blue, which we consider somewhat smoky-blue, yields a sophisticated and elegant look, while its cool hue inspires thoughts of tropical waters– both pleasant and inviting. The color is becoming a staple for wall paint options from select top paint brands as well as for lighting and fabric manufacturers. Look for this graceful blue to appear more and more as an interior design accent color.

Amethyst Orchid:
Photo Credit: Soirées Southern Events Planning 
Rich and vibrant, the Amethyst Orchid adds a distinctive pop of color to wardrobe, interior design accents and floral arrangements. The hue is intriguing by creating an eye-catching and bold look. For the floral industry, we see this shade taking form in centerpiece and decorative accent arrangements for both interiors and outdoor space.

Cashmere Rose: 

Photo Credit: The Rose Garden 
Cashmere Rose has a lovely soft-pink hue, with an upscale warm appeal. Some of our horticulture clients are breeding new flowers and plants to showcase this soft and subtle shade of pink. The color gives a sense of welcoming softness to landscapes. In a certain way, the same is true for interiors of homes, especially when shades of the color are used in home accessories or accents, such as blankets, cushions and pillows. Many designers we admire are experts at adding well-placed touches of rosy pink to houses and homes, ultimately coordinating a feeling of intimacy. Cashmere Rose is cultivated in design with its richness as a gentle and composed pink that is classic and upscale.

Dried Herb: 

Photo Credit: Knotting Hill Interiors
Dried Herb is an olive green shade that was once thought of as safari or military. It has now been evolved into a color we now perceive as sophisticated and chic. It closely resembles the nature of earthy fragrances as we are seeing this play out more in paint, fabrics, draperies, rugs, cushions, and other textile and textile-covered interior products for residential and commercial spaces.

Cadmium Orange:  

Photo Credit: Eric Trine
Cadmium Orange is a playful, optimistic color that still keeps a sense of sophistication. It is a great accent that will harmonize with other fall trend color companions for almost any color scheme, yet it is bold enough to stand on its own. Being design trend-watchers, our ECPR team has been eyeing this color being specified by designers for walls and furniture to create bright and cheery interiors as well as in in new plant colors for the landscape.

Marsala

Photo Credit: Bella Homestaging
We couldn’t write about Pantone’s 2015 Fall color Report without mentioning color of the year, Marsala. Named for fortified wine, this sensual and bold color exudes style and complexity, making it a fitting hue for decorative fabrics and art throughout the home. In particular, we are seeing some design experts adopt the color for draperies, with varied shades like eggplant, reddish brown, brick, and similar pigments and tints.

Designers and editors, send us your ideas for future color blog topics. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Build It (with Products of Excellence) and They Will Come

ECPR’s Top-Pick Building Products of the Year...and New Year!


The construction industry saw a sharp uptick in 2014, and all indications are that this persistent rebound will continue in 2015. As builders and remodelers anticipate more design-build projects and begin the involved product sourcing and planning processes, our team of construction / building industry writers and publicists has rounded up some top building products, specifically ones we have seen select clients specify for residential or commercial jobs, along with few of the newest and most novel in the industry. 


Riverlite Expanded Clay Lightweight Aggregate
















Weight should not compromise design or efficiency, which is a concept Big River Industries, an Old Castle Architectural Products Group company, took to heart when it first produced Riverlite, the lightest expanded clay aggregate (LWA) in North America. Companies and organizations in the construction, concrete, structural concrete, geotechnical, engineering, green roof, and filtration industries benefit from this structural aggregate’s low unit weight, high angle of internal friction, low-thermal conductivity, and high fire resistance.

The key to the LWA’s success resides in its base material: Clay that is mined, fired, calcinated, crushed, and graded.

What we admire most about Riverlite expanded clay lightweight aggregate is that its uses are innumerable; the aggregate is used in a variety of concrete products including structural lightweight concrete for buildings and highway bridges or decks; concrete masonry block; bio-swales, landscapes and green roofs; just to name a few.

Saving 50% in time and labor costs, Riverlite was used to manufacture lightweight masonry (E-lite) blocks for the development of the Maryland Science Center.

For this project and many others like it, the lightweight factor helps contractors and builders complete projects sooner rather than later, so they can generate revenue from the projects earlier, which is better for the property owners as well. In construction, we all known time is money, and if property owners can reduce the number of days it takes to construct a building, it helps them easily project when it can be rented or sold and begin earning revenue.

Haute and Hot 

Superior DRT2000 Merit Series Direct-Vent Fireplace















Fireplaces add visual and aesthetic appeal to any home and many commercial and hospitality spaces. With that said, we are heated up for Innovative Hearth Products’ Superior DRT2000 Merit Series direct-vent fireplace.

Builders, designers, remodelers, and contractors can take pleasure in knowing their clients will bask in the warmth and comfort of this fireplace’s traditional style without compromising quality or design. This highly efficient fireplace is perfectly sized to suit most any space or room, while offering a host of standard features, heightened performance and state-of-the-art technology to ensure its elegance and warmth last for years. Notably, Superior DRT2000’s specifications include a direct vent, optional remote, and a front view style.

Also offered in a contemporary style, the DRT2000 is an ideal solution for builders or architects looking to provide clients a high-end and modern design approach at an affordable price.

Floors with Flow 

DESSO Transitions Fuse Carpet Tiles 












Embrace movement and creative expression in the office with DESSO® Transitions Fuse carpet tiles. This striking carpet tile fluently meshes two contrasting yet complementary colors to separate large open spaces like those in offices. The carpet tiles allow an interior layout to transition from a large space into a smaller or more private area and are available in seven different color combinations.

DESSO specializes in producing high-quality, durable carpets and carpet tiles that are long lasting and easy to install in commercial settings ranging from offices, banks and retail stores to public buildings, schools and healthcare centers.

At first look, we were floored by the product’s high-tech traits and attractive design, and have known more than one of our design-build clients to specify these types of carpets when designing flexible and open spaces. Rather than adding walls and doors to close off a space, the sense of transition yielded by the placement of these tiles supplies an open office environment that is more collaborative and productive.

Made in the Shade 

Phantom Screens















We know just how disappointing it can be to have outdoor relaxation stymied by insects and blazing sun, among other things. With Phantom Screens, making the most of outdoor living spaces is a breeze. Beneficial for both residential and commercial screening projects, Executive screens provide extreme comfort by delivering shade, insect protection, natural ventilation, and privacy at the touch of a button.

Executive motorized retractable screens by Phantom are ideal for screening patios, decks, lanais, and other large outdoor areas. Executive screens can be incorporated into various architectural styles and offer homeowners or business owners the enjoyment of using every inch of their exterior areas.

One of the best things about these screen systems is that wall mounted switches or hand-held remotes can be programmed to lower or retract them whenever the owner needs some time in the shade. Executive screens can be recessed from view, or mounted on existing structures. Even better, the screens can be integrated into most any type of structure, including wood, brick, stucco, natural stone, and concrete.

Down with Dust

National Gypsum Company’s ProForm XP® Ready Mix Joint Compound with Dust-Tech















Another product that has certainly caught our eye, but won’t send sawdust into it, is National Gypsum ProForm XP® Ready Mix Joint Compound with Dust-Tech.

This product is an all-purpose, vinyl-based joint compound specifically formulated to reduce airborne dust while sanding. With less mess, builders can minimize the time spent cleaning up following these kinds of jobs. The XP Joint Compound with Dust-Tech can be used for all phases of drywall finishing, texturing, patching, and renovations. Among its various uses, the product is designed for tape application; faster spotting; complete joint finishing of gypsum board; to repair cracks in plastered walls; add texture to surfaces; and laminate gypsum board to other surfaces.

Two noteworthy features of the XP Joint Compound with Dust-Tech include the fact it reduces airborne dust by 60 percent and offers first-rate mold resistance per ASTM G 21 with a score of 0, the best possible score- which both contribute to minimizing impact on indoor air quality. This product also sands without clogging sandpaper; has a low VOC content; and is GREENGUARD Children and Schools Certified- making it perfect for commercial and residential use in spaces frequented by little ones and those who are environmentally conscience.

Builders and building product manufacturers, send us your feedback and information about must-have building product resources, and we just might feature them in a future blog post or include one or more of them in an upcoming media tour for our editor and reporter contacts in the field.

Learn about our integrated marketing services on our builders and building product manufacturers on our website.