The Architect’s Guide to Air Barrier Systems
Architects are busy. Not only do they have to design buildings, envision their performance, and specify products that help them meet their design goals, they also have to keep up with building industry developments. Architects must also take classes, workshops, and seminars in order to maintain their professional license.
Even a layperson can see that a construction project, whether residential or commercial, requires many products. Architects and specification writers must be familiar with a lot of products and their effects on a building’s design. But they don’t have time to agonize over every product they specify.
Companies often use aggressive sales techniques to get architects to recommend their products. However, architects and spec writers are a group of industry insiders who don’t deserve to be treated like rubes. If you try a hard sell or offend the architect, you won’t get anywhere.
How to Sell an Architect
It’s important to make a personal connection with the architect, because chances are you’ll be checking in with them periodically to see what their needs are or whether you can do anything for them. Think long-term. Who wouldn’t rather talk to a trusted source of advice than a telemarketer? Being a good listener and offering industry insight will earn an architect’s respect and go a long way towards building a relationship.
You have a perspective that they don’t, and they have a project and are familiar with the project’s needs. Save them time and money by advising them on how to make their buildings better. Then, when it’s clear that your product fits with their desires, you can make a case for how your specific product will help them. If it doesn’t fit their needs, you’ve still earned some gratitude.
The new DELTA®-VENT SA Technical Guide is an example of how manufacturers can also use literature to help the architect before selling them. Even though it’s a guide for a Dörken product, it offers an excellent overview of air barrier systems, with recommendations by building type, materials used, and climate. It defines the features, functions, and benefits of an air barrier system, which saves the architect valuable decision-making time. It helps architects understand why they are choosing a specific building design. Its focus on the whole system rather than on specs and alternates means that it gives the architect the capability to design a system for its holistic performance attributes, rather than just choosing whatever product seems best. The education contained within allows the architect to judge whether a product selection will be problematic in the context of other building design choices.
Tools like this technical guide are educational tools that may earn you thanks from the architect just because you recommended it. Any product manufacturer could use the charts in the guide (which are product recommendations for DELTA® products by climate zone, humidity level, building material types, and other factors) to create a chart outlining the performance differences between products in their own product line.
Passing along good information will benefit you. The fact that the information is already out there and can serve as a permanent reference in the architect’s library is even better. It’s painless to order a copy and see for yourself whether it’s a good source of information. To order a physical copy, please click here.
Dörken is a leading manufacturer of air and moisture membranes for commercial and residential construction sold under the DELTA® brand name. Dörken is known for delivering innovative premium quality products to the construction market. We back up our high performance DELTA® products with educational programs and full technical support. To learn more about our air and moisture barriers, visit our website.