Green Building Update - 06/24/2008 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
Taking Measured Steps to Green
Those of us who attended the International Builders' Show know that Green Day -- the day we introduced the NAHB National Green Building Program -- ushered in a new era for our association, and every day, we see its growing influence.
Surveys show that green practices are in the sights of almost every American home builder, from those who are constructing zero-energy palaces to those who are just beginning to consider whether their markets are ready for Energy Star®-rated homes.
So it may seem out of place to signal a note of caution as the number of Certified Green Professionals continues to soar, more and more local home building associations seek to affiliate with "NAHB Green" and builders begin to design and score their homes using the online green scoring tool. But it’s up to our association to ensure that green is not viewed through rose-colored glasses. For green building to be a nationwide success, it needs to be an evolution, not a revolution.
NAHB has weighed in aggressively with the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the proposed GREEN Act, which would use government incentives to encourage the construction of affordable green homes. NAHB leaders also spoke this month at a panel organized by the National Housing Conference on similar measures that would enable more energy-efficient features to be available in workforce and affordable housing.
We have a simple message. Energy-efficient or green housing cannot be mutually exclusive from safe, decent, and affordable housing.
NAHB has always been a leading advocate for housing, and has worked vigorously to ensure that every American can enjoy safe, decent, and affordable housing. All of our member services as well as our positions on any national, state, or local policies have been predicated on this mission.
But, in almost all instances, we see a significant amount of confusion and complexity that hasn’t been resolved even in the market-rate housing stock. Policies that mandate actions before we know the full effects of those actions are at best, premature, and at worst, disastrous to long-term affordability. This has to be a concern for all of us.
Delivering more energy efficiency and sustainability to our nation’s housing programs is a goal that we collectively share. Indeed, we acknowledge that the consistent increase in energy prices disproportionately affects lower and moderate-income families.
Voluntary, market-driven programs, not mandates, will keep the price of green building low. As more and more materials become available, home builders and their subcontractors will add to their skill set and home buyers will decide they are ready to take the plunge.
We can't be fooled into thinking that the government subsidies that enable some "affordable" green building projects to be completed can also work at market-rate homes without all of us paying a steep price. And that's the message we continue to repeat.
In the meantime, I join my fellow Senior Officers in congratulating the many local home building associations ready to join the ranks of NAHB Green and who encourage certification — local, national, or both — for all their green building members.
We're making it easier and easier to do. Have you scored your home yet? Go to www.nahbgreen.org and get started.
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.NAHB.org | ©2008, National Association of Home Builders