- Site development to reduce erosion, minimize paved surfaces and runoff and protect vegetation, especially trees
- Water conservation in and outside of the house
- Energy efficiency in heating/cooling systems, appliances, lighting and the building envelope
- Selection of materials that can be recycled, that are durable and that can be manufactured without wasting energy
- Waste reduction, reuse and recycling during construction and throughout the life of the home
While nobody can argue that these aren’t the right things to do, local building officials will still need to be convinced about the soundness of pursuing unfamiliar development proposals or building techniques. That educational process is happening now.
Our federal legislators are also starting to get behind the green building movement. A bill that passed the House of Representatives recently would provide a tax credit to build new energy-efficient housing. It would also give households a tax credit for remodeling projects that boost the energy efficiency of their existing homes. You will be hearing more about this important piece of legislation as it continues to make its way through the Congress.
Here are the keys to more widespread acceptance of green building practices:
- More great innovations from product manufacturers
- More cooperation between builders and government agencies
- And more education — for builders, policy makers and consumers — about the many benefits of green building
In the meantime, green building is on the rise, taking hold in increments. We are staying far ahead of the regulators and actually finding the path to enable housing to help answer our nation’s environmental concerns. We are harnessing the latest technology. We are sharing new ideas. We are demonstrating that ours is an industry as dynamic as the families who rely upon us to respond to their changing wants and needs in the homes in which they live.