Week of April 21, 2008
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Completion of National Green Building Standard Nears

The National Green Building Standard moved closer to becoming the national standard for green building last week when it was submitted to the American National Standards Institute.

To ensure uniformity in everything from the size of electrical outlets to testing medical devices, ANSI only accredits one standard for any product category. The National Green Building Standard will be the only green building rating system accredited by ANSI, making it the benchmark for green homes.

The standard defines what green practices should be incorporated into construction on a national scale — for single-family, multifamily, remodeling and site development — and how home owners can operate and maintain their green homes.

The standard is expected to be introduced at the May 11-13 NAHB National Green Building Conference in New Orleans.

Submission to ANSI is the last hurdle for the new standard and the end of a long and demanding process for the standard’s consensus committee. Volunteers from NAHB and the International Code Council attended four public hearings and long days of meetings and participated in untold hours of conference calls to discuss the 3,000 public comments submitted for consideration.

Interest in green building has soared over the last several years. With home builders becoming more familiar with green building practices and with the increased availability of green materials and products, the industry expects to see the green housing market share increase from less than 1% of starts in 2005 to 10% by 2010, according to a 2007 survey of NAHB members by McGraw Hill Construction Analytics.

To meet the growing demand, local home builders associations have launched green building programs that include a number of rating systems — some unique to the program and some based on established models, including the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which provided the basis for the new standard.

While the programs have enjoyed success and continue to demonstrate the strength of voluntary, market-driven green building, many policymakers and NAHB members have long sought a national standard for green building that is flexible and cost-effective and that can be used as a reference to establish incentives like fast-track permitting and tax breaks.

NAHB and the code council announced the joint effort in February 2007 at the International Builders’ Show and the committee began to meet in April.

NAHB Vice President and Treasurer Bob Jones spoke to consensus committee members last July and congratulated them on their hard work, which by then was about half-way done.

“The eyes of the home building industry are on you right now, but so are our best wishes,” Jones told the committee members. “I know that working together and listening carefully, you’ll create a document of great importance to this industry right now and in the years to come.”

For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.

'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference.

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