April 18, 2011
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Workforce Development
Students Learning Highly Marketable Green Building Job Skills
HBI plumbing instructor Rick Oberlin, left, and HBI facilities maintenance instructor Jim Henderson from the North Texas Job Corps Center brush up on the National Green Building Standard and its alignment with HBI's "Green Applications for Construction" textbook, which they use in their trade classrooms.

Using the NAHB Green Building Standard as a resource, members of NAHB Student Chapters are increasingly stepping up their training in green building, a sector of the housing industry that has seen significant growth even during the downturn and is becoming an increasingly important component of the residential construction industry.

The green housing market grew from $2 billion in 2005 to almost $60 billion last year, according to estimates by NAHB and McGraw-Hill Construction

Megan Wayment, who is studying architecture and is a member of the NAHB Student Chapter at Brigham Young University-Idaho, said that the  Student Chapters’ Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC) at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in January helped bring to life green concepts she had learned in her coursework.

“For the competition, we had to work to achieve the Emerald level of the National Green Building Standard” Wayment said.

“While preparing for the presentation, I was studying LEED, and it was interesting to learn firsthand about all of the different ways you can incorporate green products and procedures into a home,” she said.

Another NAHB Student Chapter member, construction management student Kaitlyn Wright, is also getting hands-on experience as she researches a book for the NAHB Research Center with one of her professors at Middle Tennessee State University.

“I’m researching different green products, showing the benefits and cost comparison versus everyday products,” said Wright. “The book is aimed at builders who are looking for cost-effective ways to build green.”

The National Green Building Standard is playing an important role as the basis for the green building training programs being developed by the Home Builders Institute, according to Don Pratt, chairman of HBI’s board of trustees and the National Green Building Standard Consensus Committee, which is currently in the process of updating the standard for its second edition.

Developed by NAHB working with the International Code Council, the green building rating and certification system for all residential construction and development was launched in 2008.

HBI instructional materials — such as the Residential Construction Academy (RCA) series and the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum — directly correspond with the standards, enabling students to learn general green building principles.

The curriculum takes students through key green building competencies they need to master — including weatherization, solar installation, using salvaged and recycled-content materials, recycling construction waste and more.

After completing their green training, students have skills and expertise that are highly marketable.

For more information on NAHB Student Chapters and the RCMC, email Page Browning at HBI, or call her at 800-798-7955 x8918.

For more on the RCA Series, contact Steve Kramer, x8925; and for PACT curriculum information, contact Dennis Torbett, x8908.

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