Green Building Guidelines to Become a Standard
The NAHB Construction Codes and Standards Committee voted recently to obtain accreditation of the association's Model Green Home Building Guidelines from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The accreditation will affirm the credibility of the guidelines and strengthen efforts to promote their use among jurisdictions that are developing green building programs.
The vote came on the unanimous recommendation of the Green Building Subcommittee, which has championed the model guidelines as a resource for local and state home builders associations (HBAs) that want to initiate a voluntary green building program for their members. Associations in Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah are currently running or planning programs based on the NAHB guidelines.
The guidelines were unveiled at the International Builders’ Show in 2005 following a two-year development process involving more than 60 stakeholders in the home building, development, architecture and engineering industries as well as environmental groups, academics and building-related suppliers and trades.
“The guidelines were designed to move environmentally friendly home building concepts further into the mainstream marketplace,” said Green Building Subcommittee Chair Ray Tonjes, a custom builder in Austin, Texas. “They have been proven to work well in voluntary, HBA-based programs because they are well-written, informative and easy to follow. I believe that means they will work well as a standard, too.”
The guidelines contain sections on lot preparation and design; resource, energy and water efficiency and conservation; occupant comfort and indoor air quality; and guidance for home owners.
Each section contains a set of provisions explaining how a builder can incorporate green building concepts into a project. In addition, local builders and green building program developers assign points to the provisions so that scores can be used to indicate different levels of green building. The guidelines are available at www.nahb.org/gbg.
The ANSI standards process involves extended discussions by a “consensus body” and the production of a draft document; public comment followed by the opportunity to make changes; and the right to appeal. Proposed standards can take up to two years to move through the process.
“The ANSI process serves all standardization efforts in the United States by providing and promoting a process that withstands scrutiny, while protecting the rights and interests of every participant. In essence, ANSI standards quicken the market acceptance of products while making clear how to improve the safety of those products for the protection of consumers,” according to the ANSI Web site.
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242.
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