Las Vegas Models Its Green Program on NAHB Guidelines
Cementing a groundbreaking partnership with the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, the City of Las Vegas last week announced a green building program to encourage home builders and residential developers to use environmentally sensitive and sustainable building practices.
Home builders who join the HBA’s newly launched green building certification program, the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership, will be certified as participants in the city’s green building program. They will be able to use the city designation in their marketing materials and will also be listed on the city’s Web site.
This is the first time that a municipality has recognized a program based on NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which HBAs are using to create regionally appropriate, residential green building programs for their members.
“We are very proud of the program,”” said Connie Suckling, senior government relations specialist for SNHBA. “The city is recognizing and taking into account what the home building industry is able to accomplish with usable guidelines. We hope this is a win-win, for the city and for the industry.”
The HBA is now working out the details of the certification process and plans to pursue incentives for builders who participate in the green building program.
When 60 stakeholders — including builders, environmentalists, government agencies and product manufacturers from across the U.S. — gathered three years ago to begin work on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, the intent was to create a blueprint for voluntary green building programs around the country.
The guidelines reflect regional geographic differences and building practices, which is key to their easy acceptance by home builders, said Larry Simon of Pardee Homes, chair of the committee that developed the local program. The checklist that the Las Vegas area builders are using is appropriate for the area’s desert climate, where water conservation is more important than in many other parts of the country.
“Many of the builders who sat on the board with me were already involved in voluntary programs promoting energy efficiency or water conservation,” Simon said. “We wanted to put it all together with recycling and resource-efficient construction techniques to create a green building program that would actually work.”
The city had been considering its own residential green building program, but then determined that working with the builders would be more productive. “We worked with the utilities, with the city and with code officials,” he said. “Once we all understood what was actually possible, we created this partnership based on the guidelines, which are more realistic.”
The Southern Nevada home builders have a reputation for being forward thinking on environmental issues, Simon said, and depend on association staff to keep them up-to-date on topics to watch. SNHBA worked on a successful Habitat Conservation Plan for endangered species that is a national model for public-private partnerships and worked closely with NAHB on research and presentations on a proposed standard for 2.5 particulate matter, or construction dust.
“We are pretty proactive when we hear that something’s going to change,” Simon said. “We figured that eventually our state government might decide that homes needed to be green, so we wanted to come together as an industry and find a program that would meet national standards yet adapt to our region.”
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.
Attend the Green Building Conference in St. Louis
Mark your calendar for March 25-27 for NAHB's National Green Building Conference in St. Louis.
In addition to education sessions, the conference will feature a property tour of green built homes in the area, the green building awards dinner and a new designation course on green building for builders and remodelers.
For more information, visit, www.nahb.org/greenbuilding.
Entry Period Underway for Green Building Awards
Entries are now being sought for NAHB’s National Green Building Awards, which recognize individuals, companies and organizations for helping to move green into the mainstream of the housing industry through their designs and construction practices.
The annual awards will be presented during ceremonies at the association’s National Green Building Conference, which will be held in St. Louis on March 25 to 27.
The awards honor achievements in seven categories:
- Advocate of the Year
- Green Building Program of the Year
- Outstanding Green Marketing Program
- Green Project of the Year — Single-Family
- Green Project of the Year — Multifamily
- Green Project of the Year — Land Development
- Green Project of the Year — Remodeling
Members are invited to submit a completed application package by Dec. 29, 2006.
For project awards, construction must have been started by June 2005 and substantially completed by December 2006.
To enter by mail, send a hard copy and a disk of the completed application. For an application form and instructions on how to send logos, project photos and other artwork, click here.
For more information, e-mail Emily English at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8366.