HBAs Pursue Green Marketing to Boost Consumer Interest
With consumer awareness of residential green building growing rapidly, local home building associations are coming up with creative ways to publicize their green building programs and the talents of their members.
In the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, the 50-year-old design competition co-sponsored by the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and the Maryland-National Capital Area Building Industry Association is going green, with a new green building design award added to the list of categories.
In North Carolina, the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties just recently completed its second annual Green Home Tour, showcasing 19 new green homes.
And in Springfield, Mo., the local newspaper has been chronicling the “greening” of the HBA’s new office building — scheduled to be dedicated at the same time that the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield launches its green building certification program.
The new building "will work out really well as the launching point for our green building initiative," Matt Morrow, the association's executive officer, said.
According to Jim Williams, executive officer for NVBIA, which administers the awards for the two associations, the new green building category for Washington’s Monument Awards reflects the emergence of green building practices in that market — and should help consumers understand the distinct design and construction techniques that green building introduces.
“This new category acknowledges changes in the market, and more importantly, it demonstrates that our members are ready to lead those changes,” he said.
“The Monument Awards program is the most prestigious residential design competition in this market, and certainly the most popular. We average significantly more than 300 entries every year,” Williams said. “Consumers look for the Monument Awards symbol in the real estate ads, and adding this category gives them another reason to look to our members when they’re ready to purchase a new home.”
NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines now form the basis of 18 voluntary, green building programs in the country — including the two newest programs now underway in Little Rock, Ark. and Columbia, S.C.
NAHB is also well into the process of working with the International Codes Council to create the first-ever residential green building standard for new single-family, multifamily and remodeled homes. Based on NAHB’s guidelines, the standard will be launched in early 2008 and provide a consensus-based model that jurisdictions can adopt to create voluntary green building programs.
In North Carolina, the home tour showcased efforts by members enrolled in the association's year-old green building council. Based on the NAHB Guidelines, the HBA’s Green Building Initiative now has 73 homes in the certification pipeline, said program administrator Leigh Scott, who also serves as director of membership for the association.
The association was a finalist for the 2007 National Green Building Awards in the new green building program of the year category, and one of its members, Michael Chandler, was a finalist in a single-family home category. Chandler had a home on this spring’s tour.
The North Carolina association also conducts classes targeted toward real estate agents, so they can do a better job of recognizing and then selling green homes.
For more information on green home building resources available at NAHB, e-mail Calli Schmidt, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.
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