A Valentine from NAHB to Green Building

The long-awaited National Association of Home Buil...

The long-awaited National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Program debuted Thursday at the International Builders’ Show–and although its details are still unfolding, the reaction was positive.

NAHB stressed that–in these often-negative residential building times–the marketability of green building can help builders get work. It’s also a great way to boost client confidence in a project by stressing the over-time savings and general feel-good, giving-back nature of green building.

"This is a historic day for our association," said Bob Jones, an NAHB vice president and a builder in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "This program allows all home builders to build green in a cost-effective way. Builders and consumers can select the green features that make the most sense for them."

It’s not the only green system on the market–and the NAHB has said it expects its green building guidelines to be adjusted locally. We don’t know what those changes are, of course–but today, we did learn more about the program, which has been in the works for three years.

  • What is it? In the new system, NAHB will certify and train a national network of independent verifiers. The network members will test and score homes using a scale that gives points for different green features, rewarding each home with a bronze, silver or gold certification. The scale begins at 37 for a bronze; gold qualifications start at 100, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  • How is it different from LEED for Homes? To put it bluntly: The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes guidelines were designed by an environmental/government organization; its goals, unlike the NAHB National Green Building Program, were not centered around builders making money. The NAHB guidelines were made to encourage cost-effective green building,  according to Bob Jones, an NAHB vice president.

In the NAHB program, builders have the choice of more green methods and materials than with the LEED guidelines, Jones said; however, he was quick to point out that it wasn’t a contest, and LEED and NAHB supported each other.