Growing Number of Builders Seek Certified Green Professional Designation to Distinguish Themselves From Competition

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorWashington, D.C.—The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation is growing in popularity, with over 2,700 home building industry professionals having achieved this status.”It is designed to give those who achieve it a better understanding of what green building is and allows them to separate themselves from their competition to their clients,” Chad Reidy, program manager of green building technologies at NAHB, tells MHN.The designation, which was first launched in 2008 at the International Builders Show (IBS), is awarded after the successful completion of 24 hours of classroom instruction on green building techniques and business practices, two years’ industry experience, a commitment to continuing education and adherence to the CGP code of ethics. CGP is awarded after the completion—and passing of a test associated with each—of two courses—Green Building for Building Professionals, which is a two-day course that covers green building principles and practices, including water, resource and energy efficiency, and Business Management for Building Professionals, which discusses management techniques and fundamentals, Reidy explains. While the designation encompasses the entire industry, including single- and multifamily builders, realtors, engineers, designers, landscape architects, suppliers and product manufacturers, Reidy notes that the class, as it currently stands, is designed with the NAHB Model Green Home Guidelines as a basis and primarily allows single-family homes to be developed. Reidy asserts, though, that the “practices and principles don’t just apply to single-family.”However, the course is currently being revised to reflect guidelines of the new National Green Building Standard (Click here to see MHN’s coverage of NGBS), which includes multifamily buildings. The revised coursework, says Reidy, is expected to look at site design, energy efficiency, water efficiency, resource efficiency, indoor air quality, maintenance and homeowner education.While it appears that the CGP designation and LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) are similar, Reidy points out the difference is that “LEED is just a test that covers how to understand the LEED scoring system, whereas the CGP is more a look at green building as a whole—the whole process.” He adds, “when you walk away with ‘CGP,’ you have a broader understanding of what green building is and what it entails.””Green building is becoming more mainstream and the home building industry is becoming more involved with green building,” notes Reidy. “I think if someone is building multifamily housing, the CGP is either a great place to start—if you haven’t done any green building at all, because it addresses the main principles and practices involved in green building—or if you already are building green, it’s a great way to distinguish yourself from others building in the area, as well as to get a handle on some practices out there that a builder may not be familiar with.”