The National Association of Home Builders’ board of directors approved creation of a National Green Building Program as a template for voluntary, market-driven green building all over the country.
The vote came during the NAHB Spring Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 10 in response to increasing legislative proposals to mandate residential green building practices at the state and local level. Concerned that legislators would default to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system (LEED for Homes is still in its pilot stage), NAHB wanted to move quickly in giving associations, builders and legislators a “credible, cost-effective, nationally recognized program, with streamlined administration and certification procedures,” according to information distributed at the Green Subcommittee Meeting at NAHB’s Spring Board Meeting June 8. There are costs involved in participating in the LEED for Homes certification process.
"With a national program, home buyers can be assured that their home is truly green, whether they live in Seattle or Savannah, in a condo or a ranch house, and whether they're renovating or buying new," said NAHB President Brian Catalde, a home builder from El Segundo, Calif.
The new program will be based on the National Green Building Standard, a model for residential construction and renovation to be written by a consensus of builders, architects, environmentalists and product experts that will be released in early 2008.
This standard will be a cooperative effort between NAHB and the International Code Council and based on NAHB's Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which debuted at the 2005 International Builders Show.
More than 20 state and local HBA green building programs are based on the Guidelines.
The Standard will have some additions not found in the Guidelines. Land development is moving out of the appendix and into the main body of the document, remodeling and multifamily are being added and Energy Star will be a minimum requirement, according to Calli Schmidt, a spokesperson for the NAHB.
Like the Model Green Home Building Guidelines and the Standard, the National Green Building Program will take into account a home's lot development, use of resources, energy and water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, durability and ease of maintenance, as well as the builder's efforts to educate home owners. The program will also include a web-based certification system as well as other tools and resources for builders and certifiers, and a national registry of green builders and green homes.
The program will be housed at the NAHB Research Center, which will also oversee the residential green building standard development process.
The standards process is certified by the American National Standards Institute, for which the Research Center is an accredited developer. In October, 2006, the ANSI also accredited the U.S. Green Building Council as an accredited developer that can submit voluntary certifications, such as its LEED program, for approval as an American National Standard.