NAHB Unveils First-Ever Residential Green Building Guidelines

NAHB Unveils First-Ever Residential Green Building Guidelines

The National Association of Home Builders unveiled new voluntary guidelines to help mainstream home builders to incorporate environmental practices into every phase of the home building process while putting a priority on housing affordability. NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines were presented at a press conference during the International Builders’ Show, which was held in Orlando, Fla.

“The guidelines are revolutionary because they will help all builders, not just niche builders, construct more energy-efficient, environmentally sensitive new homes in different price ranges and climate conditions,” said Ray Tonjes, a home builder from Austin, Texas, and chair of NAHB’s Green Building Subcommittee. “NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines are a milestone in our efforts to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for all Americans and to help conserve our environment.”

Although homes built today are 100% more energy-efficient than those built during the 1970s, green building has primarily been the province of high-end, niche builders who cater to a wealthy clientele. NAHB undertook the guidelines project a year ago at the urging of members who need research and education on building resource-efficient homes that are both affordable and customized to local conditions.

The guidelines offer voluntary, builder- and market-driven green solutions for:
  • Lot design and preparation
  • Resource, energy, and water efficiency
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Operation, maintenance, and home owner operation
  • Global impact
  • Site planning and land development
Developed for single-family homes, the guidelines also are applicable for multifamily and custom homes as well as remodeling projects for existing homes. In addition, local home builders associations can use the guidelines as a blueprint to create their own custom, voluntary green building programs, which would provide criteria, research, education and promotion to home builders in local markets.

The guidelines were developed under contract by the NAHB Research Center in a consensus process involving more than 60 stakeholders from the green building industry, including architects, manufacturers, home builders, environmentalists, government agencies, suppliers and trade associations. The Green Building Initiative, a not-for-profit education initiative, is providing market research and promotional support for green building programs.