Major Green Building Agreement Changes How Homes are Made

Major Green Building Agreement Changes How Homes are Made

The two most influential groups in the home building industry and the code development and enforcement community are collaborating to bring uniformity to sustainable building practices. The National Association of Home Builders and the International Code Council will undertake the development and publication of a residential green building standard, NAHB and ICC leaders announced today.

During a press conference at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla., NAHB and the Code Council reinforced their commitment to sustainable building practices and the creation of national standards for green home building.

NAHB has long recognized many of its members as leaders and innovators in building green homes, but their efforts were local and without any regional or national reference. The group said its members needed clearer guidance, but wanted to maintain flexibility and be able to incorporate regional distinctions. NAHB took on this task with the publication in 2005 of the Model Green Home Building Guidelines, now a nationally recognized green building certification tool.

ICC has been promoting green building requirements through its widely adopted family of International Codes, which set minimum standards for energy efficiency and sustainable building practices for the construction industry and also recognized the need for a national set of standards for home builders and others wishing to voluntarily adopt "above-code" practices.

NAHB President David Pressly was joined by Wally Bailey, president of the International Code Council, for the announcement.

The collaboration is another example of ICC's commitment to green building, said Bailey. "Strong, durable homes that are safe and affordable have a smaller impact on the world's limited resources. ICC is committed to educating our members on green building and participating in activities with other organizations that will assure green building practices are sustainable, safe and affordable," he said.

"Code Council members play an important role on code matters related to green building," agreed ICC CEO Rick Weiland. "Our new world headquarters, just two blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building, is in a green building and demonstrates our corporate commitment to respect the environment. Green technology is going to play an important role in our collective future--not just in the United States but around the world."

The announcement is also a resounding vote of confidence and measure of the success of NAHB's Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which now form the basis of more than 15 state and local green building programs around the country, said Pressly.

"NAHB members have proven that a voluntary, region-specific, flexible program can be both truly green and also allow for innovation. We believe in the Model Green Home Building Guidelines, we believe in the standards process, and we believe that the end result will be a better document for the home building community."

"Because the Guidelines were originally developed using a consensus-based process, it is anticipated we'll have a leg up in the standards-writing process," noted Pressly. "We will once again use the services of the NAHB Research Center, which is the American National Standards Institute-accredited standards developer that oversaw the development of the Guidelines," he said.

"I'm delighted to announce our commitment to work with the Code Council to help advance green building practices for our industry," Pressly continued. "We surveyed our members a year ago and 92 percent of them said they would move to green building because 'it's the right thing to do.' That's true of the standards process as well. It's the right thing to do."