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Building Green In Today's Market

By Bruce Kirkpatrick   Follow me: Bruce Kirkpatrick on Twitter Bruce Kirkpatrick on Facebook
Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 9:05AM

Building Green In Today’s Market

You may not be aware there is a new national green home rating system. While it is still voluntary, it is driven by industry with certification cost of less than $500 per home.

The National Green Building Program (NGBP), allows builders in US to certify a home to bronze, silver or gold levels, using third-party verifiers provided by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center (NAHBRC).

The rating system features points in seven categories including water, energy and resource efficiency, lot and site development, indoor environmental quality, global impact, and homeowner education. To be a certified builder you must meet a minimum score with each category.

This is not yet a national standard because the National Association Home Builders (NAHB) has to complete the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In addition, third-party verifiers must be certified by the NAHBRC and this process can take six months or longer.

This program was announced at the Orlando International Builders Show and let people know that the National Homebuilders Association (NHA) in charge of meeting these standards, not the local government.  Selling a national system is difficult when there is competition from other programs like the U.S. Green Building Council, which has its LEED for Homes program in place. Therefore, many builders are going to be certified in both programs.

The federal government’s voluntary Energy Star homes program certified about 700,000 homes from 2004 -2007. Builders can do better job of cutting energy use by 15%.   Needing improvement a full “green” standard which includes water use reduction, alternative materials use, improved site impacts.

If LEED becomes the “gold standard” for residential certification some home builders oppose government authority’s regulatating housing choices for the marketplace

Three-fourths of buyers would pay for green home features where energy and water savings and healthier indoor air were an option. Homebuilding will need to improve to offer 50% reduction in home energy use.  Builders want “net zero energy” homes using solar photovoltaics making up the balance of energy demand

The U.S. Green Building Council’s announced the goal one million new (LEED) certified green homes by the end of 2010.  Green homes will take 20 percent market share of all new residential construction by 2010.

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