Green building, also known as high-performance building or sustainable construction, has been practiced by builders and remodelers for centuries but the modern era of sustainable construction started in the 1970’s as oil prices rose and the need for energy efficiency increased.
High-performance buildings are designed and constructed to incorporate environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process with the goal to minimize the home's environmental impact. Green building is a practical response to a variety of issues that affect all of us — like increasing energy prices, waning water resources and changing weather patterns.
Choosing green means making intentional decisions about:
- Energy-efficiency improvements such as a high-performance building envelope, efficient HVAC systems, high-performance windows and energy-efficient appliances and lighting
- Water conservation measures such as water-efficient appliances and fixtures, filtration systems and drought-resistant or low-maintenance landscaping
- Resource conservation using materials and techniques such as engineered wood and wood alternatives, recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber and more durable products
- Indoor environmental quality considerations such as effective HVAC equipment, formaldehyde-free finishes, low-allergen materials, and products with minimum off-gassing or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Site design planning such as minimizing disruption and preserving open space
- Home owner education through manuals and operating guides
NAHBGreen is helping builders, remodelers, developers and home owners/buyers build and understand high-performance construction and development. The suite of services provides a comprehensive set of educational resources, advocacy tools, a credible green standard, and referrals to a national green home certification system by the Home Innovation Research Labs, a qualified and independent third party. Collectively, these offerings help builders, remodelers and developers anywhere build green.
While some of the impetus to build green is being dictated by policymakers, increased awareness among home buyers is also driving the growth in this sector. Accordingly, NAHBGreen helps prepare the industry by educating and credentialing building professionals, developing measurements for green building, and advocating at the national level for credible, voluntary, and market-sensitive green building initiatives.
Education about Green Building
Each year, NAHB honors excellence in green residential design, construction practices, and outstanding green advocacy efforts through the NAHBGreen Awards program.
ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS)®
The foremost green rating system for residential construction in the United States, the NGBS can be used for rating new and remodeled single- and multifamily buildings as well as residential subdivisions. It is the first and only such residential green rating system to have earned the approval of the American National Standards Institute.
Green Building Advocacy
NAHB actively promotes viable, credible, market-driven, and voluntary green building initiatives at the federal level and is likewise poised to assist state and local home building associations with such advocacy efforts.