Green buliding for the nations homes Main The Durable Green Home
I just had to comment on the NAHB green building program. saying that it will take over the LEED H Green Buidling Program by the USGBC is a comment that really does not need to be made. Comments like this are what can lead to limiting progress instead of increasing it, we can really exist together, and they are two really different programs with two differnt markets.....NAHB had to define green building to its builder members before it was defined for them-this is all good, but two really different programs with different goals...

 It is great that both programs can exist in the same market and move the suppliers, sub contractors, manafacturers, local goverments, contractors, realtors, etc to building more  sustainable homes and buildings. but the programs are different. LEED H is a higher level program ( i did not say better ) but the program concentrates on the top 25% of home bulders in teh nation and moving them to building more sustainable energy efficient homes with the goal of zero energy in time. This program is constantly moving towards better and better building and increasing the thershold. like Energy star homes program the requirements are increased moving home building forward, and unlike Energy star or NAHB green building, LEED H is not meant to be marketed to the nations majority of home  builders. so we have two great programs ( and many others i might add ) that are moving two seperate percentages of home builders to build "green". the differeneces are that LEED H has a third party varification requirement ( not so with NAHB-it is left up to  the local chapter to make requirements), there are more requirements in LEED H that building professionals,  building science proffesionals, energy raters, etc spent the last 8 years revising and testing to make sure the program had the integrity they wanted. NAHB does as  well but the requirements are less stringent and were made up of the builder memebers ( builders, suppliers, manafacturers, subcontracors etc ) so  there are things allowed or not required in NAHB that LEED H will not accept. Also NAHB is just defing its program, how they are going to administer the program, how they are educating the raters etc. I was a certified rater with NAHB but felt that  I did not  like some of the program acceptance or the influence of the NAHB on the program so opted out, not that I thinnk it is bad, just felt I wanted a program like LEEDH. I will point out as well that builder associations in some parts of the country have adopted LEED H or more stringent green building programs instead of NAHB green. This is all good, lets not concentrate on which one if better (depends on your prospective and goals for being green) lets concentrate on how we can move the industry along to more sustainable housing for all. if this is NAHB green for the majority homes fine, but for some they will only build LEED H, for some it will only be the living home challenge, or the passive home, or colorodo green build, or Earth Advantage, or Green Build, or............... it all good, confusiing some times but good. In the  end what do we  want to acheive? more durrable,  sustainable,  healthy and energy efficient homes right? it is faster if we all do it together instaead of bickering over which way is better. depends client or building. Also  I might  point out  that USGBC green building programs are not just here in the united states but world wide-differnt goals for different programs.

Posted by Tad Duby at 2/22/2009 3:28:00 PM
Comments (6)
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
Good post.
Posted by on 2/22/2009 2:42 PM
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
Glad to see Green, and from the surface, I support the LEED std.
Posted by on 2/23/2009 2:38 PM
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
I agree with you that both programs can co-exist and that both are great programs.

But I respectfully disagree with your statement that they are two really different programs with different goals. I believe the two programs have more similarities than differences and I believe that the two programs both have the same primary goal - to help home builders move the practice of green building into the mainstream and incorporate energy efficiency, water and resource conservation, sustainable or recycled products, and indoor air quality into the everyday process of home building.

I also respectfully disagree with your assertion that LEED H is a higher level program, particularly now that ANSI has approved ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), the result of a partnership between the NAHB and the International Code Council (ICC) in which a national consensus committee was formed in accordance with the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to establish a much-needed nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building. The National Green Building Standard introduced a new the fourth and highest level for the NAHB Green Building program - "Emerald."

I also need to point out a couple of errors in your comments.

You stated that third party verification is not a required under the NAHB Green Building program, that it is left up to the local chapter to make requirements. That is incorrect. The BCASWI?s Green Building Council recently voted to recommend to our Board of Directors that we formally affiliate with the NAHB Green program. The following two thresholds are required for preliminary affiliation:

- The local program must adopt the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines Bronze Level or equivalent at a minimum as its rating system. If a local program alters the Guideline's or the Standard's line items or point systems, it must be reviewed for equivalency by a working group under the guidance and approval of the NAHB Green Building Task Force prior to affiliation.

- The local program must utilize or provide credible third-party verification locally in order to be affiliated. If the local verification program supports a unique rating system and a local certification, documentation must be submitted describing that verification process and that documentation must be reviewed by a working group under the guidance and approval of the NAHB Green Building Task Force or successor body prior to affiliation.

In addition to these two thresholds, affiliated programs must comply with additional requirements in order to maintain their affiliated status including but not limited to the following:

- The program must continue to satisfy the above qualification criteria.- The program must refer members seeking a national certification in conjunction with or in addition to the local program's certification to the National Green Building Certification

- The program must offer at least one educational opportunity for builder and remodeler members per year. The requirement can be satisfied by offering the courses associated with the University of Housing?s Certified Green Professional Designation and supplemented with additional training sessions of at least 4 hours on green related technology and practices by a qualified instructor, or with an existing and substantial local green building curriculum;

- The program must hold and administer at least one homeowner and homebuyer green-related educational event per year.

Both the USGBC on its website and NAHB on its website provide information for building professionals, homeowners and homebuyers. And in light of all the confusion in the marketplace regarding what green building really means, I believe the additional requirements in the NAHB program to provide educational programs for both industry professionals and homeowners and homebuyers is important, because the bottom line is, the market will ultimately drive the demand.

President / Builder
Chuck Miller Construction Inc.
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Posted by on 2/23/2009 11:09 PM
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
good comments and I am glad to see that the NAHB green buidling program is requiring third party varification because in previous meeting with the NAHB staff they consitantly stated that they wuod not impose requirement on their builder members. with al lthe other third party programs out there they probably realized this was going to be their downfall so glad they are on board now. One question however-who is doing QA? it was the NAHB doing QA on raters they certified, is this still the case? you are correct that the programs have goals of moving building to sustainable and green building just as I stated in my blog, but they do have different goals and really marketed to different markets. Altough USGBC was and is supprised by the number of large national bulders, government, municipalities, etc that have adopted LEED H. But this was never really the goal. As I stated before it is marketed to the upper 25% that are all ready builidng at a higher level. NAHB has marketed its program to all builder members as a way of building green and governing the process. Good to see, i still think there is an connection between the program and the builder members that leaves some confiict of interest between wiat is required, allowed, and varified. what are their goals for moving their program to zero energy? good to see that they are improving their program and the more education and building of green homes the better for everyone.
Posted by on 2/24/2009 7:15 AM
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
The NAHB's National Green Building Program, recently awarded a gold rating to a Las Vegas home with fountains, a cascading waterfall window and a bathroom for each bedroom.

Haha...what kind of green standard throws praise to a 9,000 sq ft house????????

Also what's up with a green standard that says waterfalls in a desert is good????

Posted by on 2/24/2009 11:11 AM
Re:Green buliding for the nations homes
green is different to everyone, and eveything. what might be green to you is not green to someone else. I used to have people complaing that i was not building earth ram houses in the 90's instead of building with wood. well what is more green to convince the natioins largest builders to use advnaced framing or to build a handfull of earth ram houses? the impact is greater teaching the masses to do a little than one persone creating what he thinks is green. for instance i have some friends that have to have a hybrid car in order to be green in their mind, are you kidding me? 30,0000 dollars financed is not green to me, someone who owns his own 1978 pickup paid for is greener to me. the above home you mention had to do alot of extra things to get the green rating with the items you quoted. NAHB is not bad, again what is better that the builders are moving towards green or we try to impose restricitons to make them do what someone else thinnks is green? they are doing this on thier own and it will continue to get better every year. I say kudos to NAHB for making the move, and I hope they continue to improve the program and I think they will. There are also LEED certified buildings that are energy hogs and do not perform either, we can not all be perfect and we can all build perfect, we can only strive to get better and improve on what we do. We all have a little contradiction going on in our own lives that we can improve on. if you think you don't or you think you have the perfect solution, you are sadly mistaken. lets all move there together, taking one side of the fence never solved any real problems.
Posted by on 2/25/2009 1:27 PM
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