Green Is the New Color for Fall

As the nation’s homeowners greet the first day of fall, they’re also bracing for an anticipated hike in their heating bills. Now, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines are allowing more and more builders and remodelers to help their customers embrace green building concepts by providing a blueprint for successful design and construction.

NAHB’s Guidelines allow local building industry associations to provide green building education and certification that is customized to each region’s geography, building style and buyer demand—and that demand is looking greener and greener as the days get cool.

All green homes are characterized by their light footstep—from site selection to the judicious use of resources like water and building materials, but they’re more commonly known for their energy efficiency. It’s an important consideration as gas, oil and electric bills skyrocket.

A graphic of green home features is available on NAHB’s Web site at Consumers have been clicking on this resource as they consider remodeling plans—or their next new home. “This illustration helps home owners and home buyers understand what green really means,” said NAHB president David Pressly, a homebuilder in Statesville, N.C.

Increased consumer demand for green building methods is fueling the launch of green building programs all over the country as home buyers look for ways to be energy efficient and water thrifty. Programs based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines are going strong in St. Louis—where more than 100 green homes are under construction—as well as a number of other jurisdictions, including Durham, N.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Dallas; Kansas City and Cleveland.

Last month, the first statewide program based on NAHB’s Guidelines, Green Built Michigan, was launched. Launches are also planned in suburban Philadelphia, Boston, central Arizona, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Las Vegas and the greater Baltimore area, among others.

Earlier this year, NAHB commissioned a survey of its members and discovered that by the end of 2007, half its members will include green building practices in their home building projects. “I think that a lot of people were surprised by those survey results, but I certainly wasn’t,” Pressly said. “NAHB members are leading the effort to take green out of the niche market where it has resided for the past dozen years and into the mainstream. The explosive growth of green building programs in the past year more than proves that point.”

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