Isn't it about time you got recognized for building right?
Synopsis: With the current emphasis in green building, many home builders may find themselves wondering how to be acknowledged for building green. Additionally, homebuyers may want to know that they’re buying a house that has been vetted and certified as a green structure. To this end, there are a number of programs outlining attributes of green building. FHB contributing writer Matthew Teague sorts through the data and offers details on the three big national programs and the multitude of local, state, and regional programs.
Green building has come a long way. Only a few years ago, the words brought to mind fields of windmills and rooftops clad with solar panels—expensive propositions that in most cases were neither practical nor affordable for builders or buyers. In the past decade, however, building green has become more economical and more mainstream. You don’t have to build a house out of recycled tires or water your garden with bathwater. Simply build smart, and you’ll save energy and money. The green-building concept has become less daunting, resulting in a market that’s calling for more green homes and an industry full of builders willing to supply them.
Not that long ago, homebuyers looking for a green home had to rely on the reputation of local, state, or regional green-building programs. If a green-building program didn’t exist, buyers had to place complete trust in the builder—a marketing challenge for builders and a leap of faith for buyers. In 1996, the Department of Energy launched the Energy Star for Homes program, which focused on energy consumption rather than building practices. There simply weren’t any national green-building certification programs that applied to residential structures, so even the definition of what constituted a green home was nebulous. In recent years, however, two dominant national programs…