Frequently Asked Questions about Green Building
What is Green Building?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines “Green Building” as the practice of:
Green Buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human and environmental health. There are many benefits to Building Green; these include saving on operation costs throughout the lifespan of the building, durability, and many more. The first step in building a Green home or commercial building is to find a builder who is familiar with the field, and possibly with previous NGBS-certified projects.
What is NGBS?
NGBS stands for National Green Building Standard. It is the first residential Green Building standard to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This standard has been widely implemented throughout the industry, and the Home Innovation Research Lab has certified more than 50,000 dwelling units using these standards. The NGBS goes beyond simple energy efficiency - it also seeks to achieve high performance in the following six areas: Site Design, Resource Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Equality, and Building Operation & Maintenance. These homes that are built within compliance are focused on 3 attributes that concern today's customer - Healthy Homes, Lower Operating Costs, and Sustainable Lifestyle. Sources: NAHB and HomeInnovation
Why is it important?
In today’s political and economic realms, energy is becoming a “hot button” issue. Unsustainable or wasteful energy usage can have a serious effect on supply and demand. It can damage everything from household budgets to international relations. Currently, most of the world’s energy is sourced from products like oil, coal, and natural gas. It is known that these resources are nonrenewable; but they also emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Nearly 50% of the total energy used today is used by both residential and commercial buildings. Using NGBS and other methods of Building Green can help to drastically reduce the usage of these nonrenewable and environmentally-damaging resources. Source: Why Energy Efficiency is Important
How does a builder become certified in “green building”?
A builder can become certified in one or multiple methods of Green Building. Each category is a bit different. For more information on this, check out the US Green Building Council certification site.
Where can I find a builder certified in green building?
To find a builder who can help with Green Building questions or build your next NGBS-certified home, contact your local builders association. Click on Find A Local to find the closest location to you. Another way to find a qualified builder is to use our Find A Pro and searching for members in your area.