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Green Building Media Fact Sheet - Past, Present & Future


Specialized, niche home builders began constructing resource-efficient, environmentally sensitive homes in the early 1970s. The home building industry coined the phrase "green building" in the late 1980s/early 1990s, turning a movement into a quiet revolution.

The first official green home building program began in 1991 in the city of Austin, Texas.

The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver introduced the first HBA-owned green building program in 1995. Over the years, Built Green Colorado has become the largest green building program in the nation, with more than 100 builder members across the state.


Today, new homes are twice as energy-efficient as they were 30 years ago, thanks to cutting-edge green building techniques and technologies available for new and remodeled homes.

Nationwide, roughly 61,000 homes were built using local green building program guidelines from 1990-2004. In 2004 alone, more than 14,000 green homes were constructed.

NAHB recently introduced voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines ( to bring environmentally-friendly building techniques to mainstream builders and home builders associations. The guidelines offer builder and market-driven solutions in seven areas, including lot preparation and design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency and conservation, occupancy comfort and indoor environmental quality, and operation maintenance and homeowner education.

More specifically, homes built today use a myriad of green building techniques and technologies thatLower operating costs-homes are equipped with more efficient heating and cooling systems and use less water, resulting in lower monthly utility bills. Improved construction methods better protect homes from rain and ground water and reduce upkeep and replacement costs, while use of recycled materials helps conserve natural resources.

Reduce maintenance issues-landscaping uses native or drought-resistant plants and grasses, and decks made of pressure-treated lumber or synthetic materials need no sealing or staining.

Increase home value-homeowners with documented lower monthly utility bills are reporting higher re-sale values.

Improve environmental quality-moisture-control products and low VOC paints contribute to a more comfortable indoor environment, and efficient use of materials helps conserve natural resources.

NAHB's guidelines were developed in a consensus process by a group of more than 60 stakeholders representing key players in the green home building industry.


Green building is a growing trend among home builders nationwide, with more than 30 successful green building programs now in existence. Eleven green building programs are owned or operated by members or affiliates of the National Association of Home Builders in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Washington. More than 15 more will be organized with support from the Green Building Initiative, an organization created to help implement NAHB's Model Green Home Building Guidelines in markets across the country.

Neda Dabestani-Ryba is a licensed Realtor in Maryland. She is a member of the President's Circle of Top Real Estate Professionals. She can be reached at (800) 536-3806 or visit her website for more information:

Prudential Carruthers REALTORS is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity


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