Learn about energy-efficient and sustainable design, construction and remodeling so you can create your own green dream home.View all articles
Sustainability and high performance building incorporates construction and development techniques, materials and designs intended to minimize a home’s impact on the environment and conserve natural resources. It is a practical response to a wide range of issues affecting all consumers: rising energy costs, the need to improve air quality, ensure clean water and minimize water usage. It means:
- Energy-efficiency improvements, such as high levels of insulation, efficient HVAC systems, high-performance windows and energy-efficient appliances or lighting
- Water conservation measures, such as water-efficient appliances, water-conserving fixtures, filtration systems, and water-efficient or low-maintenance landscaping
- Resource conservation techniques, such as using high-performance engineered wood, wood alternatives, allergen-free materials, recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber and more durable products
- Indoor environmental quality considerations, such as effective HVAC equipment, use of formaldehyde-free finishes, and products with minimum off-gassing or low volatile organic compounds
- Site design techniques, like minimizing disruption and preserving open space
- Home owner education through orientations and manuals or operating guides
Most home builders already incorporate green building elements into their practices.
NAHB supports voluntary sustainable, high performance new home construction and remodeling and provides resources and tools for its members that build sustainable home and communities.
Specifically, NAHB actively raises awareness for viable, credible, market-driven and voluntary green building initiatives at the federal level in both the legislative and regulatory arenas. It also assists state and local home building associations with advocacy efforts upon request.
In all of these endeavors, NAHB emphasizes that sustainable and high performance building must be voluntary. In particular, NAHB supports the cost-effective, consensus-based ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 National Green Building Standard, developed by government, environmental and industry experts with a broad range of expertise and the only residential green building rating system approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard.
Why It Matters
Sustainability and high performance building are important to the home building industry, consumers and the nation because it promotes lower total ownership costs through utility savings and increased durability as well as an improved indoor living environment. It also encourages environmental awareness and stewardship and more efficient use of increasingly scarce resources and helps to conserve them for future generations.
Voluntary, above-code green programs provide builders and consumers with the flexibility that they need to construct homes that are sustainable, high performing, affordable, cost-effective and appropriate to the home’s geographic location.
The 2017 Green Practices Survey was conducted to gather information on sustainable, high performance and green building practices being used in single-family home building in 2016 including energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and resource efficiency.Read more
The latest Green SmartMarket Report identifies top sustainability and high performance building practices and perspectives among today's green and non-green builders including energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and resource efficiency trends.Read more
HBAs with successful sustainability and green building committees or councils can be of great assistance to those HBAs that would like to create one to discuss high performance, energy efficiency, water efficiency and improved indoor air quality in design and construction practices.Read more
Join this forum to share ideas, initiatives and events surrounding high performance building practices and to connect groups that have similar sustainability, energy efficiency, and green building interests and goals.Read more
The National Green Building Standard is the first residential sustainability and green building standard to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval from ANSI.Read more
Learn about NAHB’s green building tools and sustainability resources for high-performance and energy-efficient home construction.Read more
This toolkit is designed to equip and support builders and remodelers choosing sustainability or who want to learn more about building science and high-performance homes. It includes a wide variety of educational materials as well as information about national green building programs, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and resource efficiency.Read more
Learn why you should certify your single-family, multifamily, remodeling and land development projects to the National Green Building Standard — an ANSI-accredited, third-party certified, residential building standard that provides a flexible and affordable way to verify your sustainability and high-performance construction practices that focus on energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, and resource efficiency.Read more
Details about the modules constituting the High Performance Building for Building Professionals and Advanced High Performance Building: Project Management online courses for those interested in pursuing higher sustainability and green building education and learning more about building science, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and resource efficiency.Read more
NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building IBS Scholarship aims to provide exposure to students and recent graduates in the construction industry to energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality and resource efficiency through the exploration of high-performance homes.Read more