Climate Change and Sustainability

Advocacy
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Contact: Gary Ehrlich
gehrlich@nahb.org
(202) 266-8545

NAHB supports a common sense, scientific approach to safeguarding the environment that reasonably balances protection of endangered species, clean air and clean water, with the need to allow local communities to grow and thrive.

Wildfire Mitigation and Wildland-Urban Interface

  • We understand the need to balance our response to wildfires while addressing the ongoing housing affordability crisis.
  • A comprehensive federal, state and local approach is needed to reduce wildfire risk including proper forest management techniques, adequate community water supplies, and avoiding fires due to utility infrastructure, camping, and other activities.
  • There are strategies builders, remodelers and home owners can employ to minimize the potential impact of wildfires.
  • For example, maintaining a defensible space around the home can reduce the chance that flying embers will ignite vegetation, firewood or other flammable materials close to the home, or elements of the home itself.
  • Ignition-resistant roofing and siding materials such as asphalt shingles, concrete and clay tile, metal roofing, fiber-cement siding and stucco can be used to reduce the risk of damage to homes from wildfires.
  • Ridge, gable, eave and foundation vents can be protected with products that minimize the ability for embers to get inside the home.

Forest Management

  • We can protect our forests while further meeting the nation’s need for lumber by encouraging increased logging on federal forest lands sustainably.
  • And with lumber price volatility at record levels over the past year, the administration needs to suspend duties on Canadian lumber and negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada that will ensure a lasting and stable supply of lumber for American home builders and consumers at a competitive price.
  • NAHB supports Rep. Bruce Westerman’s (R-Ark.) “No Timber from Tyrants Act.” The legislation calls for responsibly increasing domestic lumber production from federal lands to address the resiliency of our national forests, create jobs, reinvigorate the forest industry and improve housing affordability.
  • The Federation is committed to working with stakeholders to promote forest management best practices and the use of sound science to ensure that the health of the national forests improves and that the forests continue to be available for use as renewable resources.
  • NAHB will continue to coordinate with the various federal agencies charged with managing and overseeing the national forests to develop and maintain adequate timber sale volumes to meet domestic housing demands and sustainable yield goals.

Electrification

  • NAHB supports incentive-based, voluntary electrification, and opposes unnecessary and costly mandates, including electrification-only mandates.
  • NAHB only supports the voluntary electrification of residential buildings if the entity considering the electrification policy:
    • Preserves consumer choice and considers consumer acceptance of an all-electric home;
    • Ensures that the existing housing stock is addressed; and
    • Develops economic incentives to offset the costs of electrifying buildings through methods such as rebates, tax incentives, favorable mortgage financing terms, utility rate structure, etc.
  • The Home Innovation Research Labs recently released a new study on the impact of electrification on an average-size single-family home. Based on study findings, all-electric homes cost more upfront in comparison to gas homes. Electric homes in cold climates were also found to have higher ongoing utility costs.
  • Jurisdictions considering electrification should evaluate these impacts on consumers and work with stakeholders to develop supporting economic measures.

Electric Vehicles

  • NAHB only supports the voluntary and cost-effective expansion of electric vehicle (EV) use and the voluntary pre-wiring of homes for future EV charger installation.
  • NAHB urges Congress and the Administration to take a comprehensive approach to encourage the expansion of EV infrastructure by considering the potential effects of various EV policies on local economies and all housing types.
  • We support a federal framework that recognizes local decision-making regarding the installation and maintenance of EV infrastructure.
  • We urge state and local governments to encourage/incentivize the installation of community-based EV infrastructure by providing offsets, density bonuses, and other credits to builders and developers for providing EV infrastructure.

Building Sustainable Communities

  • NAHB supports voluntary above-code sustainable, green, high-performance new home construction and remodeling.
  • NAHB actively raises awareness and advocates for viable, credible, market-driven and voluntary green building initiatives at the federal level in both the legislative and regulatory arenas.
  • NAHB also provides research, resources and tools for its members to effectively build sustainable homes and communities and distinguish themselves in their markets on nahb.org, via professional education and through webinar offerings.
  • Voluntary, above-code third-party green certification programs such as the ICC 700 - National Green Building Standard® (NGBS) provide builders and consumers with the flexibility to construct homes that are sustainable, high performing, affordable, cost-effective and appropriate to the home’s geographic location.
  • NAHB supports the use of products and techniques that result in reasonable paybacks in energy, insurance premiums, or other savings to the consumer.
  • NAHB also advocates for and educates stakeholders to ensure property listings, lending practices and appraisals recognize and factor in the value of resource efficiency and other sustainable and resilient elements.
  • 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.

Related Resources

  • Sustainability and Green Building

    Sustainability and Green Building

    Sustainability and green building Incorporates construction and development techniques, materials and designs intended to minimize a home’s impact on the environment and conserve natural resources. Learn more about developing high-performance homes, green building certifications, how to get involved in the field, and more.

    Read more
  • NAHB Sustainability Toolkit

    NAHB Sustainability Toolkit

    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
  • Home Wildfire Risk

    Strategies to Reduce Home Wildfire Risk

    All areas of the United States are vulnerable to one or more natural hazards — storms, earthquakes, floods, wildfires — but tend to be at higher risk for one or two. Understanding which hazards are a higher risk in your location is the first step to being prepared.

    Read more
Advocacy
<p>NAHB fights for our members on Capitol Hill, in your state and in the communities where you do business.</p>

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NAHB fights for our members on Capitol Hill, in your state and in the communities where you do business.

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Housing Economics
<p>In-depth economic analysis of the most significant issues and latest trends driving the housing industry.</p>

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In-depth economic analysis of the most significant issues and latest trends driving the housing industry.

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Sustainability and Green Building
<p>Construction techniques, materials and designs to minimize a home&rsquo;s impact on the environment.</p>

Sustainability and Green Building

Sustainability and Green Building

Construction techniques, materials and designs to minimize a home’s impact on the environment.

Learn more