NAHB Education Instructors are a tremendous benefit to hundreds of students every year, guiding them through the information, trends and skills that will help them grow their businesses.
NAHB Master Instructors have taken the extra steps to connect with students and HBA staff, as well as advocate for lifelong learning. They have more than 10 years of real-world experience in the content they teach and take pride in promoting the NAHB Education curriculum.
John Barrows, CGB, CGP, GMB, Master CGP, founder of P3 Builder Group, Inc., has provided construction services, general contracting, construction management and consultation services for over 30 years with projects that include historic renovation, remodeling, and new construction. John is a nationally recognized author and speaker on green building, construction and production management, and business management. He has worked NAHB to develop courses on scheduling, green building, green building project management, building science and estimating. He holds the GMB and Master CGP designations.
You are nationally recognized for green building. What drew you to it?
Early in my career I had a client who wanted many of the features that we now call green, or high performance. That experience opened my eyes to better building strategies, and it has been a career-long education experience.
Where do you see the green building industry heading this year and beyond?
It is becoming more mainstream. There are many builders who have embraced these practices. They have found success by incorporating many of the practices into their product as their standard. I see more builders incorporating green building practices into their standard product as they recognize the value it brings to their product.
You have over three decades experience in the building industry. What is your favorite project you’ve done?
I can’t really say there was one favorite project. My favorite projects are ones that have collaboration between the architect, the owner and our team. When everyone participates equally from their strengths it is a rewarding experience.
What is your favorite thing about being an NAHB instructor?
Meeting attendees and getting them involved in the class. When the participation is good and there is interaction with the attendees and among themselves it can be very stimulating.
What’s something about you most people don’t know?
I really enjoy the interaction in a class that is involved. It is so much more than me presenting the material. It is about applying the material to the challenges we all face and sharing solutions. Many times I hope the attendees are getting as much from the session as I am.
What are some of your hobbies when you’re not building or teaching?
I run every morning early to start the day. It is a great way to collect my thoughts and priorities for the day, and have some “alone time.” I enjoy any activity that gets me outdoors and active — from saltwater fishing in the summer to hockey and skiing in the winter.
What’s your favorite sports team?
Where do you find your inspiration for your building projects?
In our business the designs are brought to us by the owners or the architects. The inspiration comes from helping them bring the design and outcomes into reality.
What is the most important skill to have to be a successful builder?
The ability to communicate. Home building can be a complex process that involves literally dozens of people and skills. Being able to convey all aspects of the project throughout the team is critical. It is not just about being able to tell people what you want, but more importantly, listening to ensure the goals of the project are clear and understood.
How does education make someone a better builder?
Builders seem to come into the business from one of two viewpoints — either from the management or business side or “up from the trades.” For me coming up from the trades, I needed to learn the business and management aspects, so education helped me fill in the gaps for starters. Then as products and practices changed, education played a role to keep me up to date and also to stimulate me to find even better ways to incorporate those products and practices. I also think that the interaction between peers at the education sessions and events is extremely valuable. Sometimes it is easy to feel like the small builder, custom builder or remodeler works in a vacuum of sorts, so it is helpful to hear the challenges and solutions we all have experienced.