Green Building Initiative™ Provides New Resources to Fill Gaps in the Residential Construction Market
-- National Not-for-profit Touts New Education Initiatives and Interactive Tools --
NEW ORLEANS (May 12, 2008) — As part of this week’s National Green Building Conference, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) announced an expansion of the resources it offers local Home Builder Associations (HBAs)—providing an even greater level of support to those seeking to become more involved in green building.
With the launch of the new National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program, the GBI is working to support even more local and state HBAs looking to participate and promote the national program, or start their own initiatives — by commissioning badly needed research, providing new training opportunities and developing a range of online resources.
"The green building movement is at the proverbial tipping point," said Sharene Rekow, GBI’s vice president of marketing/membership. "Mainstream construction professionals are faced with a situation in which they’d better evolve now or face the consequences — but to keep pace, they need training opportunities targeted specifically to them. The GBI is expanding its free educational and marketing resources for exactly this reason — and we want everyone involved in the residential construction industry to know we’re here to help."
THE GBI’S NEW TOOLS
In addition to marketing collateral, public relations and administrative support for local green building programs, GBI now also provides the following resources free of charge:
VIRTUAL TRAINING — Working in partnership with Building Media Inc. and construction specialist Steve Easley, the GBI has developed a virtual green building training program available to builders via the GBI website. The program features green training modules that reflect the areas of assessment in the NAHB Green Building Standard. This exciting tool provides a unique opportunity for mainstream builders to expand their knowledge and should prove invaluable to busy professionals looking to build green.
DSIRE Database — A database of green building rebates, tax credits and other financial incentives available, both federally and by state, is now part of the GBI Web site. It was developed by the GBI in partnership with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) and North Carolina State University.
ATHENA® EcoCalculator for Assemblies — GBI also offers access to the ATHENA® EcoCalculator for Assemblies, a life cycle assessment (LCA) tool developed by the ATHENA Institute in consultation with the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research and Morrison Hershfield Consulting Engineers.
Widely recognized as one of the best ways to evaluate building sustainability, LCA considers materials over the course of their entire lives, from extraction and processing through manufacturing, transportation, use, maintenance and disposal or recycling. It takes into account a full range of environmental impact indicators — such as embodied energy, global warming potential, air pollution, water pollution and solid waste — and provides a common basis for comparing alternate designs.
The EcoCalculator provides instant LCA results for hundreds of common building assemblies in the following categories: exterior walls, roofs, intermediate floors, interior walls, windows, and columns and beams.
COMING SOON TO A WEB SITE NEAR YOU
The GBI plans to continue to provide industry-leading resources for HBAs and their builder members. Some of the free new resources the GBI plans to release in 2008 include university research on key green building issues, green home case studies and an owners manual for consumers with green homes.
The GBI’s immediate research priority is a study on the return on investment (ROI) for customers who build or buy green certified homes, which will in turn help quantify the costs for builders to implement sustainable construction practices, as well as their own potential ROI.
All of these resources will be available at www.thegbi.org.
Since 2004, the GBI has partnered with 37 state and local HBAs to support their green building efforts. These programs, which have helped to accelerate the adoption of green building practices in markets such as Philadelphia, St. Louis, Dallas and Albuquerque, have resulted in the assessment of hundreds of green homes — and an additional 28,000 are at various stages in the process.
For more information on the Green Building Initiative, please visit www.thegbi.org
ABOUT THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE: The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a broad cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. For more information on the GBI’s residential outreach or the available and upcoming GBI resources, www.thegbi.org.