October 8, 2007
Letters to the Editor
500 Bi County Blvd
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Attn: Letters to the Editor
While I was very excited to see our nation's largest daily newspaper showcase the increased awareness of and demand for sustainable homes ("Green Construction Guidelines Go Residential"), Mr. Hayden made a significant error when he dismissed the efforts of the National Association of Home Builders and "scores of local and regional programs."
Local green building programs have been operating successfully since the early 1990s. Austin's Green Building program has certified thousands of homes since its inception in 1991, and Atlanta's EarthCraft House program has certified more than 4,000 single family and 1,500 multi-family dwellings since 1999—and these are just two of many examples.
Local programs are effective because they educate citizens about sustainability at a grass roots level, take into consideration regional environmental issues (such as water use in the southwest) to a degree that national programs cannot, and are generally more affordable for construction professionals, thus saving the end user—the homeowner—money.
These programs help to fulfill the need for a variety of practical and credible approaches to sustainable construction, which in turn drives innovation, keeps sustainability top of mind with builders and consumers, and keeps green building affordable for the vast majority of Americans.
I hope Mr. Hayden will continue covering the tremendous strides that are being made in green home building, but that he'll be more mindful of the countless other organizations, municipalities and individuals who have made positive contributions to the sustainability movement.
Hubbell is president of the Green Building Initiative (GBI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit focused on brining green to the mainstream. Since 2004, GBI has worked with dozens of local home builder associations across the country to help develop and populate locally-relevant green building programs based on the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines. These programs operate in markets that include Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Durham (NC), Boston, Cleveland, Albuquerque and Michigan (state-wide).