If you’re a remodeler or home builder in La Plata or Archuleta County, it’s a good bet you already incorporate green materials and sustainable construction practices wherever you can.  It’s time to take the next steps and find out how to become a leader in this key facet of the industry.

Why make the investment now?

  • Today’s home buyers and remodelers demand it. According to Green Builder Media, homeowners are vigorous researchers, “investigating the eco-credentials of contractors and products before they buy.”  They want to ensure their home doesn’t cause environmental problems, and they know that greener homes tend to be healthier homes as well.
  • The market will only move further in this direction. A popular construction blog points out that the current U.S. administration promises more emphasis on ways to battle climate change—the topic will be on everyone’s mind for the foreseeable future.  In a study sponsored by the National Home Builders Association, Dodge Data & Analytics found that more than one-third of home builders and remodelers already characterize half their projects as “green.”
  • The cost of incorporating green materials and practices is coming down. That same NAHB-sponsored study showed that contractors who do build green believe that the cost premium is only 5 to 10%.  Industry experts also point out that many homeowners are increasingly willing to pay the premium, at least for parts of their projects.
  • It’s the right thing to do. You’re already well aware that the choices you make—from materials with recycled components to fixtures that conserve water—can make a difference for the planet today and tomorrow.  That’s a good feeling.

How to Go Greener

Demonstrate your commitment to sustainable building for Durango area clients by earning your Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation from the NAHB.  The first step is to join the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado, if you haven’t already.  Joining gives you instant membership in the national organization, access to their many educational opportunities, and discounts on graduation fees and marketing materials.

If you start the CGP coursework today, you’ll be required to complete the six-module Basics of High Performance Building class online.  You’ll also need to take Business Management for Building Professionals or already hold an NAHB designation that included the course.  Note that the curriculum is closely aligned with the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard.

Graduation requirements include completing a graduation application, signing and submitting the CCP Code of Ethics, two years of experience, and a modest fee. With your CGP certificate, the NAHB gives you online resources to promote and market your CGP designation.  For a slightly higher cost, you can opt for additional marketing tools including a customized plaque, lapel pin, and consumer brochures.

Continuing on Course

After earning your CGP designation, you’ll pay $55 to renew each year.  Every three years, the NAHB requires 12 hours of continuing education—at least eight of those focused on green practices.  The pace of industry change and the demands of construction in Southwest Colorado will likely have you looking to keep up your skills anyway!

You may want to position yourself as an expert in advanced green building and remodeling by pursuing the Master Certified Green Professional (Master CGP) designation.  It expands on the CGP path, adding three advanced classes covering High Performance Building Management, Best Practices for Climate Zones, and Building Science.  (Two of these courses are just finishing development.)  The certification is only open to building industry professionals and requires more field experience than the basic CGP designation.

Our View on Going Green

In reading through the Dodge Data & Analytics study, we were struck by two findings.  One is that builders and remodelers in Southwest Colorado and beyond are moving forward with green products and practices.  The researchers discovered that eight different products and practices that aid in conserving energy are used by industry professionals for more than half their projects.

On the other hand, there’s still opportunity to lead.  For instance, while water conservation is a focus inside the home, builders and consumers generally have yet to prioritize conservation outside.  And there’s room for increased use of products and practices to improve air quality inside the home and incorporate renewable energy systems in projects as well.

Consider upping your green game in areas like these.  Join the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado and add CGP or Master CGP certification from the NAHB to your portfolio of expertise.  Your prospective clients will notice!

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