Given the public’s growing concern about the environment and the building boom in highly desirable Southwest Colorado, we believe it’s time Archuleta and La Plata County home designers and builders learn more about National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Certification for commercial and residential projects.

You may need to set aside a little time for this, it’s true, and we know how precious your time is.  But every opportunity to raise the sustainability factor for your buildings deserves thoughtful consideration.  Not only is it the right thing to do, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) points out that achieving NGBS certification can:

  • Set your homes and neighborhoods apart from the competition,
  • Expedite permitting and possibly qualify you for tax credits and incentives, and
  • Increase the sales price and resale value of your projects.

Developed by the Home Innovation Research Labs, an independent subsidiary of the NAHB, the NGBS covers six areas of environmentally sound building practices: Lot Design and Development; Resource Efficiency; Water Efficiency; Energy Efficiency; Indoor Environmental Quality; and Building Operation and Maintenance.  As you continue to grow your expertise in green building, you can be flexible by focusing on a few areas at a time and aiming for the level of certification that’s appropriate for your projects’ marketplace: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Emerald.

For example, if you regularly build mountain homes near Durango or Pagosa Springs, it may make sense to incorporate more of the NGBS practices in Lot Design and Development and Energy Efficiency—two of the six areas critical for constructing high quality homes at elevation.  On the other hand, if you’re concentrating on multi-family, attainable or affordable housing in Durango, learning more about Resource Efficiency and Building Operation and Maintenance might be priorities for you.

As a member of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado, you are automatically enrolled as a member of the NAHB.  The NAHB offers tools that make a difference in focusing on green building including a PDF booklet detailing the National Green Building Standard here.  Download it and read through it as you have time.  You can also read about the certification process here.

More Green Tools for You

The most basic step you can take on the road to going green is to bookmark the Green Building section of the NAHB’s website, one of several industry issues the organization is committed to covering for members.  There you’ll find news, classes, events, and other resources to keep you informed.

Next, join the community of 3,000+ builders, remodelers, and other industry leaders across the country who have earned the NAHB’s Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation.  You’ll get extra training in incorporating green building methods into your projects without increasing costs, and you will learn how to make the most of this expertise in your marketing efforts.

Tour Some Homes

For a fun way to spark your imagination, you can sign up for monthly virtual tours of homes designed and built with efficiency in mind.  Next month reveals an extensive remodel of a Texas mid-century modern home.  The project focuses on “greening” an existing house to update its efficiency and provide a healthier, more comfortable living space.  Presented by the NAHB and the National Association of Realtors, the tour will air on January 20th and attendance is free.

In early February, the NAHB presents the International Building Show in Orlando.  If you decide to attend, you’ll no doubt visit The New American Home, a central feature of the nationwide industry event.  This year’s coastal contemporary home is loaded with enviable features such as numerous indoor-outdoor areas and spa-like amenities.  It’s expected to earn NGBS Emerald level certification as well as several other efficiency awards.

If this level of achievement seems out of reach, the builder assures others in the industry that there are many ideas that “can be easily replicated within nearly any new-home project.”  What’s more, the team encountered the same supply chain issues many in construction in Durango and Pagosa Springs have faced in recent times and was challenged to adapt and get creative.

Be an Industry Leader

When you think about it, green building is not really a trend these days; it’s a key focus for forward thinking builders in La Plata and Archuleta counties.  Local governments as well as home buyers and remodelers increasingly demand higher performance from their homes and will continue to do so.  Building materials are evolving to meet the need, and costs are coming down.

When you make the investment in keeping up with sustainable practices and technologies and you are clear about the commitment in your marketing materials, it will pay off now and down the road.

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