Green building is growing, and it has the guidelines to prove it. At the 2005 International Builders' Show, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), along with its Research Center, unveiled the Model Green Home Building Guidelines. Developed by roughly 60 builders, environmentalists, government agencies, and product manufacturers, the guidelines are intended to provide a national baseline for practical green building approaches for the residential construction industry.

Ray Tonjes, NAHB Green Building Subcommittee chairman and a homebuilder from Austin, Texas, hopes the guidelines will further the green building movement. “These comprehensive green building guidelines, which can be adapted by home builders in any region of the country, should help more consumers enjoy the benefits of green homes,” he says. In addition to the guidelines, a new organization called the Green Building Initiative (GBI) was introduced, which was created to help implement the guidelines in markets across the country. The not-for-profit organization works closely with the NAHB and is supported by a broad cross-section of groups and individuals interested in promoting energy efficient and environmentally sustainable practices in residential and commercial construction. Working together with the NAHB and local Home Builders Associations (HBA), the GBI plans to provide architects with the information and tools to create better living environments. More specifically, the GBI is working with HBAs to create locally relevant green building programs through which builders who meet certain set criteria can market their homes as “green” built. Programs are currently in development in several U.S. markets.