IN 2005, THE NAHB PUBLISHED the Model Green Home Building Guidelines to move green building further into the mainstream and to provide a practical baseline for resource-efficient, cost-effective home building. Through a recent vote by the NAHB Construction, Codes and Standards Committee, the association is now working to obtain accreditation of the guidelines from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Once finalized, the ANSI designation will impart consensus status to the guidelines and ultimately expand efforts to promote their use within jurisdictions developing green building programs.

The guidelines were originally unveiled following a one-year development process involving more than 60 stakeholders in the home building, development, architecture, and engineering industries as well as environmental groups, academia, and building-related suppliers and trades. Since their publication, the guidelines have sparked the development of a number of green home building programs by state and local HBAs seeking to help their members navigate through the design and construction of green homes.

As an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization, the Research Center will manage the standards-writing process from initiation to ongoing maintenance, with the direction of the NAHB as the owner of the guidelines. The ANSI standards process involves the production of a draft document by a consensus committee, a public comment phase, and the opportunity for appeal for unresolved comments.

Proposed standards can take up to two years to move through the process, but the Research Center is optimistic it will not take this long for the guidelines, as much of the work has already been completed to develop a standard, given the open-access process that was used in the guidelines' development. A formal solicitation for committee members will be issued by the Research Center as early as the fourth quarter of 2006. Materially affected parties should contact Tom Kenney at 800-638-8556 for more information.