New Orleans, May 11 -- The NAHB honored 18 building industry professionals and companies who excelled in green home building practices in 2007, during the Green Building Awards ceremony at the organization’s 10th annual National Green Building Conference.

"These honorees are pioneers, artists, and building scientists," said NAHB president Sandy Dunn in a statement. "They've worked hard to bring sustainable building practices into the mainstream. These winners are not afraid to put great ideas in motion."  

The association bestowed awards on single-family homes (which for the first time had to be certified under NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines to qualify), developments, and local green building programs, as well as on “advocates of the year,” which included a remodeler and a multifamily builder. Ray Tonjes, a veteran green builder and industry advocate from Austin, Texas, received a lifetime achievement award.

With green home building picking up steam, this year’s crop of winners faced stiff competition from a record number of applicants. “The number of entries took a lot of us by surprise,” says Kevin Morrow, an NAHB Green Building Standards program manager. “It was the most entries by a long shot; entries doubled from 2007. The quality of entries also went up, and it is becoming harder and harder for our judges to make their decisions.”

More than 200 people turned out for the reception, and the festive atmosphere included men sporting green ties and, with Bourbon Street just a stone’s throw away, a handful of women decked out in Mardi Gras accessories. Throughout the ceremony, the room was buzzing with talk of green projects, products, and momentum.

In fact, many of the builders accepting their awards made sure to acknowledge the industry’s recent interest in sustainability. Upon receiving Imagine Homes’ award for production building, president John Friesenhahn remarked that the awards were a testament to builders “adhering to strong green building principles.”

The 2008 honorees included:    
Single-Family Homes of the Year
• Production Home: Imagine Homes, San Antonio, Texas 
• Custom Home: Chaffey Homes, Kirkland, Wash.
• Affordable Home: Green Builders, Austin, Texas
• Concept Home: Torti Gallas & Partners, Omaha, Neb.
• Remodeled Home: Absolute Remodeling, South Salem, N.Y.  
Developments of the Year
• Blue Vista, Thistle Community Housing, Boulder, Colo.
• Del Sur, Black Mountain Ranch, San Diego
• Crescent Communities, Hidden Lake, Raleigh, N.C.
• Legacy Development Corp., Legacy Lofts, Louisville, Ky. 
Local Green Home Building Programs of the Year
• EarthCraft House, Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
• Green Built North Texas, Greater Dallas Home Builders 
Advocates of the Year
• Research: Lancaster County (Pa.) Career & Technology Center
• Group: The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, Reston, Va.
• Developer: Bruce Boncke, Boncke Mueller Eldred Associates, Fairport, N.Y.
• Multifamily: Miles Haber, Monument Construction, Chevy Chase, Md.
• Remodeler: Michael Strong, Brothers Strong Residential Design-Build, Houston
• Builder: Lee Kitson, Lee Kitson Homes, Grand Rapids, Mich.
• Individual Advocate of the Year: Mike Hodgson, ConSol, Stockton, Calif.

More coverage from the NAHB National Green Building Conference:

NAHB Opens National Green Building Conference

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