National Association of Home Builders

What’s in a Green Building Product Label?

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This recent article in Professional Remodeler, written by Michelle Desiderio, director of Green Building Programs, NAHB Research Center, provides an overview of the major green product certification programs for the home building industry. The following briefly outlines the various programs involved in green product certification.

What’s in a name?

In the residential construction industry, third parties test, certify or verify that a product meets the criteria of an established industry standard or code. For green product labeling specifically, third parties provide scientific expertise in testing, assessing and auditing a wide range of environmental attributes. While there are multiple legitimate third parties providing green product certifications within the construction industry, it would be impossible to be comprehensive in a brief article. The article provides a summary of some of the third-party product certifications that currently touch the broadest array or volume of building products, including who offers them and what they mean when you see them on products and materials.

ICC Evaluation Service Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation
What it is: The ICC-ES SAVE Program provides independent verification of manufacturers’ claims about the sustainable attributes of their products.

Who runs it: The ICC-ES is a subsidiary of the International Code Council. ICC-ES is a non-profit company that evaluates building products, components, methods and materials for compliance with code.

How it works: ICC-ES provides verification in accordance with one or more of nine ICC-ES SAVE program guidelines.

NAHB Research Center Green Approved Products
What it is: Green Approved Products have been pre-approved by the NAHB Research Center as being eligible for specific points in the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard. The NGBS is the first green rating system to be approved as an ANSI consensus standard. Continue Reading →




National Association of Home Builders

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National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a trade association that helps to promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Established in 1942, NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large. NAHB’s affiliates include the NAHB Research Center, which develops, tests and evaluates new materials, methods, standards and equipment to improve the technology and the affordability of America’s housing; and the Home Builders Institute, NAHB’s workforce development arm, which develops and administers a wide range of educational and job training programs.

National Association of Home Builders Research Center: The NAHB Research Center is a full-service product commercialization company that strives to make housing more durable and affordable. The NAHB Research Center was created in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Benefits of working with the NAHB Research Center:

  • Wholly-owned subsidiary of NAHB, which provides us unique access to the home building industry but allows us to maintain independence and objectivity
  • Top industry resource for reliable, objective information and research on housing construction and development issues
  • Highly skilled and experienced interdisciplinary team of technical experts in all branches of engineering and research
  • Full-service, accredited product testing and certification laboratory

Home Builders Institute (HBI): Home Builders Institute (HBI), established in 1983 as the workforce development arm of the National Association of Home Builders, is dedicated to the advancement and enrichment of education and training programs serving the needs of the building industry. The creation of this non-profit corporation was a result of the merger of NAHB’s Manpower Development and Training Division, Education Department and the Education Foundation. For more than 30 years, HBI has trained skilled workers in residential construction, promoted the industry as a career and helped the NAHB membership address its need for qualified employees.

NAHBGREEN: NAHBGREEN offers builders, remodelers, developers, and other home building professionals a variety of services to learn, incorporate, and market green building.

Specific program components include:

  • ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard
    This ANSI approved standard defines green building for single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects, and site development projects. It allows flexibility for regionally-appropriate best green practices.
  • National Green Building Conference
    This annual conference features exhibits, education sessions, networking opportunities, tours, and the National Green Building Awards. It is the only national conference targeted to green building for the mainstream residential building industry.
  • National Green Building Certification
    The NAHB Research Center accredits third-party verifiers and is the sole certifying body for the National Green Building Program.
  • Certified Green Professional (CGP) Designation
    Classwork leading to the designation provides a solid background in green building methods, as well as the tools to reach consumers, from the organization leading the charge to provide market-driven green building solutions to the home building industry.
  • Green Approved Products
    Find products that the NAHB Research Center has approved as being eligible to contribute points toward certification under the National Green Building Standard™. Such products, when appropriately used, enable builders to earn points toward certification of the building.
  • Green Scoring Tool
    Allows designers to score new homes, renovations, and land developments to the National Green Building Standard or the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines. It is the tool to use for National Green Building Certification

ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard: The National Green Building Standard is the first residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive American National Standards Institute approval. The four threshold levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald – allow builders to achieve entry-level green building, or the highest level of sustainable “green” building incorporating energy savings of 60% or more. Single-family & multi-unit homes, residential remodeling projects, and site developments are all covered in the Standard.