Local News

Triangle home builders go green

Posted January 28, 2008 8:04 a.m. EST
Updated April 30, 2008 6:26 p.m. EDT

— Home builders in four Triangle counties have pooled their resources to encourage building environmentally friendly houses.

The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties on Monday officially joined with the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County to form Green Home Builders of the Triangle.

The program lets builders get their homes certified as green houses, according to guidelines established by the National Association of Home Builders.

Houses must meet performance goals in six categories: lot preparation and design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water conservation and efficiency, occupancy comfort and indoor environmental quality, and operation, maintenance and education.

"We're running out of resources," said Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. "For us to be able to build for the future, we're going to have to be more efficient and (have) a better use of those resources."

The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties launched their green-building program in November 2006 with 123 members. Since then, the HBA has certified 99 homes and enrolled 150 homes as environmentally friendly.

Wake County would like to have about 300 green homes built this year, Minton said.

Although the conservation measures would add to the cost of new homes, industry experts said buyers would recoup those costs over time through lower utility costs.

Elected officials said Monday that they would consider waiving permit fees for green buildings.