The term high performance is most often associated with the automobile and technology industries. But a growing number of professionals in the building industry are trying to change that.
As part of High Performance Building Week, an annual event held by the High Performance Building Coalition, experts from across the industry are meeting with congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. and presenting the latest research and insights on efficient commercial and residential construction.
Among those who joined for today’s proceedings was John Barrows, founder of P3 Builder Group, Inc., who also serves as instructor of several NAHB educational courses on business management and green building techniques.
Their goal during an hour-long congressional briefing was to increase awareness among policy makers about the major impacts that different building techniques – especially high-performance and green techniques – can have on public health and safety.
Barrows said that more emphasis is needed on stakeholder and consumer education, as well as an increased reliance on the ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).
The NGBS is a green building rating system that assigns points for green and sustainable building practices in the areas of water, resource and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, lot and site development and home owner education.
In his comments during the briefing, Barrows highlighted the benefits of green building from the consumer perspective. Though financial incentives like tax credits and reduced utility expenses are still big motivators, he emphasized improved comfort and health as the top two drivers for consumers in today’s market.
“With the downward trend of energy prices in recent years, cost savings have recently become less of a factor,” he said. “But the wise consumer knows [the current energy prices] won’t last forever, and they’re looking for solutions now before all of a sudden prices go back up.”
The latest version of the NGBS was recently approved by the American National Standards Institute. It can be downloaded for free as a PDF from NAHB’s BuilderBooks.