Sustainable and beautiful North Carolina cypress fromBuckley Lumber was featured at the Southern Ideal Home Show.  The cypress siding clad the Green Building Pavilion which featured green building materials. It also won first place in Exhibitor Category!

   NC Builder, Bill Beasley explains, “Green built homes look at the home from a holistic standpoint. While energy conservation is a primary focus, they also include everything from development of the site to efficient house plans to educating the homeowner on proper usage of the home and its systems.”

There are several tools available to assist the builder in achieving green certification.  The Green Building Initiative of the National Association of Home Builders have created a Green Building Guidelinesdocument that explains in detail.  The builder will work with a third party verifier throughout the building process with field visits and submit the documentation to review at completion.  The verifier confirms all claimed points have been met and green certification is awarded.

  Building a green home will save the homeowner in utility bills, improve the quality of the indoor air and increase re-sale value in the future.  

Most green certification programs have seven areas of focus.

They include:

  • Lot design, preparation & development

  • Resource Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Water Efficiency

  • Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Operation, Maintenance & Homeowner Education

  • Global Impact


FAQ About Green Built Communities and Homes

 I’m confused by all the ‘certifications’ and descriptions of a green built home.  What is the difference, if any, between a LEED home, Energy Star home, GBC certification or Healthy Home?

GBC – Green Building Council -is a program based on the Green Building Guidelines developed by the National Association of Homebuilders that provides third party certification of homes. Download the guidelines

Healthy Built Homesis a NC program that provides visibility and third party certification of homes for residential builders who build sustainable, high performance homes.

Energy Star Home – is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save the homeowner money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.  The government calculates an Energy Star home can save a homeowner up 20% or more in energy costs.  Please Note:  An Energy Star home exceeds standard building codes (the minimum) by only 15%.  All other certifications are Energy Star homes and much, much more.

LEED – The LEED Green Building Rating System is the national benchmark for high performance green buildings.  LEED has been used primarily by architects and builders of commercial buildings.

LEED for Homes
The U.S. Green Building Council offers a checklist for residential structures less than four stories tall (LEED-H). A certification program is in the pilot stage.
Download the guidelines

Exactly what is a green built home?

A home built with a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Isn’t building ‘green’ a lot more expensive?

Usually, but often not by much..  There are green built homes in our market for $160,000 and up.  A site plan to take advantage of solar energy, shade from deciduous trees or avoiding erosion are generally no or low cost green techniques.

In addition to saving money on water, power bills and creating better indoor air quality for your family, you will be building additional equity in your home.  Any home built today that is not built to a certified green standard is an ‘end of the technology’ building and will be more difficult to re-sell.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program, an integrated, systems-engineering approach can reduce as much as 50% of the energy consumption of a new home – with little on the cost of construction.  Talk with your builder about the upfront costs and the lifecycle cost (savings over the lifetime of the building).

I’m a builder and I’m building what the consumer wants.

Study after study shows what the consumer wants is comfort, walking paths to local merchants, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, easy commutes, quality and the ability to re-sale for the most profit.. With proper site planning, green built homes meet all those goals.

What is ‘smart framing?

Optimum value engineering (OVE) or smart framing is a combination of design and building techniques that use less lumber used to build a house.  This saves money for the builder, the homeowner and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

Isn’t green building a lot of trouble?

If you consult with a green builder and the third party certifier before you start your plan building green is not too much trouble.  Your builder will need to be educated in green certification procedures and have the correct resources as well as the right frame of mind.

Specific Topic: South Facing Orientation

Specific Topic: Energy Efficient Lighting

US Government Agencies & Programs

National & Regional Organizations


International Organizations

Products and Materials

Environmental Building News- BuildingGreen
Green Spec Product Directory, Green Building Advisor
The Greener Home

Home Maintenance Resources

Consumer Reports Green Cleaning Website

Affordable Housing Resources

System Vision Program
Fannie Mae Foundation

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air, Radiation and Radon-EPA information

National Financial Resources

Fannie Mae Foundation
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)

Energy Resources

US Dept. of Energy: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Advanced Energy
Energy Star
Top 10 Tips for Energy Efficient New Homes (B.E.S.T)