The opportunity for building professionals to make a difference has never been greater, as public awareness has spread from individual home sales to code setting bodies, mayors’ offices and even to the halls of Congress. If you’re an advocate in search of a member-based national organization that is committed to a sustainable future in the built environment, you’ve come to the right place. At Green Builder® Coalition, our members range from pioneers of green building to newcomers who want to learn from them.
You Should Join the Green Builder® Coalition if you:
Our advocacy mission is to support a sustainable built environment that benefits future generations by:
Our advocacy priorities are selected by our members. If you think about the vast ocean of public policy, it’s easy to imagine how quickly an advocacy organization’s message can become diluted by the sheer number of “top priorities” or how quickly its welcome from policymakers wears thin. Green Builder® Coalition’s Advocacy will focus on a small number of “deep dives” into advocacy issues of greatest priority to green building professionals.
As it currently stands, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) has the minimum certifiable level of the National Green Building Standard as its low-rise residential provision, with the exception of the energy portion, which must meet the 2015 IECC. This standard, training for it, and the sale of the manual is largely controlled by NAHB. How we got to this point is a convoluted and confusing tale that began in 2009.
The Unabridged Story of Residential and the IgCC
As a result of this effort, a group including two charter members and one staff member of the Green Builder® Coalition, a representative from the USGBC, three building code officials and a representative from MC2 Mathis Consulting Group co-authored a non-proprietary, green, low-rise residential code. A representative from the Southern Nevada Water Authority provided technical support, and our effort also received technical support from two ICC staff members. Any jurisdiction and/or state can use this to set a sustainable floor for construction in their area. It can be downloaded free of charge here.
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At the request of one of our members, co-founders Ron Jones and Mike Collignon paid a visit to the Triangle Area of North Carolina. For years, one of our members has been diligent in his pursuit of higher energy efficiency levels in housing. The Green Builder® Coalition, with our member’s assistance, was able to spend 45 minutes with the Governor’s senior staff member.
On June 8, 2011, a bill (S708-CSRO-20) was heard in the North Carolina state Senate Commerce Committee that would (on average) increase the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings by 15% and 30%, respectively. This bill passed, and on the morning of Friday, June 24th, Governor Perdue signed it. This means the bill became law on January 1, 2012. There is a built-in 3-month transition period, so the law really didn’t become mandatory until March 1, 2012.
Many other groups were involved in supporting its passage, and that list can be found on the following page:
North Carolina Advocacy Action
On August 10, 2012, the Green Builder® Coalition sent a letter to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes & Standards, in support of updated energy codes for the state.
On August 20, 2012, the Green Builder® Coalition sent a letter to the members of the Utah Uniform Building Code Commission supporting updated energy codes for the state.
We issued a press release throughout Michigan supporting energy efficient codes on Thursday, December 6, 2012. To download it, please click here.
In mid-2014, we were asked by a state-level environmental group to provide technical analysis on a series of regressive energy code change proposals from the state HBA. We dissected 14 proposals, compared them to the current and immediate past model energy code, and explained how it would position Michigan relative to its neighbors and nationally if they were to be accepted. This gave state-level allied organizations the information they needed to form a messaging campaign to state decisionmakers. We also recruited 3 Michigan residents to attend an in-person meeting where, along with the aforementioned allies, we spoke with a policymaker about the benefits of a strong energy code. These actions resulted in the rejection of a large majority of the code change proposals.
Executive Director Mike Collignon and Advocacy Director Bill Fay attended the International Energy Conservation Code – Residential (IECC-R) final action hearings in early October 2013. Based on the guidance of our membership, the Green Builder® Coalition took a stance on the following proposals at the ICC Final Action Hearings. Accompanying those positions are the voting results:
RE166 (Mech. Equip. Tradeoff)
RE186 (Builder Flex Points)
RE188 (ERI proposal)
RB190 (Reinforced masonry foundations in zone A)
A candid recap of the RE166 and RE188 debates, authored by Bill Fay and Mike Collignon, can be found here.
The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act has been reintroduced into the U.S. Senate by co-sponsors Sen. Bennet (D-CO) & Sen. Isakson (R-GA).
Here are the main differences between the 1st version of the SAVE Act and the current version:
The Green Builder Coalition has long been a supporter of this much-needed update to the HUD underwriting guidelines. While the current version won’t have the sweeping effect the original would have, we still support the swift passage of the SAVE Act.
Issue: Do Energy Efficient Investments Add Measurable “Value” that Should Be Incorporated in Home Appraisals and Mortgage Instruments?
Issue: Should New Homes Come With a Label, Similar to a Car, Food Item or Piece of Clothing?
Click Here to Submit a State or National Priority Issue for the Coalition’s Advocacy