State’s Homebuilders Find California Green Builder and GreenPoint Rated Programs Effective and Cost-Efficient
SACRAMENTO, CA – March 12, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The California Building Industry Association announced today that it is endorsing two voluntary green building programs for its members that wish to build homes that exceed the state’s toughest-in-the-nation energy-efficiency and water conservation standards.
The Association’s Board of Directors has approved a green building and sustainability policy that specifically recognizes two voluntary green building programs for residential construction that together account for the bulk of new homes being produced that include additional green features not mandated by law:
- The California Green Builder program, developed by the Building Industry Institute
- The GreenPoint Rated program, developed by the Bay Area organization Build It Green.
In its policy statement, CBIA states it firmly believes in the use and implementation of green building and sustainability practices – but that in a state with the toughest environmental regulations in the nation, such practices must be voluntary, effective, and cost-efficient.
“Our Association strongly supports the California Residential Green Building Standards developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and adopted by the California Building Standards Commission (BSC),” the policy states. “Green building standards are important public policy and should be subjected to a thorough public policy review and approval process. Such a process must include the building and development community in order to fully evaluate and assure the success of any proposed green building standards.”
The statement goes on to say: “By encouraging the use and implementation of these voluntary programs, the builders of CBIA are accelerating the environmental benefit derived from sustainable building practices. At the same time, CBIA is mindful that mandatory use of these programs in ways not intended by the administrators of the programs can actually be counterproductive and result in excessive costs for a marginal return. For this reason, mandatory green building standards that change building codes must be subject to California’s code approval process.” (To download a copy of the full policy, click here.)
Robert Rivinius, CBIA’s President and CEO, said a growing number of builders are interested in green building, but CBIA strongly opposes efforts to mandate additional steps – especially while the industry is mired in an economic recession. He also pointed out that it would be far more environmentally beneficial to focus state and federal efforts on making existing homes more energy-efficient than to tighten building standards for new homes even further.
“California has some 9 million homes and apartments built before there were any state energy standards,” Rivinius pointed out. “Simply helping homeowners insulate, install modern heating and air conditioning systems and install modern window systems would be far more effective in helping the state meet its carbon-reduction goals than tightening our tough energy standards further.”
The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals. More information is available on the Association’s Web site, www.cbia.org.