The National Association of Home Builders has thrown their hat into the “green” ring. The trade group launched the NAHB National Green Building Program during the recent International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. An “education, verification and certification program” for green building, the program includes an online scoring tool to help measure green guidelines at

Bob Jones, NAHB’s vp and secretary, said the new program is an important step for an industry increasingly focused on green building. "This is great news for our members and for all home builders, but more importantly it is great news for home buyers," he said.

Builders can help a home accrue points in seven categories, including water, energy and resource efficiency; lot and site development; indoor environmental quality; global impact and homeowner education. To qualify, homes need to pass an inspection and verification process from “local green experts.” Then, the NAHB Research Center will review the results. If the project passes muster, the home can receive national certification from the Research Center at the bronze, silver and gold levels, according to the NAHB.

The New American Home, the annual showcase home for the International Builders’ Show, was the first show home to be certified under the new program. The project, which includes the latest products, technologies and designs in the industry, was awarded gold certification. NAHB is a sponsor of the annual show.

Jones noted that the NAHB has already built about 100,000 green homes across the country. The new program helps formalize the NAHB’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, he said. “Home buyers are ready for green, and NAHB is ready for today's home buyers," he added.