Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Develop Local Green Builder Program(ST6159-1)

Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc.


Several local green builder programs have been established in the United States. These programs promote the construction of homes that are energy and resource efficient. The NAHB Research Center (NAHB RC), with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency, studied these programs to determine what factors influenced their success. NAHB RC has used the results of this study to develop the procedures and documents needed for a local home builder association or government agency to establish a successful program. This guide is being used in five different areas of the country outside of New York State to establish such programs.

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Project Description

The Contractor will: (1) Conduct market research for establishing local builders' and home buyers' awareness and interest in such programs (2) Identify the partners needed to establish the programs (3) Solicit the identified partner for participation in the programs (3) Develop draft guidelines for evaluating and certifying the "greenness" of homes (4) Compare current home construction practices to the draft guidelines (6) Construct five demonstration homes using the draft guidelines (7) Evaluate the energy and environmental benefits of the demonstration homes, and (8) Educate local home builders' associations, architects, consumers, and local officials of the benefits from green homes through presentations, workshops, and the local media.


Homes built under green builder programs can reduce the energy consumption for heating, cooling, and water heating by 25%. The waste generated during a home's construction can be reduced by approximately 3.5 tons. Use of recycled materials and improved indoor air quality also are promoted under green builder programs.

Project Results

Four homes were built to the draft green building guidelines. The homes were rated as New York Energy Star Labeled Homes. One of these homes was evaluated by the US Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), LEED for Homes Pilot Study. The home is first in New York to earn a Gold rating under the LEED for Homes Pilot program.


Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc.
400 Prince George's Blvd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Principle Investigator

Margo Thompson

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Building Construction Methods

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6159-1

Last Updated: 11/13/2013