The 2007 TNAH incorporates ICF walls and fiber-cement siding to create a Near-Zero Energy Home.
James F. Wilson The 2007 TNAH incorporates ICF walls and fiber-cement siding to create a Near-Zero Energy Home.
Going from gray to green is the talk of the town. Across the nation, the green building movement is well underway with this paradigm shift in the building industry driven by builders, suppliers, and manufacturers—all who have embraced the wisdom of green.

And the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Concrete Home Building Council (CHBC) is no exception.

Since its inception three years ago, the CHBC has been a pioneer in the green building movement. With the help of our membership, the council always has included green building initiatives as a priority in its ongoing work to encourage the use of cement-based building systems and products in the residential market.

In February 2007, the CHBC was a proud supporter of the National Council of the Housing Industry's The New American Home (TNAH) (see page 12 to read this month's Showcase). As NAHB's official show home during the International Builders Show, it features the latest in building technologies and design techniques. Marking its third year using cement-based solutions, TNAH continues to show the benefits of building green with concrete.

In March 2007, the CHBC exhibited, and participated in events, at NAHB's National Green Building Conference in St. Louis. This three-day event is the premier venue for the green home building industry with attendance growing steadily each year. Conference organizers reported record-breaking crowds in 2007 as interest in sustainable building techniques grows among home builders, home buyers, regulators, and elected officials.

The CHBC also was a proud supporter of the sustainable concrete home featured at the conference. Highlighted at the event was St. Louis-based Sage Homebuilders, a company that specializes in designing “green” structures. They showcased a two-story, 3600-square-foot home in Creve Coeur, Mo., constructed with insulating concrete forms (ICFs).

Using ICF walls and other environmentally responsible building applications—such as passive solar design concepts; geothermal heat pumps; energy recovery ventilation; blown-in fiberglass insulation in nonICF walls; radiant barrier roof decking; cultured stone; and fiber-cement siding—provided Sage Homebuilders a “Near-Zero Energy Home,” a term used to describe homes that use virtually no energy from outside sources.

Another event on CHBC's green calendar was NAHB's Concrete Technologies Tour in Minneapolis, in May. The tour was comprised of visits to various manufacturing plants of cement-based systems or products, and demonstrations of sustainable construction techniques, homes, and products.

Kate Driscoll is the Senior Program Manager for the Concrete Home Building Council at the National Association of Home Builders