Back when I was an Agriculture and Animal Science student in college, the hot topics were organically grown crops and naturally raised livestock. The term “organic” was loosely defined as grown without pesticides, herbicides, or petroleum-based fertilizers. Consumers equated this food with higher quality and generally paid a premium for it. But the problem for organic farmers and consumers was that there generally were not consistent guidelines for what constituted a product as organic. It was not until the organic industry, working with the scientific community, developed specific guidelines for what could be labeled organic that consumers could make a truly informed purchase.

Green building in many respects is analogous to the evolution of the organic industry. “Green” can mean different things to different people. This is why the NAHB's announcement of its Green Building Guidelines for Residential Construction is so significant. Builders and architects now have clear and practical guidelines for how to participate in and capitalize on the “Green Marketplace.” But what impact it will have on the supply chain and specifically how dealers can meet builders', contractors', and consumers' needs when building green is unknown.

NLBMDA and our dealer-members are teaming up with the Green Building Initiative (GBI), a non-profit organization supported by a cross section of groups and individuals interested in promoting energy efficient and environmentally sustainable practices in residential and commercial construction, to help address this concern. NLBMDA's collaboration with GBI will place dealers at the forefront of green building efforts in builder markets across the country. A committee of NLBMDA dealers will be instrumental in determining how dealers can fully capitalize on the NAHB Green Building Guidelines.

If you have an interest in working with NLBMDA and GBI on this exciting project, please contact me at 800.634.8645.

Shawn Conrad is president of NLBMDA.