The Columbian (WA) (08/25/16)
Urban NW Homes founder Troy Johns, a member of the BIA's Green Building Council, is working toward the goal of building green homes that create more energy than they consume. Urban NW Homes has built many of the Pacific Northwest's homes that meet the National Green Building Council Code Standards (NGBS). Contractors can build to the NGBS standard even without seeking certification from Home Innovation Research Labs, which certifies that houses met the standard. For example, in Clark County, Wash., 93 homes meet the standard, but there is a growing interest in gaining certification since the county adopted the voluntary standard in 2010. NGBS has four pillars: durability, sustainability, energy conservation, and air quality. Contractors who abide by these pillars can build a home that is well-constructed, comfortable, efficient, and healthy. To acquire an NGBS bronze, silver, or emerald certification, a home must gain a certain number of points in each pillar. Durability requires homes to last 50 to 100 years, sustainability calls for homes to have a lighter impact on the environment through reduced building waste and having materials sourced within 500 miles, and energy conservation needs demand builders tighten homes and erect them with details to limit heat transfer to the outside.