Texas is the number one area in the country where residents are requesting homes with green features, and builders are eager to learn how to make their homes more energy efficient.
Texas customers are clamoring for homes with energy-efficient features — and local builders are trying to learn how to build them.
A standing-room-only crowd of building professionals gathered Jan. 29 at the Dallas Convention Center to learn about green building standards, the best practices for achieving energy efficiency and an environmentally sound design. At the same time, they learned that Texas is the No. 1 area in the country where customers are requesting homes with green features.
"It’s pretty important that we catch up with the market," said Ken Sidebottom, chairman of the board of the North Texas U.S. Green Building Council.
Companies that have made the decision to build with green features are using it as a way to set their companies apart from others in a slow economy.
"They would be rather foolish not to react and do that," he said.
There are several standards for building green, including the Green Built North Texas standards by the Homebuilders Association of Greater Dallas, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the National Association of Home Builders’ national standards.
"There will always be people who use one program or another, but the more easy we make it by having knowledgeable, qualified builders and subproviders and manufacturers of all the products that go in there, eventually it will all be second nature to them," Sidebottom said.
Suppliers also were at the conference to learn more.
"I came basically as more of an educational thing to start learning more about green building — what the concept is, what it stands for, what the requirements are and how our products can best meet the builder’s needs," said Brent Hanford, a Dallas-based distributor of doors and windows for Texas Door and Trim.
Daren Wittneben, a distributor of wood products for the Rowlett office of Foxworth-Gallbraith, said more builders he works with are noticeably interested in green construction and products. He wanted to find out more about green building products that are in demand.
"I’m trying to find out what products they use that are green that maybe we’re not carrying that we need to carry," he said.