NAHB Green Building Conference


Sunday, May 11 :: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Monday, May 12 :: 10:15 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 13 :: 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The building market is inundated with green products and practices on a daily basis, leaving builders to decipher which ones hold value. By attending the National Association of Homebuilders’ Green Building Conference, industry professionals have the opportunity to attend classes, tours and exhibits dedicated to this subject. Held in New Orleans on May 11-13, builders also have the chance to see the rebuilding of a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

This is the 10th year of the show with exhibitor, sponsorship and attendance numbers increasing each year. “We anticipate it’s going to be a record year. We’re sold out on exhibitors and sponsorship, and we anticipate 1,500 to 2,000 attendees,” says Joanne Theunissen, chairman, 2008 Green Building Conference.

One major factor of the show’s growth is how mainstream green has become. “Products that weren’t there five years ago are available as manufacturers are getting on board. It’s no longer the very obscure products that I’m spending six times more on because there isn’t a mainstream product available,” Theunissen says.

Each year the home tour is well attended and this year will be no different. “The building industry in New Orleans has been challenged. Builders needed to see the city that speaks to the whole character of homebuilding,” Theunissen says. “We felt it was important that if you rebuild New Orleans, you have to rebuild it right.”

She adds that the builders in this area were not familiar with green building practices so NAHB took an integral role in educating them. “It’s fun to watch this group become excited about it and see how valuable it will be to the community,” she says.

New this year is a collaboration with the NAHB’s Building for Boomers and Beyond: 50-Plus Housing Symposium to rehabilitate a home in New Orleans. “The house was devastated by the hurricane and ruined by squatters. We will be rebuilding the home and putting in as many green building features as possible,” Theunissen says. Anyone who registers for the conference can take part in rebuilding this home, in a way similar to how Habit for Humanity operates.

One week after the Green Building Conference ends, the 50-Plus Housing Symposium attendees will take over the rebuilding with its volunteers. “The 50-Plus Housing group will go in after [the Green Building Conference] and add universal design features,” Theunissen says. For those who aren’t able to volunteer they can still be involved by donating to the project.

NAHB is in the process of implementing national green standards for both new construction and remodeling. By attending the show, builders have the chance to familiarize themselves with these standards and how to implement them in their projects.

“[This event] is an educational opportunity for builders, architects, designers and anyone who puts their hands on green building,” she adds.

For more information on the Green Building Conference visit