Number of builders getting certified green professional status is rising

WASHINGTON -- By mid April, more than 2,725 builders, remodelers and other home building industry professionals have now achieved the Certified Green Professional designation - a sure sign of the growth of the green building movement and the National Association of Home Builders' leadership in providing educational opportunities for its members.

The designation is awarded after the successful completion of 24 hours of classroom instruction on green building techniques and business practices, two years' industry experience, a commitment to continuing education and adherence to the CGP code of ethics.

"These men and women are ahead of the curve. As home buyers return to the market and as home owners look to make cost-effective improvements to their homes, these professionals have already determined where the industry's greatest growth opportunity is most likely to be: environmentally friendly, resource-efficient design and construction. That's green building," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a builder and developer in Tulsa, Okla.

Robson pointed to the examples of three building industry professionals who recognize the value of the CGP educational designation.

- John Allen, principal of Southern Construction & Design Inc. in Madison, Ala., has found his designation to be invaluable for planning home building and remodeling projects. "It's important to understand the products and techniques that are out there so you can advise home buyers about energy, water and resource efficiency and how to get a return on your investment for building green," he said.

- Paul Kinder, a window and door sales representative at Harry G. Barr Company in Fort Smith, Ark., said the designation paid for itself the day after he finished taking his classes. As he talked to a customer to explain his product's energy-efficient benefits, he also mentioned his Certified Green Professional designation. That was enough to immediately seal the deal, he said.

- Liz Newman, principal of Elizabeth Newman Custom Homes in Dallas, agrees with her industry colleagues - and has found that the CGP designation has brought a fresh approach to her business. "I was one of the first CGPs in my area, and I used the designation as a competitive advantage that remains with me today," she said.

Newman will show off one of her latest green projects next month at the 11th annual NAHB National Green Building Conference in Dallas May 8-10 on the Tour of Green Homes. It's one of six homes in various stages of construction that builders and remodelers will tour during the conference.

Certified Green Professionals will also be honored at a special reception during the conference. "We want to recognize how CGPs set an example for all of us and how they help the industry stimulate demand for greener products and materials, too," said Robson.

Go to nahb.org/cgpinfo for a link to class schedules at home building associations throughout the country as well as information about designation requirements.

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