Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, or SNHBA, is becoming very active in embracing the green housing concept. It has combined efforts with the Green Building Initiative to draw up guidelines for the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership, an entity that sets standards for water management, energy use and the employment of recycled and renewable construction materials in the valley. It issues certificates to builders who participate in the program, assuring home buyers that certain criteria have been met.
Thus far five local builders have signed up and they are Pinnacle Homes, Pulte Homes, R/S Development, Signature Custom Homes and Signature Homes. The first green certificate under the initiative goes to a Pulte subdivision in Northwest.
Among the environmentally progressive features there are blown-in insulation manufactured from cellulose, like recycled newspaper, that is more compact than the usual fiberglass and thus forms fewer air gaps. The windows are specially treated to prevent heat from passing into and out of the house. All appliances, air conditioners and furnaces are energy-efficient. Water consumption is a huge issue in Southern Nevada and in light of that the plumbing is state-of-the-art in efficiency and landscaping design maximizes low water use and minimum runoff.
The Las Vegas builders participating consider the increased construction cost of 3% to 5% not an impediment to marketing these homes. The consumer is getting more educated about the value of green housing and accepts the minor price hike. He is now helping the environment and also has a home that is more attractive when it comes time to sell.
Photo by Mella Doll