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Association Resources, Part 2: Green Building

Elizabeth Baldwin

So you want to do a "green building" project. Where can you go to learn about certifications for green building programs? You currently have three primary options in North America, although many states and cities often offer additional options (or make specific requirements.)

The U.S. Green Building Council runs LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), perhaps the best-known green building certification system. The Canadian version is at: www.cagbc.org.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has developed the NAHB Green Building Program. You can locate participating builders (or become one yourself) here.

Among many other resources, the program has an online tool to help homeowners and builders look at projects from a green prospective.

If you want more ideas on green building, you might check out BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method). This is a British program that is expanding throughout Europe. The website offers some good ideas and also has a document that can be downloaded that compares LEED and BREEAM and other programs. 

Generally, categories relevant to wood flooring include certified floors (FSC-only in the case of the LEED program), engineered flooring that is urea-formaldehyde free, bamboo and other rapidly renewable materials, flooring produced with recycled materials, and using low-VOC paints and glues during installation.

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