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Engineered Wood Products and the NAHB Green Building Standard™

The National Association of Home Builders™ (NAHB) has recently developed and published the new National Green Building Standard, or NAHB Green. NAHB Green is the only consensus based green building standard approved by both the American National Standards Institute™ (ANSI) and the International Code Council™ (ICC). The Standard establishes a much-needed and nationally-recognizable definition of green building.

Approved on January 29th 2009, NAHB Green’s first Verified home was televised on ABC’s™ popular evening television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for the Bell family located in Tucson, AZ. The Standard includes single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects and site development projects while allowing for the flexibility required for regionally-appropriate best green practices. An independent third-party Verifier (TECO) is required for this certification process. This Verification is the crucial step in guaranteeing a homeowner (and builder) is receiving (and building) a truly eco-friendly structure. There are four (4) hierarchy levels associated with NAHB Green (e.g. bronze, silver, gold, emerald). Here are some eligible points for wood products within the NAHB Green Building Standard:

Requirement Number Practice Points Available Additional Conditions of Use to Earn Points
606.1 Biobased products1 are used. 2-8 6 points are available if this product AND another bio-based product are used, each at least 1% of the construction material cost. Lesser points are available for products used at the 50% level.
606.2 A minimum of two certified wood-based products are used for the major elements of the building, such as walls, floors, or roofs. 4 4 points are available if this product AND a second wood-based product are used as a major element and both are certified to a recognized program such as FSC, SFI, or PEFC. 3 points are available for two certified wood-based products used with a minor element.
607.1 Products containing fewer materials are used to achieve the same end-use requirements as conventional products. 3-9 Engineered wood product used in at least 80% subsitution of conventional solid wood product. Engineered wood products can be manufactured to end-use sizes
608.1 Indigenous/local materials are used for major elements of the building. 2-10 List the materials or components and manufacturing location used in the home that are extracted, processed, and manufactured within 500 miles.
610.1 Product manufacturer’s operations are ISO 14001 certified. The value of building products from ISO 14001 facilities is 1% or more of the total building materials cost. 2 Points are awarded at 1 point per one percent of building material costs. Material cost breakdown to be verified and points adjusted to reflect actual percentage of all products from 14001 facilities.
901.4(1) Structural use plywood per PS 1 or PS 2. OSB per PS 2. All marked Exposure 1 or Exterior. Mandatory Product must make up a minimum of 85% of material within a product group. The panels are made with moisture-resitant adhesives.
901.4(5) Composite wood or agrifiber panel products contain no added urea-formaldehyde2 or are in accordance with CARB Composite Wood Air Toxic Containment Measure Standard. 4 Product must make up a minimum of 85% of material within a product group (i.e., countertops, composite trim/doors, custom woodwork, and/or component closet shelving)


  1. Wood products are made from trees, a natural and renewable resource.
  2. Statement from adhesive supplier of no added urea-formaldehyde.

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