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What can I expect from the NAHB classes?

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Danny Kelly | Posted in NAHB Class Discussion on

New catergory without any questions – I couldn’t resist. I have spent the last several years trying to learn as much as i can about green building and building science. Have taken all the prep classes on all of the different green building programs in town – Energy Star, EFL, Earthcraft, LEED-H, Healthy built homes, National Green Building Standard, etc. and have certified a few homes to a few of the different programs trying to get a feel for them all. Frequent all of the building science websites and subscribe to the typical home building publications. Having been trying hard to get that “next level” of education that will go a little bit deeper into building science, etc. Have attended just about every “green” program presented by the local USGBC and HBA only to be disappointed that it is always the same stuff – the same circular arrows that say people, house, planet, etc. – they always seem to be more for the people that have not built green before and not much help for anyone that already has a basic understanding of building science. I even attended the RESNET conference this year (I am a builder not a rater) hoping to get some deeper classes but once again they only begin to scratch the surface. I’ve been thinking about taking the Green Building for Professionals class for the CGP designation but assume this is another class to get a designation for marketing and not really help you build a better house, kind of like the LEED, AP, more about how to use their program and less on real knowledge – have never been one for these designations however I did take the BPI Building Analyst class which was pretty good. I noticed at the Nation Green Building Conference there is an Advanced Green Building class – is this the same class that I read about on GBA that is taught by Peter Yost? Is this class the one that I am looking for? Is the CGP required prior to taking the Advanced class? Any other suggestions on course that can be taken? Thanks.

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  1. User avatar
    Michael Chandler | | #1

    I just took that class from John Barrows at the IBS in Las Vegas. It was developed by Peter Yost with input from many in the GBA community. It does go to a deeper level and I think you are correct in your assumption that the NAHB Certified Green Practitioner class is more introductory that what you are looking for. (When I teach it I add plenty of more advanced green content though.) I think that John Barrows will be teaching the advanced class on the two days before the National Green Building Conference in Raleigh this May 16-18.

    I think you can get into the Advanced Green Building class without the previous CGP but probably won't be able to get the certification that it leads to. Not sure about that. I hope to start teaching it in NC later this summer but I'm helping out with the conference planning (I'm curating the home tour) which is taking a most of my free time and I want to get that behind me before I start teaching the new class.

    The National Green Building Conference in May will also have some deliberately advanced level classes being taught in response to the feedback that most of the green conferences have been getting that mirrors your comments above. (Need more advanced level classes without the beginner level introduction taking up the first half of the class) . Those classes will be highlighted in the course offerings as "GreenTensive" classes and will be round-table discussions with advanced green builders. I'm not in on the planning for those so this is "as I understand it." The class schedule is here, but turn the volume down on your speakers first,

    I understand that they will be releasing information on their LinkedIn and FaceBook pages ( as they get the speakers contracts back, etc. so that may be a good way to get the information as it is released. I've been sending in video interviews with the home builders featured on the tour and lots of high res images that you can preview here: ( )

    I participated in the BuildWell Conference this winter and that was a 100% advanced level green building materials conference and Joe Lstiburek puts on his Westford Symposium every summer (AKA Building Science Summer Camp) that is similarly 100% advanced building science content but both of those are invitation-only and Joe's is especially hard to get into. Both are well worth whatever it takes to get in.

  2. User avatar
    Danny Kelly | | #2

    Thanks Michael - Glad to hear they have a GreenTensive category, have not heard that - that was actually one of my recommendations at RESNET for future conferences to have a beginner, intermediate and advanced classes and have them labeled properly - I have a knack for picking out the wrong classes when attending these. Lucky to have the conference here in NC this year - will be sure to make it to your home tour. I brought Joe to Charlotte last year to speak to our Green Building Council - hope to follow up this year with another advanced class again. Glad to hear you will be teaching the advanced class in the future - already planning on coming mon/tues/wed (to the conference) - not sure if my wife will let me come early for the thurs/fri class too so may need to do that at a future date. Will check out your links as well. See you in May. Thanks.

  3. User avatar
    Michael Chandler | | #3

    Danny, we have a pretty cool bus tour on Sunday morning followed by a NC reception at the NC museum of history down the street from the conference center after the opening ceremonies Sunday night. My band will be playing at that reception and we'll have some good locovore desserts and high test coffee. (Coffee; a flavoring used to modulate the harshness and volatility of cheap bourbon)

    If you can get in Saturday between 12 and 6 the local HBA's green building council will be having 31 homes on their free self-guided green home tour that afternoon and my house that we certified five ways will be on it. We'll get the map posted soon so you can drive into town and stop at a few houses on your way to the convention center esp if coming from the west through Hillsborough and Durham or from the south through Pittsboro.

    Or come by train; the city of Raleigh has offered to add a stop to one of their hybrid electric bus lines to offer free service from the Amtrak station to the convention center every 12 minutes.

    Green building; you can get on the train... or you can stay on the tracks.

  4. User avatar
    Danny Kelly | | #4

    sounds great - I'll stay in touch - thanks for the info.

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