WASHINGTON - The National Housing Center, headquarters building of the 225,000-member National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), has earned a 2006 Energy Star® designation for its focus on conserving natural resources while providing a comfortable and healthy environment for employees and visitors.

The National Housing Center now ranks in the top 25 percent of commercial buildings in terms of energy performance, as recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a letter notifying NAHB of the award. In 2006, the building far exceeded the minimum 75 rating for recognition in the Energy Star program, achieving an 86 out of 100.

"So many of our members build homes with appliances and heating and cooling systems that meet the Energy Star guidelines. I'm delighted that NAHB's own headquarters has again achieved this important designation," said NAHB Executive Vice President and CEO Jerry Howard. The association also successfully applied for the designation in 2004.

A plaque recognizing the Energy Star achievement will be posted near the building's entrance.

NAHB was able to integrate energy-efficient features during a major renovation and expansion of the nine-story building - constructed in 1972 - five years ago. Since then, building engineers have continued to fine-tune the details.

Transwestern Commercial Services, the Housing Center's property managers, installed timing devices on many of the building's lighting, cooling and heating systems - a common energy-saver in homes, but more difficult to regulate in a large public building. There are now sensor lights in the underground parking garage, a new system to regulate the building's fan coil units, and a means of monitoring adjustments to the constant volume air system to smooth out office temperatures.

The building also meets the Energy Star requirements for all indoor environment criteria, including the control of indoor air pollutants, adequate ventilation and illumination, and appropriate thermal conditions.

"The Energy Star designation is another example of our continued efforts in the green building movement," Howard said. "We all need to look for ways to save energy, and even if the means to achieve it in residential and commercial construction may differ, our Energy Star designation is still an important milestone and a model for all of us."

Publication date: 07/17/2006