The NAHB National Green Building Conference, coming to Raleigh next month, will feature an array of educational opportunities, including intensive pre-conference workshops May 13-15, a green-homes tour and keynote address May 16, and sessions covering a range of topics May 17 and 18.

Here is a run-through of the workshops being held May 17 and 18. Click here for longer descriptions of each session, speakers, and information on the other education opportunities.

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM 
Set Yourself Apart: Get Certified to the Standard
Learn how the National Green Building Standard will work for your project and how you can get your project certified.

Water Efficiency, Reclamation, Reuse, and Management    
The value of water efficiency and the use of reclaimed water are widely recognized as smart ways to satisfy both building and landscape water-use demands. Water reuse experts will address a variety of topics to offer an overview of this extremely important issue.

The Economics of Green Homes and Green Homebuilding    
Examine case studies drawn from new construction and from single-family and multi-family community weatherization projects to understand the economics of green homes and where the opportunities lie to build a better, more salable product, reduce costs, demonstrate investment returns, and provide your consumers value.

House Characterization: Assessing Opportunities for Energy Leaks/Improvements    
Learn how to assess the potential energy leaks and accompanying opportunities for energy savings for a home by viewing it from the outside. Use a House Characterization process to stop bad building practices, or improve existing homes and assign proper skill level crews, and estimates before entering a home.

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Green Communities: Examples from the National Green Building Standard
Land development experts will highlight the attributes of the green development certification from the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard and also the National Green Building Certification program, used to score subdivisions and residential construction. You'll also get a close look at developments that received certification. 
Green Home Renovations        
Participants will take home a basic understanding of how to approach and execute a green renovation, from simple projects to more elaborate structural modifications. Attendees will also learn the two different paths for renovations and additions under the National Green Building Standard and how they can have their projects verified and certified with National Green Building Certification. 
A Model Green Building Financial Incentive Program
The HBA of New York parlayed a good track record in managing the state's incentive-based Energy Star program and a strong advocacy presence in state government to create a state-funded green building incentive law. Get information on the rulemaking process and regulatory details.

The Latest in Appraising and Lending on Green Buildings
Find out about the most current changes in lending and appraising green buildings. This session will provide an update on FHA, VA, and conventional financing as well as the state of green appraising. The session will also cover the Smart Commute and the movements within the secondary market to create a true green mortgage.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Maximizing the Value of Your Verification
Four of the country’s most experienced verifiers will discuss their strategies on how builders can maximize the value they get from verification services. Learn how verifiers can use custom verification reports to score your home and help you identify techniques, practices, and products to earn your residential project points toward green certification.

Green Renovation & Addition: A Case Study    
This presentation follows from start to finish how an extensive renovation and 1,290-square-foot addition in Chapel Hill, N.C., turned a 15-year-old, 1,800-square-foot, and very inefficient home into an award-winning green project.

Performing as Designed? Real-World Analysis of Occupied High Performance    
One question on the forefront of energy efficiency and green building is "Are these homes performing as designed?" The NAHB Research Center Building America Team, in conjunction with their builder partners, will discuss the design, construction, and monitored performance of high-efficiency homes.

Energy Star Qualified Homes: 2011 Specifications    
In response to increasingly rigorous codes, standards, and construction practices, the EPA is releasing third-generation Energy Star Qualified Homes specifications for 2011. Learn more about how the tougher requirements, a new simulated performance method replacing the current fixed HERS Index Score, and a new size adjustment factor for large homes will help Energy Star homes deliver a comprehensive building science solution.

3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Keeping them Honest: The Truth Behind Green Product Claims
This session will help attendees navigate green building product claims with a guided tour of credible labeling and certification programs, identification of relevant product testing standards that can help clarify performance claims, and a presentation of emerging resources for judging green performance attributes.

Selecting the Most Cost-Effective Green Practices     
Learn how to select the most cost-effective green practices for your next project and hear how these practices were implemented in an affordable workforce home as well as Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects.

The High Performance Energy Remodel     
Learn how builders can tap into the huge volume of inefficient existing homes to create jobs for themselves and their crews, while making America a more energy-efficient country. Get the secrets of the speaker’s affordable system, using off-the-rack products that will take a typical 1960s or '70s house from using up to 300% of the energy of today's code-built home, to using less than 25% of a code-built home.

10 Ways to Market and Sell High Performance Homes
Learn best practices for selling and marketing high-performance homes, including how to reach prospective homebuyers using the latest Internet strategies, incorporate energy efficiency and green building into your corporate philosophy, and engage real estate agents, appraisers, and other market allies.

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Quality Management for High-Performance Homes
Quality management strategies can help ensure you’re building homes that will perform as designed. This program will explore some of the differences and unique challenges and solutions to building high-performance homes. 
10 Essentials for Marketing to the New Green Consumer
Learn why buyers make green choices and see examples of messages and tactics that are making an impact. You’ll learn how to make your products and homes stand out in a sea of green, how to showcase green products in design centers, and the importance of reputation in the green purchasing equation, as well as avoiding greenwashing. 

Sustainable Development Model That Works
Hear about how three North Carolina cities have combined affordable housing revitalization with major transportation corridor investment to create a national, workable model for jurisdictions around the country.

Making the (Green) Elephant Jump: A Large Building Going Green
Learn how production builder K. Hovnanian Homes transitioned its business to delivering higher quality, greener homes at the same or lower cost to the homeowner.

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
General Session: Home Star: What to Expect 

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
Builders Challenge: Your Path to a Distinct Competitive Advantage    
Learn about how the DOE’s Builders Challenge program is helping home builders create a new generation of high-performance homes using proven innovations and work toward the ultimate goal of providing affordable, net-zero-energy homes nationwide by 2030.

From the Never-Greens to the Ever-Greens and Everyone in Between
Learn how good product knowledge can overcome objections and turn leads into sales. Listening and learning from your potential clients and their individual expectations of green will help you become more engaged, use their own expectations to help you shape your sales presentation, and sell to their trigger points. 
Greening Your Multifamily Projects
Learn how the National Green Building Standard and its accompanying multi-unit checklist serve as flexible, regionally appropriate resources for multi-unit developers seeking green certification of new or remodeled buildings.

Water Conservation: A Balance of Technology and Behavior     
This session will discuss different levels of water conservation from urban planning to site-specific solutions as well as the technological solutions such as greywater and water catchment systems.  
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Adding Green to Your Homeowners Manual
Certified homes and enhanced homeowners' manuals have been shown to dramatically reduce warranty expenses for their builders, while also improving customer satisfaction and builder profitability. This session offers tools and tips for a homeowner’s manual that does the job—and more. 
Market Value Studies on Certified Residential Properties
This presentation will document the findings of residential property comparisons in Washington and Oregon, where analysts say green building is carrying a higher value in the market and spending less time on the market than non-certified housing. 
Factory Built Green: Make the Right Choice for Your Project    
Get the details about maximizing the benefits of modular, panel, or structural insulated panel systems (or a combination). Case studies will help attendees learn how different systems are chosen for each situation. 
Green Product Labels: Noteworthy or Nugatory
Compare three new green product labeling programs—Green Approved Products from the NAHB Research Center, the Sustainable Attributes Verification and Evaluation Program (SAVE) created by ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), and UL Environment's Sustainable Product Certification—and learn how each can add value.