Affordable housing developers can no longer ignore green building, said panelists at the “Green Building Made Easier” session at AHF Live.

Green building is definitely a movement and is definitely real, stressed moderator Jeff Lesk, a partner at Nixon Peabody, who described the use of federal solar tax credits in a housing development. The solar credit has many similarities to the historic rehabilitation tax credit.

In addition, every state has some type of sustainable building component in their low-income housing tax credit allocation plan, according to Dana Bourland, Green Communities senior director at Enterprise.

Paul Purcell, founder and president of Beacon Development Group in Seattle, has developed several green projects. He advised developers to get help as early as possible when doing a green development, noting that there will be someone in their community or close by that has done one and can be a resource.

On the other side, what hurts when doing a green development is starting late, using virgin land, trying to do too much value engineering and then upgrading, he said.

A place to begin when considering doing a green project is as easy as using Energy Star program appliances, said Steven Winter of Steven Winter Associates, Inc.