As the green residential movement continues to boom west of the Rockies, it is essential that local planning and zoning committees are armed with the knowledge and tools they need to preserve the environment and culture of the area for future generations.

In recent years, many small Western towns have become hot spots for vacation homes, with the part-time population boom rapidly transforming communities that are hamstrung by outdated planning, zoning, and building codes. These sprawling developments have resulted in deforestation and erosion of topsoil, as well as degradation of streams and waterways.

A group discussion at the Greenbuild Residential Summit will explore how green home-building programs identify and quantify environmental issues, and how officials are using these programs to enable code modification. The panel also will explore whether contextually smaller, technically advanced green homes can succeed as the future of this market.

“Bringing Green Homes Back to Reality—Practice, Policy, and Trends” will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thurs., Nov. 12.