Meet John Freer, Master CGP

Filed in Education by on March 15, 2017 1 Comment

John FreerJohn Freer, CGB, Master CGP is principal of GBS Consulting. He’s also a lecturer in green building and design at the University of Montana in Missoula.

A former custom builder, John worked with his HBA to launch the Missoula Green Building Initiative and then expanded it statewide.

While he was chairman, the Montana Green Building Initiative advanced green building certification and education statewide and successfully lobbied for tax credits and other incentives to promote green building.

In recognition of those efforts, John was named the NAHB Master CGP Designee of the year in 2014. And in appreciation of his successful efforts to educate builders, remodelers and other industry professionals on high‐performance and sustainable construction as an active NAHB Instructor, he was awarded the 2015 Green Educator of the Year.

“I can’t even begin to count the ways that the path to designations improved both my professional and personal life. Not only from the course material, but also from the networking and knowledge of other participants, I got so much help in growing and improving my business,” John said.

“More importantly, what I learned helped me operate more efficiently, more successfully and gave me a much greater feeling of personal achievement, piece of mind and priceless free time with family.”

March is National Designation Month, so NAHB is shining a spotlight on successful graduates so our members know more about them – and perhaps get another reason to explore the NAHB Designations program.

Meet John:

What’s a favorite book you’ve read recently? This question reminded me that I don’t read enough just for fun anymore. I think the last fun reading I did was a couple years ago. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut: “. . .we could have saved the earth but we were too damned cheap.”

When it comes to success, do you have any particular words or a quote that you try to live by? “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Robert F. Kennedy.

Give me three words to describe the industry in 2017. Connected, costly and uncertain.

What industry trends are you most excited about? Wooden skyscrapers! Yep! I recently visited a building under construction on the University of British Columbia campus that is 18 stories high made almost entirely of mass timbers and cross-laminated wood panels. Wood is renewable, beautiful, stores carbon and is proving effective as a replacement like never before for steel and concrete in a lot of applications.

What is one industry issue for which we really need to find the solution? Figuring out who will build our future. Literally. We need to fill the skills gap in all of the construction trades. The construction industry has seen dramatic leaps in materials, techniques and technology over the last 20 years but during that same time education has moved away from valuing and supplying quality, hands-on, career technical training.

Here’s a big thank you to John and all our other successful designation holders. Want to talk about pursuing an NAHB educational designation?  We’d love to talk: Send an email to



Comments (1)

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  1. Byron says:

    Congratulations John,
    It’s nice to see a familiar face from Montana receive some National recognition.
    Thanks for all you do for the Home Building Industry in Montana, and around the country.
    Byron Anderson

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