Home Innovation Research Labs began to certify homes and multifamily buildings to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) in 2009. Since then, NGBS Green Certification has established itself as an affordable, yet rigorous green certification program for residential construction. We launched the program in the midst of the worst housing market in decades, perhaps the worst housing market ever, as real estate prices dropped sharper between 2006 and 2008 than during the Great Depression.
Nevertheless, in five years we certified over 30,000 homes, apartments, and residential lots as NGBS compliant. We currently have almost 50,000 homes registered as seeking certification. NGBS Green Certification is officially recognized in the Appraisal Institute’s Addendum for Green and Energy Efficient Features; is a specific listed attribute in many local Multiple Listing Service databases; and is the basis for numerous state and local incentives and rebates. We have become the national green certification program of choice for builders, remodelers, and developers. Yet, in one way we have fallen short.
Until recently, however, we have not had an effective way to reach consumers. Renters, homebuyers, and homeowners interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle have had no easy way to learn about our program unless their builder or remodeler told them about it. One reason that we have a difficult time in building consumer awareness is because we don’t “pad” our certification costs with anything to cover marketing and advertising. This helps our program stay affordable but, unfortunately, has kept it an industry secret.
Now, I am excited to announce that we will be able to finally overcome that challenge. Home Innovation Research Labs has partnered with Porch.com to help consumers find and connect with those who design, build, and remodel NGBS Green Certified homes. Porch’s online platform provides consumers inspiration, project data, and word-of-mouth referrals in one place. With more than 1.5 million pros and 90 million projects in their network, Porch is changing the way home improvement gets done by making it easy for homeowners to find professionals based on who their neighbors have used and endorsed, real project and cost history, and expert advice. As a result of this partnership, the Porch data network will expand to include information on NGBS Green Certified homes. Consumers will be able to connect directly with builders and remodelers who attain NGBS Green Certification for their projects. Consumers can rest assured that NGBS Green Certified projects are truly green, rather than just taking someone’s word for it, or using someone else’s definition of what might be a green home. Only NGBS Green Certified projects have been inspected by a nationally-accredited and independent, third-party to ensure that the project meets the rigorous criteria of the NGBS. Consumers everywhere will benefit as they use Porch.com for information, inspiration, and validation.
Porch will create profiles for all of Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Partner professionals, featuring their NGBS Green Certified home projects and information for potential homeowners to discover. While any professional can join the Porch network for free, Home Innovation is sponsoring three free months of upgraded profiles on Porch for NGBS Green Partner professionals. Further, Porch will build new functionality into their data platform in the form of profile badges that will help further distinguish our NGBS Green Partner professionals and brand NGBS Green Certified home projects. This will make it easier than ever for homeowners to find the right professionals with the right experience for their green projects.
This partnership is a win-win for consumers and NGBS Green Partner professionals. For our existing builder and remodeler partners we are excited to bring even greater value to them for their participation in the program. For builders and remodelers that have not yet built NGBS Green Certified, there has never been a better time to get started.
Home Innovation will be holding a series of webinars for existing and prospective NGBS Green Partners in the upcoming months about the Porch partnership and how to best take advantage of the new marketing opportunities. Be on the lookout for announcements on our Events page, or just let us know if you’d like to participate and we’ll be sure to let you know the schedule.***