Last month, on the heels of certifying the 50,000th NGBS Green home, I was honored to chair the inaugural meeting of the NGBS Green Advisory Group at Home Innovation’s headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD. Home Innovation staff conceived of the Advisory Group earlier in the year as a way to ensure the NGBS Green certification program continued to deliver value to its builder and developer clients.
Since its inception in 2009, NGBS Green certification has won the loyalty of many builders and developers for its affordability, flexibility, and rigor, and has become the preferred national green certification program for homes and multifamily buildings. By many accounts, the program benefits from two distinct advantages. First, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) was specifically designed for residential buildings and so it is uniquely suited to homes and apartment buildings. Second, Home Innovation’s longstanding commitment to best-in-class customer service has helped remove many of the previous intractable barriers to third-party certification of high-performance residential construction.
NGBS Green continues to grow its market share among certified green home programs.
Advisory Group members were strategically recruited from diverse organizations representing key influencers in the residential construction industry and NGBS Green certification clientele. When we started recruiting in earnest for the group a few months ago, I was inspired by the response we received from prospective members. Not only did our invitees agree to serve, but they cleared their busy schedules to travel for a day and a half in-person meeting.
The NGBS Green Advisory Group met for the first time and while most members were unacquainted with one another before the meeting, the group coalesced quickly and became engaged in brainstorming how to grow and improve the program. After a quick overview of the certification program, the Advisory Group considered two main questions:
The NGBS Green Advisory Group met May 15th for its inaugural meeting at Home Innovation's research facility in Maryland.
My own experience is testament to the real barriers faced by the typical builder. I’m a regional production home builder in Vancouver, Wash., where I build about 100 homes per year. Last year I personally pledged to build and certify all of my new homes using the NGBS Green program. Despite my strong commitment to and belief in the program, it was not a quick undertaking. It took almost a full year for me to incorporate all the green practices, products, and technologies into my business to allow me the confidence that once I promised prospective buyers one of my homes would be NGBS Green Certified, I could consistently deliver on that promise.
Few people can appreciate the risk, not only financial but to reputation, of a builder making a promise that can’t be fulfilled. I fully appreciated the risk when I set out to be Vancouver’s first builder committed to 100% NGBS Green Certified homes. At the same time, I also appreciated the value of the program in helping me to deliver a high-quality, high-performance home with a rock-solid independent certification of compliance from Home Innovation. The NGBS Green program helps me distinguish my homes from the competition, while simultaneously being a good steward for the community where I work, live, and raise my family.
It was affirming to me as a builder, and rewarding as a director for Home Innovation’s Board, to hear the builders and developers on the Advisory Group discuss how NGBS Green has helped them transform their specific projects, but also to acknowledge the challenges that remain to transform the market. Quite simply, this is the value proposition of NGBS Green. It helps builders be more successful and at the same time produce buildings with greater inherent value and smaller environmental impacts.
I am excited about the Advisory Group’s progress so far. By meeting’s end, the group developed several specific recommendations on how to improve the NGBS Green program and bring more value to participating builders. I am grateful for the commitment of the group’s members and confident that over the next two years they will serve as an invaluable sounding board for Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Team. Their participation and insight will assuredly help the entire residential industry move toward a more sustainable and profitable future.
For any builders or developers that have been considered going NGBS Green but have questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out to us. We would love to see you build your success on ours.***