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April 5, 2013 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Home Innovation Research Labs Requests NGBS Endorsement by GSA for Federal Buildings

Today, in response to Notice-MG-2012-04, Home Innovation Research Labs submitted a request to GSA to formally recommend to the Secretary of Energy the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) as a green building certification system likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally-sound approach to the certification of green federal residential buildings.

In the letter, Michael Luzier, Home Innovation president and CEO, specified three compelling reasons he believes GSA should recognize the NGBS:

"First, the NGBS and Home Innovation Research Labs’ certification to it are as rigorous, if not more rigorous, than the green building rating systems previously recognized by GSA. Second, the NGBS was specifically designed for residential projects and is affordable to implement making it ideally suited to helping the federal government achieve its goal to increase the construction or renovation of green housing in a cost-effective manner. While green residential buildings comprise a smaller percentage of the total number of green federal buildings overall, the federal government nonetheless builds, finances, and sponsors housing through numerous agencies and programs. Finally, as the only ANSI-approved residential green building rating system in the country, GSA can be assured that the NGBS is a true consensus-based standard, developed by a balance of stakeholders, that has passed the scrutiny of extensive public review and comment."

Legislative and Regulatory Parity with LEED

Luzier went on to say that while the NGBS was developed after the USGBC’s LEED rating systems, and therefore may not be as commonly recognized in legislative and regulatory initiatives as LEED, since 2009 when ANSI first approved the NGBS it has without exception been considered as on par or more stringent than LEED as a green building rating system for residential projects. On the federal level, HUD has recognized the NGBS as on par with LEED — in their recent funding notice for jurisdictions affected by Hurricane Sandy they cite the NGBS as an acceptable green building standard for reconstruction efforts. In New York State, NYSERDA provides financial incentives for residential buildings certified to the Silver level of either the NGBS or LEED. Delaware State also provides financial incentives for homes built to the Silver level of either the NGBS or LEED in its Green for Green program. In New Mexico, homes certified to either the NGBS or LEED can qualify for the generous State tax credit program. To date, when asked to make an equivalency decision, not a single jurisdiction has refused to recognize the NGBS as an alternative compliance path for any regulatory or incentive program. 

For a more complete listing of where the NGBS has been recognized, visit the Home Innovation NGBS Green Certification summary of incentives.

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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, "Home Innovation Labs” or simply “Home Innovation” are acceptable and accurate alternative references; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.