Home Innovation Insights

As we celebrate 50,000 NGBS Green Certified homes, let's look back on milestones along the way...

Cindy Wasser, MBA
May 1, 2015

An NGBS Retrospective: 50,000 NGBS Green Certified Homes

Home Innovation just passed an exciting program milestone — certification of 50,000 homes under the NGBS Green program! This provides a perfect opportunity to look back on what a game-changer the NGBS rating system has been in the home building industry, and celebrate the achievements of both the certification program and our NGBS Green Partners who have sought rigorous, third-party green certification.

Let’s take a look back at a at some of the noteworthy advances and events that have gotten us to this point…

2012 National Green Building Standard

Jan. 30, 2009 – 2008 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) is Approved by ANSI
The National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) becomes the first residential green rating system to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) following its development through an open, consensus-based process. Home Innovation Research Labs (then known as the "NAHB Research Center") launched a certification program based on the NGBS following its ANSI approval.

John Wesley Miller, Tucson, Arizona

March 2009 – 1st Certified Home
The Bell family home in Tucson, Ariz., becomes the first home certified to the NGBS. John Wesley Miller, a Tucson-based home builder, said certification to the NGBS demonstratef to the Bell family that the home would offer a healthy living environment for their daughter, whose immune system was compromised by a rare blood disease. The home was featured on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

April 2009 – 1st Land Development Certified
Following the NGBS pathway for sustainably-constructed land developments to earn certification, the Village of Burns Harbor in Northwest Indiana becomes the first NGBS Green Certified Land Development in the country.The 142-lot community incorporated sustainable site design and construction measures, including stormwater management, tree preservation, and habitat protection. The developer, T. Clifford Fleming, BH, LLC, recognized the importance of providing green housing options in a region known for heavy industry and pollution.

Jan. 2010 – 1st Multifamily Building Certified
The Jones Company, a Tennessee-based home builder, earns the 1st certification of a multifamily community. The Park Run condominiums in Franklin, Tenn., includes three buildings with 12 apartments. Condo owners benefit from energy-efficient lighting and appliances, Low-E windows, water-saving showerheads, a radon mitigation system, and low-maintenance native landscaping.

Planet Clark Emerald House, Clark County, Washington

2010 – Clark County (Wash.) Adopts the NGBS as Voluntary Green Building Code
Since its approval by ANSI, the NGBS has been recognized by various federal agencies, state governments, and local jurisdictions. Clark County, Wash., was one of the first communities to recognize the NGBS by adopting it as the County's voluntary green building code in 2010. The County used the NGBS as a springboard for community and industry training on green construction practices. They deployed a county-wide program for home energy audits, contractor training, and community outreach/education based on the NGBS. In 2012, the County worked with Quail Homes and the Evergreen Habitat for Humanity chapter to construct the Planet Clark Emerald House, the 1st Emerald-level NGBS Green Certified home in the area. The Plant Clark House served as a demonstration home for several months before being occupied by a local family.

Certified Student Housing Community, Florida State University

April 2012 — 1st NGBS Green Certified Student Housing Community
Prior to this point, NGBS Green certification had long been applied to single-family homes, multifamily buildings, and remodel projects. But with new multifamily demands and sustainable housing options becoming a trend on university campuses, NGBS Green Certification became a logical path for student housing developments. Campus Circle Tallahassee, located adjacent to the Florida State University campus, became the first NGBS Green Certified student housing project. The community integrates sustainable materials and design, demonstrates superior water and energy efficiency, and implements lot design and indoor environmental quality practices. The project's developer, The BainBridge Companies, LLC, which operates with a corporate commitment to quality construction within walkable neighborhoods, found that certification to the NGBS offered a way to publicly demonstrate the company's values.

2012 National Green Building Standard

January 2013 – 2012 National Green Building Standard™(NGBS) is Approved by ANSI
As an ANSI American National Standard, the NGBS is subject to regular review and updating as necessary to reflect increased performance requirements and incorporate new best practices and technologies. The 2012 NGBS built upon the 2008 version and included significant revisions in energy efficiency, remodeling, and multifamily implementation.

April 2013 — NGBS Recognized as Option for Hurricane Sandy Redevelopment
As part of the rebuilding efforts following the wide-spread devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the NGBS is recognized by both HUD and USDA housing finance programs, including the Main Street/HOPE IV, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), and Rural Rental Housing programs. HUD cited the NGBS as an acceptable green building standard for Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts.

May 2013 — 20,000 Homes Certified
Home Innovation celebrates certification of 20,000 homes to the NGBS.

First Single-Family Home Certified to 2012 NGBS, Narragansett, Rhode Island

July 2013 – 1st Single-Family Home Certified to 2012 NGBS
A single-family home in Narragansett, R.I., becomes the first home certified to the 2012 NGBS. Builder Dave Caldwell of Caldwell & Johnson designed the oceanfront home to be a nearly net-zero home that "burns no fossil fuels." Water conservation and management were also critical for Caldwell and his homeowners, who indicated that they wanted "as environmentally responsible as possible for a waterfront property."

First Emerald-Level Certification to 2012 NGBS, Valparaiso, Indiana

July 2013 — 1st Emerald-Level Certification to the 2012 NGBS
A single-family home in Valparaiso, Ind., became the first Emerald-level NGBS Green Certified home under the 2012 NGBS. The modest ranch-style home was designed by Treasure Homes, Inc., with a keen focus on the building envelope. Treasure Homes insulated under the home's concrete slab and utilized insulated concrete forms, a system of reinforced concrete, to frame the basement. The home's interior features many green features, including touch-less water faucets in the kitchen and master bathroom. The faucets have become a favorite feature of the homeowners, who are doctors and appreciate the germ-reduction feature.

First Small Project Remodel Certification, Glen Burnie, Maryland

July 2013 — 1st Small Project Remodel Certification
The 2012 NGBS introduced a certification pathway for individual functional areas of a home (kitchen, bathroom, basement, and small additions). This basement remodel in Glen Burnie, Md., by T.W. Ellis, LLC, became the first Small Remodel Project to become certified to the NGBS. Remodeler Tim Ellis was approached by an energy consultant looking to renovate his home's basement and expand the livable space. Ellis recognized the homeowner's interest in energy efficiency and sustainability and saw an opportunity to offer his client the newly-available NGBS Green Certified option for small projects like basements.

Dec. 2014 — NGBS Recognized in National Defense Authorization Act
NGBS Green Certification becomes a tool for military housing construction. With the passage of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act in December 2014, Congress authorized the NGBS for use with all military residential construction. Consensus-development and low cost were key considerations in Congress' decision to expand green requirements to include the NGBS.

50,000th Home Certified to NGBS, Raleigh, North Carolina

April 2015 — 50,000 Homes NGBS Green Certified

Home Innovation Research Labs celebrates its 50,000th NGBS Green Certified home. The milestone certification was issued to a single-family home located in Chapel Hill, N.C. The home was built by Saussy Burbank, a custom builder in the Carolinas that has been committed to NGBS Green Certification since 2010. Michael Luzier, Home Innovation President/CEO, said, "The demonstrated success of NGBS Green Certification program shows that our team has been successful at delivering a rigorous, flexible, and cost-effective third-party certification. Companies like Saussy Burbank are using NGBS Green Certification as a way to ensure quality construction and more comfortable, healthy, and efficient living spaces for residents."

The Next Chapter for NGBS and NGBS Green

Currently, the NGBS is in a review and revision cycle, which will culminate in the 2015 National Green Building Standard that will once again seek ANSI approval. The NGBS Consensus Committee will hold its third public meeting this June in Washington, D.C., to take formal action on public comments to the draft standard. On the certification front, Home Innovation has recently created an NGBS Green Advisory Group of key program and industry stakeholders, which will provide support and guidance to help improve Home Innovation's certification service offerings, open new markets for NGBS Green, and identify new prospective NGBS Green Partners. This stakeholder group will hold its inaugural meeting on the Home Innovation campus later this month.

These are just a few of the highlights from the past and exciting things to come for NGBS Green Certification. Stay tuned for the next 50,000 homes ... and beyond!


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