Home Innovation Insights

Be smart about your smart products – maximize marketing to green builders.

Cindy Wasser, MBA
September 23, 2020

Smart Products Are Green Products

Today, it can seem impossible to find a new appliance that isn’t a “smart” product. I recently purchased a new washer and dryer set, and I noted so many models with mobile and voice notification and control. Some products even featured automatic reordering of detergents and softeners based on sensor feedback!

More than any given specific smart function (like the detergent reordering), homebuyers are looking for homes with multiple connected products that work together as a network. Smart technologies are becoming a key consideration for homebuyers and renters in their home searches. A 2015 study by Coldwell Banker and CNET revealed that about 60% of homebuyers, particularly millennials and parents with children, would prefer a home with smart technology. Nearly three out of four millennials would be willing to pay $1,500 more for a home that was smart, and over 40% of those respondents said they would be willing to pay as much as $3,000 more.

Beyond the cool factor and added convenience, smart products offer greater control over a home’s systems, with the potential for improved comfort and reduced energy and water use. When incorporated into a whole-home strategy, smart appliances can contribute toward green building certification and additional recognitions.

The National Green Building Standard® includes building practices that recognize homes and buildings with smart appliances and systems, as smart devices can be used as a tool to achieve energy efficiency goals. The smart products that contribute toward NGBS Green Certification include:

  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Ventilation systems
  • Service hot water heating systems
  • Irrigation controllers

Where homes and buildings are thoughtfully designed to include smart controls for multiple building systems and a communicating thermostat, they can earn the new NGBS Green+ SMART HOME badge, in addition to the comprehensive green certification. This additional recognition is designed to help builders highlight in a prominent and visual way the specific smart home features that consumers are seeking. Builders that earn the NGBS Green+ badge gain access to specialized marketing materials and a customized green certificate to use in marketing their home or building.

Product manufacturers should definitely learn how your products stack up with regard to NGBS points and the NGBS Green+ SMART HOME badge, and then discuss those details with builders who are considering specifying your products for their green certified buildings. In addition to contributing to builders attaining a “plus” badge, many smart products are eligible for NGBS Green product certification, which provides a credible third-party green certification, access to the NGBS Green certification mark, an online listing, and promotion among the NGBS Green program partners.

Interested in learning more about NGBS Green Certification and certification opportunities for smart products? Download the NGBS Green Certified Products Overview & Application Resources from our “Get Listed” page and contact me to discuss.


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