Home Innovation Insights

Who says it ain’t easy? New option for green single-family home certification.

Michelle Foster
October 14, 2020

Being Green Just Got a Heck of a Lot Easier

Going green isn’t always easy for builders. For one thing, there are certainly a lot of green programs to consider – NGBS Green; Green Globes; Green Communities; LEED; Earth Craft; Earth Advantage. Over the past 10 years, the choice has gotten simpler as more and more builders have selected NGBS Green as their green building certification program of choice. In fact, according to the Green Building Law Update, the NGBS is the most used green building standard in the United States. But still, even after builders select NGBS Green as their program of choice, there are so many green building practices to choose from for compliance — over 1,100 practices actually, but who’s counting? Then, on top of that, there are four levels of certification: Bronze; Silver; Gold; or Emerald. For a new builder, or a high-volume builder with dozens of home models and options, the choices can be overwhelming.

NGBS Green Certified SealFor those of you who may be overwhelmed, let me introduce you to the new 2020 NGBS Certified Path for single-family homes, townhouses, and duplexes. There is only one certification level – Certified. There are now two compliance paths for energy and water efficiency – Prescriptive or Performance. And we have limited the number of mandatory green practices by selecting those that are the most impactful towards the performance of the home. Compliance is very straightforward – successfully incorporate all relevant green practices and the building is eligible to be NGBS Green Certified. 

This new streamlined yet rigorous certification path requires homes to be designed and constructed to be more efficient than 2018 IECC code-compliant homes. The NGBS Chapter 12 Certified Path focuses on the most impactful practices that improve energy and water efficiency, create a healthier living space, and manage potential moisture issues. For energy efficiency, builders have a choice among Prescriptive or Performance Paths (which includes an option to use the Energy Rating Index). For water efficiency, builders have a choice between Prescriptive and Performance paths.

The NGBS Green Certified option is more streamlined and, to keep verification costs lower, NGBS Green Verifiers can batch multiple homes for both registration and verification report submittal. Certification fees are significantly less for this path and, as always, Home Innovation can deliver the NGBS Green certificate within days of receiving the final completed paperwork.

As an ANSI-approved green building rating system, the NGBS provides builders and consumers with a credible definition of green building. Since it provides a flexible system for certification, it offers home builders an affordable process to build green, sustainable homes that are appropriate for their specific climate and location, and meet the needs of their market and homebuyers. 

Why should builders seek NGBS Green certification? Because consumers care about living in green homes and value independent, third-party certification. In March 2020, the National Association of Realtors surveyed its members about sustainability issues facing the industry and found that 61% of Realtors report that consumers were very or somewhat interested in sustainability. And the 2015 Dodge Data & Analytics’ SmartMarket Report, Green and Healthier Homes, found 100% of homebuyers were willing to pay more for an independent, third-party certification.

To determine the best for you and your market, check out the one-pager on NGBS Green certification options for single-family homes. Questions? Contact us.

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