Home Innovation Insights

Bob Burns
November 25, 2020

New Online Portal Will Streamline NGBS Green Program Participation

Online portals and apps are everywhere these days. Used for online banking, shopping, managing prescriptions, and so much more, they represent the natural evolution of the self-service experience through 24/7/365 access and automated notifications to keep you informed of your transactions and interests. They often give you a better sense of control and can reduce tedious email and phone conversations. Technology continues to advance to make the user experience even more streamlined. It’s where we’re headed as a society — and it’s where we’re headed with the NGBS Green program!

In 2011, my company, Pivotal Energy Solutions, created AXIS, a cloud-based database and workflow management platform specifically architected to help streamline the administration of and participation in green and energy efficiency certification programs. Since then, AXIS has been used by utilities, regional program administrators, and HERS rating providers to certify over 78,000 single-family and multifamily residential projects in eight U.S. states. AXIS is the only product on the market today that offers customizable workflow and data management with functionality specifically supporting the certification of energy-efficient homes as a stand-alone platform solution.

Over the next few months, Home Innovation Research Labs will deploy a new online portal built upon Pivotal’s AXIS platform that will enable accredited NGBS Green Verifiers and builders participating in the NGBS Green program to register, track the progress of, and complete their NGBS projects without the email correspondence required for participation today. The self-service portal will be accessible all day, every day, from any modern web browser installed on any modern personal computer or mobile device, and will provide functionality customized to participant roles (i.e., verifiers vs. builders). The portal will manage the workflow required to maintain accreditation and achieve project certification through automated notifications and email reminders.

Upon logging into the portal, builders will be able to manage their NGBS Green builder agreements and insurance certificates while verifiers will be able to manage their NGBS Green verifier agreements, insurance certificates, and continuing education requirements. To eliminate the need for submissions of spreadsheets via email, single-family and multifamily project registration and submission of all Excel spreadsheet verification reports will be accomplished directly through the new portal. Rough and final quality assurance feedback and grading will all be managed within the portal, so the communication between verifiers and NGBS QA staff can be captured in a central location, enhancing access and transparency all around. Desktop audits and virtual inspections will both be managed in a similar manner, so the user experience will be consistent regardless of the type of quality assurance being performed. The portal will also be used to deliver and track invoices so that verifiers and builders alike have on-demand access to the information they need to eliminate any roadblocks to certification. And finally, once a project has been NGBS Green Certified, the portal will enable users to download PDF copies of certificates for immediate documentation of the certification achieved.

Once the data is centralized on the portal, users can log in to view their registered projects and projects that have been certified back to 2009. Credentialed users can export reports, reprint certificates, and even download appraisal forms to assist in documenting the certification achieved for real estate market purposes. And we will even help distribute information on your NGBS Green Certified projects to downstream partners to help you achieve the most recognition and value possible for those certified properties.

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