Home Innovation Insights

Major growth and improvements in sustainable building.

Michelle Foster
February 20, 2024

Half a Million NGBS Green Certifications and a Look Back on 2023

Last week, Home Innovation marked the 500,000th NGBS Green home to earn certification with Bluebird, a permanent supportive housing facility in Boulder, CO. This milestone felt like a suitable capstone to the previous year in NGBS Green certifications.

2023 NGBS Green Certification Activity

NGBS Green Annual Certification Stats - over 88000 homes certified, 417 Green+ badges, 32% increase in certified buildings, 26% increase in multi-family remodels, 30% increase in certified units, majority bronze certifications with 32% silver, 5% gold, and 1% emerald

2023 was NGBS Green’s strongest year yet, with over 88,000 homes certified. Not only was this the largest YOY increase in building certification, but an equally large YOY increase in the number of units in the certified buildings. We also saw a marked increase in existing multifamily buildings earning certification. Of all the NGBS Green program stats, this one is a personal favorite. While any new NGBS Green certified home or apartment building is greener and more sustainable than a code-minimum building, we know that we are achieving even greater environmental benefits with every existing building that is renovated to use less water and energy and have fewer impacts on the environment.

Last, we saw a marked increase in the number of homes earning NGBS Green+ certifications. The NGBS Green+ Wellness certification in particular is being sought after by more homes and multifamily buildings.

This milestone certification is also marked by Home Innovation’s 15th year of issuing green certification to the National Green Building Standard ICC-700. NGBS Green certification began as a green building certification specifically for residentially used buildings. In 2009 when the program launched, residential building lagged in green certifications compared to other building types because there simply wasn’t a national, rigorous, or credible program that worked with the way homes were designed, constructed, and financed. Much of our first years were spent listening to builders, developers, contractors, and other stakeholders as to what benefits a green certification needed to provide, and equally important, how the process needed to fit their operational needs. 

NGBS Green Certification Activity by Year

NGBS Green certifications by year showing mostly steady increases with large jumps from 2019 to 2020 and 2022 to 2023; majority multi-family homes with smaller numbers of single family homes

The chart above shows the steady rise in NGBS Green certifications over the past 10 years. Certifications have risen steadily each year, except for 2022 when there was a small retraction which we believe was a result of COVID delays and supply chain issues. As you can see, certification volume came back even stronger in 2023 as projects got back on track and the construction supply chain normalized. Multifamily and mixed-use building certifications have been especially strong. This is largely the result of preferred financing available from HUD or the GSEs for buildings that have earned a green certification.

Single-family home certifications remain a relatively small percentage of certification activity, though we have seen a small increase in homes and townhomes in the past few years. In particular, we have seen a notable increase in the number of built-to-rent homes seeking certification.

NGBS Green Certification Activity by State

NGBS Green certification activity is unsurprisingly strongest in the top housing markets, as evidenced by the maps below. Five states: of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas are in the top ten for both single-family and multifamily homes.

Puerto Rico is notable for the number of new homes NGBS Green certified in the past few years. 1,627 homes have earned NGBS Green certification in PR with 575 more in progress. These homes, built with federal disaster recovery funding allocated after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, are more sustainable as they use less energy and water, and are more resilient than the homes they replaced. Homes being constructed after natural disasters in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama are also in process to earn NGBS Green certification.

Map depicting top states for NGBS Green Certification in 2023 in order: Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Colorado, and Louisiana

Map depicting top 10 states for NGBS Green Certification in 2023 in order: Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Indiana, Louisiana, and New York

We are incredibly proud of our NGBS Green Verifiers as well as the builders and developers who are committed to building better, more sustainable homes. This year will see the release of the 2024 Update for the National Green Building Standard ICC-700, which will continue to improve the sustainable residential building industry. 

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