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Michelle Foster
December 30, 2020

What’s Residential & Non-Residential & Green All Over? 2020 NGBS Green Certified Mixed-Use Buildings

The 2020 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) includes some significant revisions from previous versions. One of the most significant is the scope expansion that allows the NGBS to be used for the design and construction of both the residential and non-residential space in mixed-use buildings. Prior to the 2020 NGBS, only the residential portion of mixed-use buildings could seek NGBS Green certification — the non-residential portion was either not included, or was forced to seek certification from another program.

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Michelle Foster
December 24, 2020

Five Golden Things (to Know About the 2020 NGBS)

It’s been 1 heck of a year, with 2 many momentous events to cover here, but there are 3 things I know – we’re all in this together; hope and love will always conquer fear; and the NGBS Green team will always be here 4 you. In the spirit of the holiday, I’ve wrapped up a summary of the 2020 NGBS with the 5 (Golden?) Things You Need to Know to help with your 2021 certification gameplan…

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Michelle Foster
December 11, 2020

Voice of the Verifier: Phillip LaRocque, NGBS Green Verifier

Come takeover the Home Innovation Insights blog! Every few weeks we are allowing a green blog media takeover and granting posting privileges to a Verifier influencer with green expertise to share.

Today's takeover-er is Philip LaRocque from LaRocque Business Management Services, LLC. Read on to see what Phil has to say.

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Michelle Foster
December 3, 2020

Don’t Call Us Easy! Just Because the NGBS is Popular, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Rigorous

We often hear speculation that because NGBS Green is the most widely used green building certification for residentially-used buildings, it must be the easiest and least rigorous to attain. Clearly, the individuals making those speculations have not taken the time to dig in and understand why NGBS Green is the most popular program. Below is my take on why NGBS Green is the leading green certification program – spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with being less rigorous. In fact, NGBS compliance may be the most difficult of all the green building certification programs when measuring the expected performance of the buildings being certified.

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Michelle Foster
November 20, 2020

Voice of the Verifier: Amy Otley, NGBS Green Verifier

We are debuting a new opportunity for Verifiers – come takeover the Home Innovation Insights blog! Every few weeks we are going to allow a green blog media takeover and grant posting privileges to a Verifier influencer with green expertise to share.

Our first takeover-er is Amy Otley from TexEnergy Solutions/US Eco Logic. Read on to see what Amy has to say.

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Michelle Foster
November 9, 2020

Sun-sational, Sustainable Design in the Tropical Zone

Climate change and its effects are accelerating. Consequently, communities are suffering from more frequent and higher intensity climate-related disasters – from hurricanes to wildfires to flooding. With each new event, we have an opportunity to reconsider how we repair and rebuild disaster-damaged homes and how we design and build new homes.

Enhanced resilience is an essential part of any comprehensive green building certification. A green building standard like the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) is designed to eliminate or reduce the environmental impacts of the homes we build (or rebuild), and also includes practices to help homes better withstand future disasters.

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Michelle Foster
October 27, 2020

Seasons of Green

This month we celebrate another NGBS Green milestone with the certification of our 250,000th NGBS Green Home. When we started the NGBS Green certification program in 2009, our goal was to provide a national, credible, rigorous, and affordable green building certification for the residential construction industry. Until NGBS Green started, residential building certifications lagged significantly behind other building types. The places we lived – our homes, townhouses, multifamily buildings, housing for students and seniors, and assisted living facilities – were foregoing high-performance green building programs because they were too difficult and expensive to attain. We had the audacity to believe that needed to change – and understood the role we could play in helping our entire industry do better. Better for the environment. Better for climate change. Better for homebuyers and renters.

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Michelle Foster
October 14, 2020

Being Green Just Got a Heck of a Lot Easier

With the 2020 NGBS, single-family homes can earn the NGBS Green Certified level if they comply with all applicable green practices from the 2020 NGBS Chapter 12. This streamlined yet rigorous certification path requires homes to be designed and constructed to be more efficient than 2018 IECC code-compliant homes and to include important building practices that ensure the home provides a healthier indoor environment, is more water efficient, and is more durable. 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, Performance, and Energy Rating Index (ERI) paths. For water efficiency, builders have a choice between Prescriptive and Performance paths. This certification option is more streamlined and, to keep verification costs lower, NGBS Green Verifiers can batch multiple homes for both registration and verification report submittal. Find out more about this option.

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Michelle Foster
October 7, 2020

Is Wellness the New Energy Efficiency?

Energy-efficient home builders report that their homes sell faster, for more money, and perhaps more importantly, that their buyers are more satisfied with their energy-efficient home than with their former inefficient homes. Win-win-win. Builders are rewarded for their energy-efficient homes, the environment benefits from homes that require fewer nonrenewable resources, and homebuyers get a more high-performing home. But, is an energy-efficient home the golden ticket for builders? Unfortunately, no. Energy codes are becoming more stringent, so now, depending on a home’s location, even code-minimum homes can be relatively energy efficient. That makes energy performance less of a distinction among builders. Now may be the perfect time to consider emphasizing the health & wellness features of your green homes over their energy efficiency.

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Michelle Foster
September 30, 2020

What’s in a Name? Defining “Residential” in NGBS Terms

When first approved by ANSI in 2009, the NGBS was notable because it was the first national green building rating system specifically designed for residential buildings. Before the NGBS, national programs such as LEED and Green Globes were designed to address the specifics of commercial buildings. Consequently, only a few multifamily buildings in the pre-NGBS days tried to adapt to the compliance requirements of the early green certification options. But even the first few iterations of the NGBS did not cover all types of residential construction. The 2020 NGBS Consensus Committee sought to remedy this issue by revising the NGBS’s definition of residential. Now the NGBS is inclusive of all buildings within which we live during the various stages and phases of our lives. Find out more about the new opportunities now available to multifamily and mixed-use builders and developers.

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Author Bio
Michelle Foster, Vice President, Sustainability
Michelle Foster
Vice President, Sustainability

You can usually find Michelle on the road touting the benefits of our green building certification program based on the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard™. Prior to joining Home Innovation Research Labs, Michelle cultivated decades of housing experience in planning, environmental, land use, and financing issues.