Home Innovation Insights

Insider insights on what's going on in the home building industry.

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August 25, 2021

Quick QAP Recap: August 2021

Home Innovation actively advocates for third-party certified, green, affordable housing by providing input for state Qualified Allocation Plan (QAPs). QAPs specify a state agency’s allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Most QAPs include criteria for energy efficiency and green building, and nearly 30 states specify green building certification as a requirement or point-based incentive. When third-party green certification is included within a QAP, NGBS Green Certification is typically recognized alongside other credible national green building programs. NGBS Green certification is affordable to implement, making it ideally suited for affordable housing.

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Building Codes, Building Products, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Green Building, Marketing

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August 9, 2021

$o Many Rea$on$ to Get NGB$ Green Certified

Some multifamily developers forego seeking green building certification because they believe the costs are too high. It can cost a lot – but not for the reasons they may be thinking. Ultimately, it’s not that the costs are too high to earn the green certification – rather, it is the opportunity cost of leaving tens of thousands of dollars of incentive financing on the table when they don’t have a green certification. As these developers finalize their permanent financing, they realize how green certification would have more than paid for itself (many times over) if only they had added it as a design objective prior to construction.

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August 6, 2021

Deep Dive: How State LIHTC Programs Reference Third-Party Green Building Programs

State Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) specify a state agency’s allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). To encourage the development of residences that support their sustainability, resilience, and healthy housing goals, states can provide federal housing tax credits to developers that build green certified housing. Comprehensive green building programs help to ensure that projects funded by housing credits will not only create new housing opportunities, but also ensure that people living in affordable housing can live healthier, spend less money on utilities, and have more opportunities with access to transportation, better quality food, and health care.

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June 16, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Drew Smith, NGBS Green MASTER Verifier on the 2021 TNAR Show Home

Every couple weeks we allow a green blog takeover by one of our NGBS Green program’s Verifier influencers with green expertise to share. Today's takeover-er is Drew Smith, of Two Trails, Inc., an NGBS Green MASTER Verifier with many years of experience verifying The New American Home (TNAH) and The New American Remodel (TNAR) show homes that are featured at the International Builders’ Show annually. Find out some of the unique challenges and opportunities that he and the project team for the 2021 TNAR experienced.

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June 4, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Abe Kruger, 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 Abe Kruger, SK Collaborative and an accredited NGBS Green Verifier. Read on to see what Abe has to say.

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May 25, 2021

Quick QAP Recap

Home Innovation actively advocates for third-party certified, green, affordable housing by providing input for state Qualified Allocation Plan (QAPs). QAPs specify a state agency’s allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Most QAPs include criteria for energy efficiency and green building, and nearly 30 states specify green building certification as a requirement or point-based incentive. When third-party green certification is included within a QAP, NGBS Green Certification is typically recognized alongside other credible national green building programs. NGBS Green certification is affordable to implement, making it ideally suited for affordable housing.

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Building Codes, Building Products, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Green Building, Marketing

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May 21, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Sara Collier, 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 Sara Collier, Southern Energy Management and an accredited NGBS Green Verifier. Read on to see what Sara has to say.

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May 6, 2021

Decisions, Decisions: Choosing the Best Multifamily NGBS Energy Efficiency Compliance Option

There are many benefits to energy-efficient buildings. For multifamily buildings, these include lower operating costs for common areas, eligibility for preferred financing incentives, higher valuation on resale, greater marketability of the building to renters, lower utility bills, better quality, and increased comfort. When it comes to residential energy efficiency, there are basically two options for demonstrating energy compliance to the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS): the Prescriptive and the Performance.

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April 15, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Stephen Evanko, NGBS Green MASTER Verifier, LEED AP, BPI – MFBA & HHE

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 Stephen Evanko, LEED AP, BPI – MFBA & HHE, Managing Director of Energy and Sustainability for Dominion Due Diligence and an accredited NGBS Green MASTER Verifier. Read on to see what Stephen has to say.

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April 8, 2021

Resilience is Key (Part 2): Q&A with James Williams, PE, CE, SE, AIA

Recently, Home Innovation had a chance to discuss resilience in the context of sustainability and building performance with James M Williams PE, CE, SE, AIA, who authored the resilience section of the 2020 NGBS.

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March 29, 2021

Resilience is Key: New NGBS Options

By most measures, 2020 was the year of COVID-19. Yet while the pandemic raged, there was no shortage of climate/weather disasters in the United States. In 2020, the U.S. suffered through 22 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each. These events included one drought, 13 severe storms, 7 tropical cyclones, and one wildfire event. 2020 set a new annual record of 22 events - shattering the previous annual record of 16 events that occurred in 2011 and 2017. Together these events were responsible for 262 deaths and over $93 billion in costs. And the hits just kept coming since then – e.g., “snow-mageddon” in Texas in early 2021, for which the total damages and long-term impacts are still being calculated, tornadoes earlier this month in Central Texas, as well as flooding events in the Southeastern U.S./Gulf Coast region.

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March 12, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Thiel Butner, 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 Thiel Butner, Managing Principal of Pando Alliance and NGBS Accredited Verifier. Read on to see what Theil has to say.

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February 25, 2021

Don’t Be a Drip: Get WaterSense Certification with NGBS Green

Buyers of green homes want to avoid wasting water and save money with lower water bills. Water efficiency can also increase energy savings for buyers and renters, as less energy is required for hot water heating compared to typical home design. Research has shown that buyers are willing to spend from 1-4% of a home’s purchase price for third-party green certifications, such as Home Innovation’s NGBS Green, which all include some element of water and other resource efficiency. Most recently, NAHB’s 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want survey says nearly 50% of homebuyers are willing to pay at least an additional $500 for a home that meets an above-code standard for water efficiency. 

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February 19, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Jamie Carr, 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 Jamie Carr, Partner at Eco Achievers and NGBS Accredited Master Verifier. Read on to see what Jamie has to say.

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February 12, 2021

2 Critical Calculations for Consumer Comfort: ACH and ELR

“There’s no place like home!” But surely even Dorothy Gale wouldn’t have wanted to go back if home was hot and humid or cold and dry. Comfort is the appeal that draws residents home every day. Whether they think about it or not, the climate and air quality in homes can make the difference in how comfortable the residents and their guests feel. Most home owners or renters turn on the air conditioner in the summer and the heater in the winter with limited knowledge about how these systems work. Builders don’t have that option – you must know all the important factors that go into calculating building envelope tightness, which ultimately lead to resident comfort.

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February 5, 2021

Putting the EE in GREEN: Energy Efficiency Compliance for Single-Family NGBS Green Certification

NGBS Green Certified homes perform better than code minimum homes in many ways, but energy efficiency is one of the most tangible benefits to homebuyers. Benefits of an energy-efficient home include lower utility bills, increased comfort, and improved resale value. When it comes to energy efficiency, there are two options for demonstrating compliance to the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) – the Prescriptive Path or the Performance Path.

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January 26, 2021

Everything Old Can Be Green Again: 2020 NGBS Enhancements for Existing Buildings

Compared to code-minimum buildings, NGBS Green Certified new buildings use less energy, waste less water, help manage stormwater better, and have improved indoor air quality, among other benefits. But, while the benefits of new NGBS Green buildings are significant, they pale in comparison to the benefits when project teams use the NGBS to guide their building renovations and conversions. The number of new buildings constructed each year is a very small percentage of existing buildings, so the NGBS’s potential for mitigating the impacts of older, inefficient buildings and improving the living conditions for the occupants of these buildings is critical. Find out more about the remodeling and renovation options now available in the NGBS.

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January 22, 2021

Voice of the Verifier: Laurie Colwander, 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 Laurie Colwander from Southern Energy Management. Read on to see what Laurie has to say.

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January 15, 2021

WRI — the New “MPG” Metric for Home Water Use

As consumers, we appreciate the opportunity to use performance metrics to estimate the total cost of ownership of our vehicles, homes, and appliances. Since 1977, a miles per gallon (or MPG) metric has been displayed prominently on vehicle labels. Consumers rely on that metric for understanding how much it would cost to operate a vehicle for their daily commute, errands, and social activities. No matter how stylish, roomy, or tech-enabled a vehicle is, I couldn’t imagine purchasing it before researching that MPG value.

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January 7, 2021

Commercial Product Manufacturers — Get Your Products NGBS Green Certified

With the release of the 2020 NGBS, the scope of Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Certification expanded, making the program even more relevant to the multifamily and commercial sectors of the construction industry. Now, most products intended for commercial applications are eligible to be certified and recognized for their contribution toward residential spaces complying with the NGBS. The Commercial Spaces compliance pathway also introduced many new practices that refer to commercial building products, appliances, and fixtures. Now is the perfect time to get your commercial building products NGBS Green Certified. 

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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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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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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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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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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!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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!

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September 17, 2020

NGBS Version Aversion? How to Pick the Right NGBS Version for Your Project

In early 2020, ANSI approved the fourth version of the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) as an American National Standard. Now, builders and developers have a choice to seek NGBS Green certification based on either the 2015 NGBS or the 2020 NGBS. Which is the best version for your project and your market? Some may presume that compliance with the 2015 NGBS would be less challenging and/or less expensive to achieve compliance. But, don’t be so quick to dismiss the 2020 as a more beneficial option. The 2020 NGBS Consensus Committee made several important improvements that warrant strong consideration before embarking on your next green building project. Check out this post on some factors to consider as you make the decision.

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September 2, 2020

Healthy, Smart & Efficient – Earn NGBS Green+ for Your Next Home

Homebuyers look for sustainable and efficient design, but they also bring their own values to the home search. Health is top of mind for consumers right now, and many buyers recognize the role that our homes play in keeping us healthy and safe. Since we’re all spending more time at home, some buyers look for the convenience afforded by smart home systems and accessible design. And, while there is so much uncertainty globally, some crave the security that is afforded by energy and water independence and resilient design.

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April 13, 2020

Manufacturer Mindset: Finding Solutions to Today’s Moisture Issues

Moisture control and dehumidification are increasingly hot topics among residential builders and property managers in hot-humid climates. Home Innovation's Cindy Wasser recently spoke with a couple of our manufacturer partners with NGBS Green Certified Products to learn more about the industry trends they’re seeing, and the solutions their companies are implementing to ensure energy-efficient green homes maintain proper moisture and humidity.

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March 16, 2020

How NGBS Green Certification Program is Addressing Issues Associated with COVID-19

The NGBS Green Certification program team is monitoring the ongoing situation affecting the nation and the globe with the coronavirus/COVID-19. We have put certain practices into place and provided guidance to our NGBS Green Verifiers (who are all independent contractors subject to their own business requirements) and other program partners, and will continue to update as best practices and guidance from the CDC dictate.

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March 14, 2018

True Value: NGBS Green Certification Lauded for Adding Value for Builders and Homeowners

Greenwashing. Unfortunately, it’s not a new form of consumer deception. But, fortunately, there are both new and improving means of shining a light on those who seek to deceive, as well as recognizing and rewarding those who provide true value with high-performance, green building.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Survey Research, Data and Trends

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February 28, 2018

Market Segmentation: Precision Helps You Communicate More Effectively

One market, one message, one ad strategy, one set of product options — sounds simple and efficient, doesn’t it? But we all know that’s not how modern marketing works. As marketers get more savvy, and buyers more discerning, lumping everyone into a single bucket is only a simple and efficient way to continue losing ground against competitors. Even “segmenting” your market by Builder, Retailer, or Contractor channels falls short of a strategy that will propel you ahead of competitors and help you make the most of your advertising, marketing, and communications budgets.

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December 8, 2017

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Why work harder to find products that meet your NGBS certification needs, when you can work smarter by specifying NGBS Green Certified Products? Our NGBS Green Certified Product program bridges the gap between manufacturers who produce NGBS-compliant products, and the builders/designers who want to use them.

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March 1, 2017

The Inside Scoop:
NGBS Green Verifiers Tell All

Despite the best efforts of the Home Innovation green team, and volumes of information available to dispel the myth, some builders still believe that getting a home green certified is a difficult, costly, and time-consuming task. Perhaps one of the greatest proof points that NGBS Green Certification is none of these things is its market share – in a relatively short period of time, NGBS Green has gone from a start up to the leading green home certification provider in the country. Many NGBS Green Verifiers say the builders who participate in NGBS Green find it a more straightforward and affordable way to stand out from their competition.

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January 27, 2017

SolSmart Serves Up Soft Cost Savings

Soft costs can often be a deal-breaker for solar installation. DOE's SolSmart is helping builders and developers overcome barriers to solar in residential construction that can often come from arduous local zoning, permitting, and inspection requirements. Find out more about the program and how it can help in your community.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Solar Energy, Energy Performance, Building Codes

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January 9, 2017

NGBS Green: Keys to Success in 2016 and Beyond

2016 was a good year for NGBS Green, marked by steady growth. As we head into the new year on the brink of recognizing our 100,000th NGBS Green Certified home, it's a good time to reflect on the keys to the market success of green certification and how they will continue to benefit participants going forward.

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October 14, 2016

Pivotal Advance in Green Building Valuation

Home Innovation Research Labs recently announced a data sharing agreement with my company, Pivotal Energy Solutions. The announcement may have seemed inconsequential at the time, but I’m convinced that what this agreement represents is a critical next step in the marketing of energy-efficient homes and has potential to impact your business in a BIG way.

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August 15, 2016

Streamlined Permitting for PV? Yes, Please!

DOE's SolSmart is helping builders and developers overcome the barriers to solar in residential construction that can often come from arduous local zoning, permitting, and inspection requirements. Find out more about this new program and how it can help in your community.

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July 1, 2016

2015 NGBS: Keeping Up With The Times

ANSI approved the 2015 NGBS in April. This latest version preserves the standard's tradition as the building industry’s benchmark for residential projects designed and built for high performance, and makes it easier than ever to incorporate green features into your next project. Find out how Home Innovation's NGBS Green Certification program and its rating system are keeping up with latest in green building.

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March 10, 2016

NGBS Green: Getting Better with Age!

Embarking on the 7th year of operation for NGBS Green, Home Innovation Research Labs has made some program improvements -- some big, some not so big, but all geared toward delivering the most responsive, reliable, and cost-effective green home certification program available.

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February 5, 2016

New Green Advocacy Tool Hot Off the Presses: NGBS Green Annual Report

Home Innovation Research Labs recently debuted its inaugural green certification program annual report, “NGBS Green: A Better Place to Call Home.” The report provides a new advocacy quill in the quiver of builders and verifiers around the country hoping to promote more choice in the marketplace in regions where green building is required by code.

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November 19, 2015

Don't Mess with FTC: Substantiate Your Green Marketing Claims

The FTC is becoming ever more vigilant on pursuing those who mislead consumers on the "green" attributes of their products. While homes are very different than cleaning products and other consumer goods, find out why Home Innovation’s NGBS Green certification program offers a safe haven for builders to deliver consumers green, high performance homes, and not run afoul of the FTC.

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October 9, 2015

Is It Really All About That Price? Not Likely!

Many builders mistakenly believe that green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally-conscious consumers care about green features. Instead, they reason, homebuyers are all about the sales price. Find out why, more and more, that's simply not the case.

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September 18, 2015

Kaizen is Key to the Success of NGBS Green

Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement; a belief that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. In the six years since Home Innovation played a critical role in the development of the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) and began to offer NGBS Green Certification to the residential industry, our kaizen approach has helped drive our success.

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June 8, 2015

Capitalizing on Growing NGBS Green Momentum

As a builder, member of Home Innovation's Board, and chair of the new NGBS Green Advisory Group, it was affirming to hear builders and developers on the Advisory Group recently discuss how NGBS Green has helped them transform their specific projects, but also to acknowledge the challenges that remain to transform the market. Quite simply, this is the value proposition of NGBS Green. It helps builders be more successful and at the same time produce buildings with greater inherent value and smaller environmental impacts. Find out more about the growing momentum of NGBS Green.

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May 1, 2015

An NGBS Retrospective: 50,000 NGBS Green Certified Homes

With the 50,000th NGBS Green Certified home in our very recent past, it seemed like a perfect time to look back on what a game-changer the NGBS rating system has been to the home building industry, and celebrate the achievements of our dedicated NGBS Green Partners who have sought third-party green home certification.

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February 12, 2015

Don’t Go It Alone: Verifiers Can Help Avoid Scheduling Issues, Costly Damages

One of the most important aspects of multifamily construction is scheduling. If done properly, it can save the owner and the general contractor a lot of time, money, and frustration. But all too often, this process is not monitored closely enough. In large multi-million-dollar projects, the smallest mistakes in construction sequencing can be devastating to the project by causing costly delays, damages, and legal actions. NGBS Green Verifiers can help you plan so that a small error in scheduling doesn't result in a major catastrophe in your green building.

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January 29, 2015

NGBS Bronze Cookbook: Your Winning Recipe for Green Home Building

Despite green building experts’ declarations to the contrary, a truly high-performance, green home is not always easy for builders to design and construct, and there are always additional costs involved as compared to building a code-minimum home. These are facts. But we do all that we can to make the process easier and more affordable for builders, so that more builders will build green homes and verify performance with independent, third-party verification.

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December 26, 2014

Delivering Green for Those Defending the Red, White, and Blue

In light of the recent approval by Congress of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and specific recognition of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) in that legislation, Balfour Beatty's Hayley King discusses how the NGBS can work well for military housing and the land on which it’s developed.

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December 11, 2014

Take Advantage of New Appraisal Tool for Green Homes

Imagine a buyer expecting you to provide a proposal for a new home without knowing what size or type of home they want you to build. Ridiculous! Impossible! Well, that's not too far off from what often happens in high-performance appraisal requests. Find out how to take full advantage of the "Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum" recently issued by the Appraisal Institute to ensure your appraiser can properly value your NGBS Green Certified home by knowing the details of the construction and the high-performance features.

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November 26, 2014

3 Simple Green Home Marketing Rules

A recent national consumer insights study estimated that 60 percent of Americans, roughly 185 million people, are interested in green and healthy living. OK. So you build green homes. But are you doing your best to reach those green-hungry consumers? Don't go to the effort of having your home NGBS Green Certified and then keep it a secret. Following some simple green home marketing rules can help you get the most out of your commitment to green by helping buyers better understand what they will get (and what they won't be lacking) by buying a green home.

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November 14, 2014

Maximize the Value of Your Green Home Verification

Rigorous verification is a hallmark of NGBS Green Certification. No other green building certification has a similarly thorough verification protocol, while still being affordable. Our national network includes over 400 accredited NGBS Green Verifiers trained to inspect every conceivable residential project. An experienced verifier can help your project team get the most value out of the verification. So don't just endure verification; embrace it. After all, you are paying for it – might as well maximize the value!

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November 4, 2014

5 Tips to Help Market Your Green Homes

Some builders are adamant that homebuyers don’t care about green. They rationalize this conclusion because homebuyers don’t typically ask for green features explicitly. However, market research consistently confirms that a majority of mainstream Americans do care about sustainable choices. One national consumer insights study estimates that 60 percent of Americans, roughly 185 million people, are interested in green and healthy living. So what's missing? Builders need to apply the basic tenets of effective marketing to their green home marketing -- deliver the right message to the right audience in the right way.

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October 17, 2014

Are You Willing to Bet it All on Energy Efficiency?

Homebuyers want much more out of their homes than just energy efficiency. The research findings proving this point are irrefutable. Yet there are still builders who put all their marketing might onto the single-point message that their homes are energy efficient and will provide a tangible, monetary payback. That's leaving a lot of unclaimed marketing chips on the table for the home features buyers value even more than energy and the related cost savings. Isn't it time to face the facts and deliver what homebuyers really want? Homes that provide a healthy place for their families, comfort, and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle — truly green homes.

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October 8, 2014

Local Green Home Advocacy Efforts Lead to Jobs, Market Development

Frustrated by lack of local knowledge about or interest in green home building? See how one local jurisdiction in Washington State used the National Green Building Standard as a catalyst for positive change in job creation and green home market development.

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September 26, 2014

Significance of a National Standard for Green Homes

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) provides consumers a single standard by which to make informed decisions for what may be the most important, if not most expensive, purchases of their lives: their homes. With an NGBS Green Certified home, consumers rest assured that the appropriate practices and products have not only been installed, but have also passed (at least) two independent inspections by an accredited, third-party verifier. Consumers should look for the NGBS Green Certified mark to help separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to truly green homes and apartments.

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September 5, 2014

Making Significant Strides on Green Home Appraisals

Too often, the value of the green features in high-performing homes have been either underestimated or overlooked during the appraisal and lending processes. This limits the ability of builders to properly differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and the ability of homeowners to get the full value of their homes in appraisals and resale pricing. But the times they are a changin’! Over the last year, important strides have been made to ensure that appraisers and lenders are equipped to recognize and value green home features.

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August 13, 2014

3 Benefits of the ANSI Process for NGBS Development

As the Sustainability Coordinator for Balfour Beatty Communities’ diverse housing portfolio, Hayley King's chief objective is to recommend and execute efficient products and services that reduce our operating costs while increasing the bottom line. Find out why she's found the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) an invaluable resource to accomplish these corporate goals, and why she values the openness, transparency, and diversity of stakeholder input in the development of the 2015 NGBS.

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August 8, 2014

Which Costs More - Getting Third-Party Verification, or Not Getting It?

Compared to other national third-party green certification programs, Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Certification fees are remarkably affordable. The “bricks and sticks” costs to comply with the NGBS are also relatively affordable for most projects, due to the expansive point-based system to achieve green certification. So, verification costs end up being the biggest bucket of “added cost” for projects seeking NGBS Green Certification. But experienced NGBS Green Partner builders and developers will attest to the benefits and value that independent, third-party verification provides green projects.

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August 1, 2014

Prove Your Green Home Claims through Verification

As Ronald Reagan famously declared, “Trust, but verify.” We concur, especially when it comes to green home building. All good intentions aside, there is a lot of complex and interdependent building science at work behind the scenes of any high-performance home, which is why third-party verification is critical for us to have confidence declaring a project “green” via our NGBS Green certification program.

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July 23, 2014

NGBS Not Just for “Typical” Buyers or Renters

While we know there's increasing awareness and demand for green homes among homebuyers and renters, it's interesting to note these "typical" consumers are not the only drivers for residential green certification. Builders and developers are frequently (and pleasantly) surprised by the wide variety of projects, other than traditional home construction, to which they can apply the National Green Building Standard. Find out a little more about some unique, but practical, applications for NGBS Green Certification, such as student housing and even some hotels.

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July 16, 2014

Align Your Green Home Marketing with Your Buyers' Values, Not Your Own

One of the most significant obstacles to green home building is the prevailing builder myth that ALL consumers ONLY care about energy efficiency because an energy-efficient home will cost less to operate. It's just not that simple. While many consumers do care about energy efficiency, and a portion of those care about it specifically because a more efficient home, apartment, or car will save them money, that only tells part of the story. Find out more about the other pieces of the green home marketing puzzle that builders must learn to solve.

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June 25, 2014

A 50-Year Legacy of Innovation

Having just marked our 50th year in business last week, it seems like a perfect time to look back on some of the key home building innovations our team has helped to gain acceptance in the mainstream by eliminating barriers to market penetration. While there's probably no one builder who uses all these innovations, I bet most builders use at least one on a regular basis. We're proud of that legacy.

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Product Testing, Building Products, Building Practices, Building Codes, Energy Performance, Green Building

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June 18, 2014

Off the Shelf Green: Don't Reinvent the Wheel

For decades, cities have been grafting green building certifications into commercial building codes, but more and more they're doing likewise with residential building. Rather than invent yet another green code, building departments can benefit from using a proven, off-the-shelf green home building certification that can be implemented quickly and effectively. Plus, homeowners get the added benefit of having a nationally recognized green home certification, adding market value to properties in a sale or refinance.

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June 12, 2014

The Green Building Carrot vs. Stick Debate

When the NGBS was originally developed, some builders opposed it for fear that local jurisdictions would adopt it as code, turning a voluntary, above-code program into a mandate. Those fears have been largely unfounded. A number of government agencies and a few public utilities have incentivized NGBS compliance, but very few have outright mandated the NGBS as code. Find out why Home Innovation encourages the incentive approach.

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June 6, 2014

Your Building is Green - Why Isn't Your Appraisal?

For multifamily building owners, the old excuse that the appraiser "just didn't get it" when it comes to receiving a green appraisal, doesn't have the validity today that it once did. It's more a matter of owners not knowing how to properly seek an appraisal process that values green attributes. Bob Sahadi of the Institute for Market Transformation discusses the existing gaps he's seen in green multifamily building owners receiving appropriate green appraisals that reflect their buildings' inherent benefits — lower operating expenses, faster absorption, lower vacancies, and even more favorable capitalization rates.

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May 28, 2014

Get Help Navigating The ‘Gray Zone’ in Green: Commercial-Grade Residential Construction

Use of the NGBS for multifamily construction has been booming over the past few years, and it's being accepted as the green program of choice at near exponential rates. All NGBS Green Verifiers are trained by Home Innovation to verify all types of green projects, but on-the-ground expertise varies. If you are transitioning from multifamily low- and mid-rise buildings to multifamily high-rise buildings, it's important to work with an NGBS Green Verifier who understands the "gray areas" and differences with this kind of project to maximize the value of your verification.

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May 15, 2014

NGBS Keeps Builders on The Cutting Edge

It's 2014, the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is gaining ground and being accepted in many states, and it is no longer a question of "if" but "when" you will be required to meet a certain building leakage number. So if you're a home builder still asking, “Isn't it better – and greener – to just let my homes 'breathe' naturally rather than sealing them tightly and relying on mechanical ventilation?” you're in for an abrupt and rude awakening when the new code comes to town. Don't wait. The future is now. And certification to the NGBS is your best tool.

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May 8, 2014

Why Provide a Green Homeowner Manual?

Homes today, especially high-performance green homes, are complex – they involve systems within systems, integrated technologies, and dozens of “pieces” or components that homeowners rely on every day. Each home component – including systems, appliances, finishes, and more – has its own make, model, serial number, user manual, warranty information, and more. A homeowners’ manual is the key to maintaining and understanding all of these components, and providing a comprehensive manual to your homeowners is the key to establishing yourself as a reliable resource for them.

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May 6, 2014

Increasing Green Home Interoperability

Across the real estate transaction process, various users are obtaining and utilizing green home data for their own purposes, but that information is not necessarily translatable to other users. There's a significant lack of interoperability in the system, where everyone is speaking on different frequencies, and often even in different "languages" about green. This undermines the ability of anyone to fully and effectively communicate about green home features and have them recognized and valued throughout the process. Last week's unveiling of NAR's Green MLS Implementation Guide v1.0 is a huge step toward rectifying this situation.

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April 28, 2014

Start Engaging the Apartment Renter Looking for Green Living

Consumers are crying out for ways to live green. They intrinsically believe that it’s the right thing to do. However, when faced with the most important decisions about where to live, green just can’t compete against more important criteria. That’s fine, because living green is an important part of each box prospects are looking to check. 

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April 17, 2014

Quality is Key

This week I was on a mission to purchase sneakers. I am a loyal consumer to a brand known for their technological innovations and superior performance. Given their extensive product line, I sought to narrow my choice by reading online customer reviews. What I learned was interesting, and a problem not unfamiliar to the residential construction industry: they lost control of their quality.

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April 15, 2014

Reasons to Select NGBS Land Development Certification over LEED ND

While LEED® for Neighborhood Development™ (LEED-ND) continues to hold greater name recognition, a lesser-known certification option of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is the Green Land Development certification. This green rating system covers the design, planning, and development of residential and mixed-use green communities. Since 2009, Home Innovation Research Labs has certified 22 land developments, representing over 1,500 lots, with nine communities currently in progress, representing 21,382 lots!

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March 27, 2014

How to Help Appraisers Fairly Value Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

At Elevate Energy, we design and implement efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. As a provider of these programs, we understand that future success is dependent upon energy efficiency becoming transparent in the real estate transaction of high performance homes.

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March 25, 2014

The Future of Green Building

Shortly after last year's USGBC GreenBuild conference, an online publication queried building professionals as to their thoughts and expectations of the future of green building. Overwhelmingly, it seemed the green building experts interviewed believed that eventually there would be no distinction between green, high-performance building and standard construction, simply because conventional construction would be so much more efficient than current industry standards. Similarly, I often hear builders opine that because energy codes have become so much more stringent, there soon will be no need for above-code green certification programs.

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March 20, 2014

Green Homes Are Expected to be Durable (Now Let’s Make Sure)

High-performance homes appeal to consumers because of their touted benefits: a healthier indoor environment, lower operating costs, and increased durability. Certainly, the benefits are compelling. But do we know if high-performance homes can live up to these elevated expectations?

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March 13, 2014

Why Use Green Products

If you are a builder or developer who is just getting started with green home construction, look no further than Home Innovation Research Labs' NGBS Green Certified product mark on product packaging and marketing materials to identify and source green building products. NGBS Green Certified products are pre-approved by Home Innovation to contribute toward a home or building meeting specific NGBS practices, and use of certified products offers labor-savings and streamlined verification to builders/developers.

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March 6, 2014

Go forward? It's the only thing to do!

It's a basic rule of business: if you're not moving forward, you get left behind – and the green building market is no exception. With the ink barely dry on the 2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Home Innovation Research Labs is starting the development of the 2015 NGBS. It will take us about two years to fulfill ANSI’s demanding requirements and comprehensive process. That's why it's critical that we start early to have a completed NGBS when the market is ready.

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February 27, 2014

Survey Says…Consumers Are Looking for Green Homes

New consumer research by NAHB and GuildQuality, a leading provider of customer satisfaction surveying for the residential building industry, offers unique insight into how green homeowners feel about their homes – particularly regarding overall satisfaction and promotion.

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February 20, 2014

Making it Easier for Consumers to Go Green

Home Innovation Research Labs began to certify homes and multifamily buildings to the NGBS in 2009. Since then, we have certified over 30,000 homes and lots as NGBS compliant; and have almost 50,000 homes registered as seeking certification. Until recently, however, we have not had an effective way to reach consumers. A new and exciting partnership with Porch.com will help us overcome that challenge.

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January 30, 2014

Looking Forward to GSA Taking Leadership Role in Green Housing

With all the work GSA has done recently to establish leadership in sustainable commercial building and development, there's reason to be optimistic and anticipate similar leadership on their part in regard to green housing. Find out why I'm hopeful.

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January 16, 2014

2014: A “Race to Zero” Odyssey

The next generation of housing industry professionals has to be better trained to deliver the home of the future. The DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition is part of this important transformation process toward creating better homes and communities.

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January 9, 2014

5 Green Home Building Trends from 2013

2013 was a year marked with change and innovation in the world of green. Find out about some of the leading trends we saw in our green home certification program.

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Green Building, Energy Performance, Building Practices, Data and Trends

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December 26, 2013

The Calendar Year is Ending But Opportunity Springs Eternal - What's Your Next Opportunity?

It’s not always easy to collect the right kind of information from the right kind of respondents for the residential construction industry. But with 50 years of expertise on the ins and outs of the housing industry, we have the know-how to overcome the potential difficulties that come with getting meaningful, actionable data.

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Green Building, Marketing, Energy Performance, Building Products, Product Testing, Survey Research

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December 19, 2013

Student Design Teams "Race to Zero" in DOE's Challenge Home Competition

In mid-December, we closed out registration for the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition. The response we got from colleges and universities across North America was really inspiring — all told, 32 teams have stepped up to the challenge in DOE's "race to zero" in energy-efficient home designs. Find out more.

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Air Sealing Design, Building Codes, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Green Building, Insulation, Solar Energy

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November 28, 2013

Green Homebuyers (Still) Not Willing to Give Up Comfort, Convenience

Over the past decade, we've undertaken dozens of market research projects to uncover what consumers know or don't know, like or dislike, want or don't want in green homes. Find out what insights this long-ranging look at consumer preferences has given me, and some of the most meaningful and easy remedies to barriers that might confront builders heading down the green home path.

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Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences, Survey Research, Green Building, Building Products, Marketing, Building Practices

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November 14, 2013

What You Need, Is a Change of Habit!

Elvis was right. “Changes are a-comin', for these are changing days.” The housing industry is no stranger to change; many of our clients have successfully navigated the cyclical housing market. But it certainly seems the pace of change within our characteristically slow-to-change industry has accelerated.

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October 31, 2013

Multiple Units, Multiple Benefits: Multifamily Certification to the NGBS

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) has broad applicability for projects of all sizes and designs, including single-family homes and multifamily buildings, and both new construction and rehab/remodel projects. This post breaks down perhaps the “best kept secret” of the NGBS - the option for multifamily rehab projects. 

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Green Building, Energy Performance, Building Practices

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October 3, 2013

Good, Fast, or Cheap - Why Choose?

The old adage says consumers can pick two — good, fast, or cheap. So if you want good + fast, the result will be expensive. Contrary to this common belief, when designing NGBS Green Certification our goal was to deliver a program that met all three criteria. Find out how we've met this goal.

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Green Building, Marketing, Energy Performance, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences

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September 26, 2013

Tallahasee Community Becomes First NGBS Green Certified Student Housing Project

Continuing my series on NGBS "firsts," find out more about the first student housing community to ever be NGBS Green Certified. In keeping with market demands for multifamily development, Home Innovation now offers NGBS Green certifications for some hotels, barracks, and dorms. 

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Green Building, Energy Performance, Building Practices

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September 12, 2013

Is Green Certification Worth the Cost?

Is just building a high-performing home enough? Is there value in a third-party validation that what you say about the homes you build is actually true? Find out more about how NGBS Green certification is not just an added cost on your bottom line, but an added, marketable value to the products you offer consumers.

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Green Building, Marketing, Energy Performance, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences

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August 29, 2013

First Small Remodel Project Becomes 2012 NGBS Green Certified

Continuing my series on 2012 NGBS "firsts," this post talks about the first basement remodel to ever be "NGBS Green Certified." Small/functional/area remodel certifications are a new option that had not been available in the previous version of the NGBS. 

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Green Building, Energy Performance, Building Practices

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August 22, 2013

First Emerald-Level 2012 NGBS Green Certified Home

Continuing my series on 2012 NGBS "firsts," find out more about the first home in the country to achieve Emerald, the highest certification level under the new standard. 

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August 15, 2013

First 2012 NGBS Green Certified Single-Family Home

This summer, two single-family homes and a remodeled basement became the first projects certified by Home Innovation to the 2012 version of the NGBS. Check out this first post in my blog mini-series about the first single-family home that was 2012 NGBS Green Certified. 

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August 8, 2013

Don’t Hide Behind the Fine Print. Stand Behind Your NGBS Green Certified Home.

Consumers hate fine print, for good reason. Now, in addition to the extra level of quality NGBS Green Certified homes already provide, there's even more reason for builders of these homes not to hide behind fine print and stand behind their homes with the Bonded Builders Warranty Group Residential Energy Guarantee. 

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Green Building, Marketing, Energy Performance, Building Practices, Homebuyer Preferences

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June 20, 2013

What is an NGBS Green Certified Product?

One of the barriers to green certified housing is the ability for architects, builders, and remodelers to find products that help their project attain certification. That's why Home Innovation Labs created our NGBS Green Certified Products Program. 

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Green Building, Building Products, Marketing

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June 6, 2013

6 Reasons to Choose NGBS Green Certification Over LEED

Despite having tens of thousands of green home certifications under out belt, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and Home Innovation's NGBS Certification Program are still not as well-known as LEED. Find out why NGBS is still the best choice.

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Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Green Building

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May 23, 2013

The Modern Crawlspace: No Rot, Mold, or Bugs About It!

The IRC now has provisions for unvented crawlspaces, which can be practical, energy-efficient options for those building in hot-humid climates. But what's the best way to build these types of crawlspaces? Our new builder resources can help.

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Building Codes, Air Sealing Design, Energy Performance, Green Building, Insulation

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April 5, 2013

2013: A Green Building Odessy

So far this is turning out to be a really transformative year for green home building generally, and the Home Innovation NGBS Green Certification program specifically. Find out why. 

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Green Building, Building Codes, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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February 14, 2013

NGBS 2012: What's In It For Consumers?

What does ANSI approval of the 2012 National Green Building Standard mean for home buyers and owners? Plenty ... and good! Find out more about the consumer benefits imbued in the 2012 NGBS. 

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Insulation, Building Codes, Building Practices

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January 11, 2013

Moving to a Higher Green Standard

The 2008 National Green Building Standard has been helping transform the residential construction industry since it was published in January 2009. With the ANSI approval this week of the 2012 version of the NGBS,  I look forward to the even greater transformation to come.

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Green Building, Building Codes, Energy Performance, Building Practices, Insulation

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January 3, 2013

Fellowship of the New Year's Resolution

Like many, a new year has me reflecting on past accomplishments, pondering new goals, and committing to a few new resolutions. Why not make a resolution that gives you the possibility of success and provides some extra joy – resolve to build a green certified home this year.

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Energy Performance, Marketing, Air Sealing Design, Building Practices, Insulation

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December 6, 2012

Multifamily is Hot. Why Green Certify?

The multifamily market is booming and the forecast is bright. So why is voluntary green certification for multifamily also booming now? See what's driving this decision in many markets.

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Green Building, Data and Trends, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences, Affordable Homes, Marketing, Survey Research

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November 22, 2012

'Tis the Season for (Percent Energy) Savings

Visions of holiday savings at the mall may be dancing through the heads of consumers across the country this Thanksgiving weekend, but I've been thinking about percent energy savings instead. What can I say? I'm an energy code geek!

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Energy Performance, Building Codes, Building Practices, Air Sealing Design, Green Building, Insulation

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November 15, 2012

Occupy Green: My 99% Solution

How can we get more builders to build green certified homes and more consumers to seek them out? So glad you asked! Weigh in on this “99% solution” toward building a brighter future for green residential.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Homebuyer Preferences

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October 18, 2012

Deck the Walls with Insulation

What's one of the "low-hanging fruits" when creating an extremely energy-efficient home? Wall insulation. Be sure not to overlook some of the best practices in this area that can get you closer to your high-performance home goals.

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Energy Performance, Green Building, Building Practices, Insulation

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October 4, 2012

Got Third-Party Certification?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated Green Guides earlier this week that emphasize the value of third-party certifications in minimizing potential consumer confusion and "greenwashing." A must-read for those who market their homes as green.

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Marketing, Green Building, Energy Performance, Data and Trends, Homebuyer Preferences

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September 27, 2012

What's New in the 2012 NGBS?

The next version of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard is soon to make the scene in the home building industry. Find out what has changed from the 2008 version.

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Green Building, Building Codes, Building Practices, Energy Performance

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September 13, 2012

5 Things You Don't Know About the National Green Building Standard

Think all green rating systems are the same? Think again. Let's set the record straight on some common “unknowns” about the National Green Building Standard and continue the important business of building truly green certified homes and apartments.

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Green Building, Building Practices, Energy Performance, Marketing, Affordable Homes

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September 6, 2012

Effective Green Messaging for New Homes

Don't be fooled – just because prospective homebuyers don't ask for "green" specifically, doesn't mean they don't want the benefits that living in a green home can provide. A homebuyer survey we conducted earlier this year proves that green marketing can be very successful as long as you don't leave the meaning of green open to interpretation.

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Green Building, Survey Research, Marketing, Homebuyer Preferences

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August 30, 2012

Bound for Net Zero

There are lots of ways to describe a net-zero home. But no matter the terminology, there is a real-world proven methodology that Home Innovation Labs has used successfully with builders and remodelers across the country to achieve net-zero – it could work for you too.

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Energy Performance, Green Building, Building Practices, Insulation, Solar Energy

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August 16, 2012

Do Customers Really Care About Green?

A recent shopping trip highlighted some very salient elements about marketing "green" to consumers – find out my lessons learned.

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Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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July 26, 2012

Rockin' The Suburbs

Suburbia, which has taken its share of criticism from planners, is still the preferred housing location of a majority of households, according to Harvard's latest state of housing report. Some builders and developers are quieting the suburban critics by doing it right.

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Building Practices, Green Building, Homebuyer Preferences, Marketing

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July 5, 2012

Turn Your Homeowner's Manual into a Marketing Opportunity

Turn the Homeowner’s Manual that is required for NGBS green certification from a challenge into an opportunity with these five easy steps you can start doing today.

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Marketing, Green Building, Building Practices