Home Innovation Insights

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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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Cindy Wasser, MBA
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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Michelle Foster
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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Cindy Wasser, MBA
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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John Peavey, PE
July 16, 2020

A Q&A With Our Newest P.E.!

As you may have seen in our recent news announcement, Home Innovation recently celebrated the licensure of Nay B. Shah as one of Maryland’s and Home Innovation’s most recent Professional Engineers. Home Innovation is known for conducting cutting-edge building science research, green building certification, laboratory testing, and market assessments. As part of this culture, we highly encourage and support the licensure of all of our engineers. We believe it not only adds value to our clients and our work, but is an important step in the career progression of our engineers.

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Cindy Wasser, MBA
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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Ed Hudson, MBA
January 25, 2019

Education & Training Key to Overcoming Builder Challenges With Energy Codes

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a summary of findings to a builder survey, where more than 250 write-in responses to the question, “What are your biggest challenges in constructing homes to meet current energy codes?” were received.

Responses varied widely. In an attempt to summarize the breadth of responses, I would say they indicated that building more energy-efficient homes means the home building industry has to change, and change can be painful — particularly painful when the industry is producing at near capacity, labor and materials costs are rising, and both management and jobsite labor are in short supply. The 85% of respondents who indicated having challenges seemed to convey that the fast pace of building code changes is disrupting the design and construction of homes, and they are trying to sort things out.

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Vladimir Kochkin
October 12, 2018

It’ll Cost You! Where Codes Meet Costs

There are lots of passionate individuals and companies in our industry who are working to bring about positive change. Whether developing a new product, testing a new construction technique/method, introducing a new building code provision, or advocating for a new industry policy, cost is always a factor that needs to be considered on the road to innovation. Cost can be the factor that stops a great idea from going forward.

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