Home Innovation Insights

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Elina Thapa
September 21, 2022

Resiliency and Sustainability

Apart from providing shelter and a place of belonging, a house is also one of the biggest financial investments for many people. Homeowners pour the bulk of their savings into buying a house and then spend half their lives paying expensive mortgages. Imagine all this hard-earned investment wiped out in a single hurricane or torn apart by an earthquake! While there are many unavoidable natural disasters every year, damage to homes could be mitigated by additions/alterations to construction practices—some as simple and low budget as adding hurricane and metal straps to connect the roof and wall members. Sadly, many houses get destroyed each year during disaster events due to lack of resilient construction practices.

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Cindy Wasser, MBA
September 14, 2022

Quick QAP Recap: Fall 2022

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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Cindy Wasser, MBA
September 12, 2022

Why is it Important that WRI is Included within an I-Code?

What is the Water Rating Index (WRI)?

The 2020 National Green Building Standard ICC-700 includes a performance path for residential builders and developers to demonstrate water efficiency. The Water Rating Index (WRI), included as an appendix within the standard, is a methodology by which a 0 to 100 score is assessed for a property’s total indoor and outdoor water use, compared to baseline conditions.

The WRI offers an important new metric that they can use to communicate expected water use to potential buyers. Like HERS and ERI for energy performance, WRI facilitates straightforward comparison across similar properties.

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Michelle Foster
May 6, 2022

Why is it Important the NGBS is Part of the I-Codes?

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) ICC-700 was developed as a collaboration between ICC and NAHB to create a rating system for homes and multifamily buildings that would be used as voluntary, above-code program. Two aspects of the NGBS were innovative and helped propel NGBS Green to become the most widely used green standard for residentially-used buildings in the United States. First, the NGBS is written in code language, so that everyone on a project team -- architects, specifiers, general contractors, MEP engineers, subs, insulation crews, HVAC installers – can understand it because they all know and understand the building code. Second, the NGBS is designed for a specific type of building occupancy, not type of construction -- it's designed for the buildings where we live. Many experts scoffed at this idea when the NGBS was being developed, but it has come to serve the specific needs of multifamily builders, which differ vastly from commercial builders and developers, much more comprehensively than any green building program that came before it. Find out more about how the NGBS both aligns with and adds value to the building codes.

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Michelle Foster
April 22, 2022

Earth Day Reflections: Looking Back on 2021

Today, on Earth Day 2022, everyone is taking rightful stock of the world around them and the impact they have on it. For NGBS Green, that’s not just something we do one day a year – it’s our full-time mission and purpose. But, we figured today was a great opportunity to take a look back at all the NGBS Green certification program did in 2021 to help move the needle further toward creating a better, more sustainable, healthier, and more fulfilling built environment for the places where we all live, both behind the scenes and in the spotlight.

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Michelle Foster
March 30, 2022

The SEC Ups the Ante: Greenwashing Riskier Than Ever

New SEC rules will require public companies to report on the climate impacts of their business. The SEC proposal requires companies to disclose climate-related risks – such as how climate might impact their business, operations, or financial condition – in their statements and corporate reports. Companies will also be required to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, per the new rules. For our NGBS Green certification clients, the proposed SEC rule provides additional validation of your decision to design, build, and own high-performing real property assets, and seek a third-party certification of their conformance to back-up your environmental claims. The SEC rule aligns closely with the value of third-party certification. The NGBS Green mark signifies to investors, consumers, government staff, and other stakeholders that a building’s environmental claims are independently verified.

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Pam Barksdale
February 16, 2022

Got The Stuff to be an NGBS Green PRO? PROve it!

Building professionals who want to learn more about a green building certification for homes, apartments, and mixed-use buildings that is affordable, credible, and provides tangible value, or just want to promote their existing NGBS Green expertise, now have a new way to do it. Home Innovation Research Labs' new training and professional designation, NGBS Green PRO, explains how the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS) can help you build or remodel green, high-performing buildings and tout your knowledge to prospective clients. The program consists of four training modules, all AIA and ICC approved so you can earn continuing education credits. After completing all the modules and passing the tests you can earn the NGBS Green PRO professional designation.

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Cindy Wasser, MBA
January 25, 2022

Quick QAP Recap: Fall-Winter 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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Michelle Foster
November 15, 2021

The Who, What, How, When, and Why of the NGBS Green Appeals Process

As the NGBS Green independent certification agency, Home Innovation takes the responsibility of granting a green building certification very seriously. NGBS Green certification follows a carefully prescribed process designed to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed to the NGBS’s rigorous requirements, and our 100% third-party verification system requires an independent Verifier to schedule multiple inspections to ensure what the architect designs is what gets built.  But construction can be messy and sometimes, even with the best intentions, the process goes awry. Perhaps the site superintendent forgets to schedule the Verifier’s site visit before the sheetrock contractor hangs drywall in some apartments. Or, maybe the building owner misses a key program deadline. Less common, but also possible, is that an NGBS practice is written unclearly, and real-world compliance is uncertain. The NGBS Green Appeals process can offer administrative relief, or at least consideration of an alternative compliance process, for projects that face such issues.

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Michelle Foster
October 15, 2021

Proof Points: An NGBS Green Home is a Better Built Home

The NGBS Green certification process is designed to confirm a home or multifamily building meets the stringent requirements of the National Green Building Standard ICC-700 (NGBS). A building that earns the NGBS Green certification mark has been shown to conform to the NGBS as verified in-person by an Accredited NGBS Green Verifier and certified as conforming by Home Innovation Research Labs. As the national NGBS Green certification agency, our Quality Assurance (QA) oversight runs deep and we have expansive procedures to ensure buildings earning the certification mark are NGBS compliant. These QA procedures reinforce the NGBS Green certification mark by increasing homebuyer’s and renter’s confidence, bolstering the program’s value to builders and developers, and solidifying the program’s credibility with lenders and government agencies. Find our more about the QA that's "baked in" to our certification program.

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