Home Innovation News

Builders can now spotlight water efficiency while getting homes NGBS Green Certified with WaterSense.

February 18, 2021 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Home Innovation Named WaterSense® Labeled Home HCO by EPA

Timed with Release of Updated Version of WaterSense Program

Today, with its release of the modernized WaterSense® Labeled Homes Program, Version 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Home Innovation Research Labs as one of two approved Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) for the WaterSense program.

EPA WaterSense Home Certification Organization

To ensure effective certification and oversight for WaterSense labeled homes, EPA’s program uses the organizational structures and processes of existing HCOs – independent organizations responsible for administering home verification and certification. Homes will demonstrate they meet the water efficiency requirement by meeting a WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM) administered by the HCO. In addition to Home Innovation, RESNET was also approved as an HCO – both organizations will oversee certification of homes to the WaterSense specification under Version 2, and will train and authorize WaterSense home verifiers to assist in certifying homes to the specification.

For Home Innovation Research Labs, the WACM is based on select practices from the 2020 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). Project teams can select to demonstrate their compliance via either a Prescriptive or Performance Path.

  • Prescriptive Path: implement selected practices from the Water Efficiency sections, including installing efficient kitchen faucet, appliances, and hot water distribution and irrigation systems
  • Performance Path: demonstrate overall water performance by earning a Water Rating Index (WRI) value of 64 or less 

Both new and renovated single-family homes and multifamily buildings of all sizes are eligible for WaterSense certification by Home Innovation if they are pursuing NGBS Green certification at the same time. NGBS Green Verifiers who have completed additional training related to the WRI and WaterSense are eligible to verify homes for WaterSense compliance.

The updated WaterSense Labeled Home program and streamlined certification process will make it easier for builders and developers who are already seeking NGBS Green certification to participate, and will allow homeowners, buyers, and renters to continue enjoying the high performance and water efficiency they have come to expect from WaterSense labeled homes.

“By seeking WaterSense certification in addition to NGBS Green Certification, builders can leverage EPA’s recognized mark for water efficiency to further spotlight that attribute for consumers,” said Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation’s Senior Manager, Green Building Programs. “Homes are third-party certified to a comprehensive green rating system, AND buyers can be assured that they were designed and constructed to be at least 30% more water efficient than typical construction.” 

For more information on EPA’s updated WaterSense labeled homes program, visit the WaterSense website. Builders interested in having their homes become WaterSense certified should visit Home Innovation’s WaterSense Certification information page, or contact us (800.638.8556).

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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, “Home Innovation” should be used; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.