The trend toward building more green homes and apartments continues unabated. According to the 2017 Dodge SmartMarket Brief Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes, one-third of single-family builders and 36 percent of multifamily developers are building more projects green than non-green. Builders also report confidence that the trend will continue. In the next five years, all builders report they expect the number of green homes and multifamily buildings to grow.
But it’s not just that more builders are reporting that they are building green homes; more builders are also proving their homes are green with third-party certification. To date, almost 130,000 homes have earned NGBS Green certification and almost 97,000 homes have been registered to earn NGBS Green certification.
Manufacturers that want to capitalize on the trend toward more green, sustainable homes will want to seize on the opportunity to provide building products and solutions that help builders construct high-performance homes that are eligible for certification. The SmartMarket report noted above says 60 percent of single-family builders and 50 percent of multifamily builders cited the availability of green products as the single biggest driver for future green home construction. Builders want to build green homes, but they know that the ability to find and afford green building products is critical to their success.
Does this mean that builders need more green products? Not necessarily. It may simply mean that builders need help pinpointing those products that will help them build a green home. Home Innovation wanted to dig a little deeper into what builders know about and expect from green building products. In January, as part of a scheduled Omnibus Survey of Home Builders, we included questions about builder awareness of green certification programs and their effect on purchase of building products. Three hundred pre-qualified builders completed the web-based questionnaire that included the questions.
As builders increasingly find value in having their homes certified, they are also increasingly seeing the value in specing products with a green certification. Almost half of builders surveyed report a green certification is important when they purchase building products; this is even more important to builders in the West and Northeast, to multifamily builders, and to medium-sized (25-99 homes per year) single-family builders.
But manufacturers need to tread with caution. Builders are becoming more and more aware that not all certifications that glitter are gold or, more accurately, green. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is watching those companies that inadvertently deceive builders by using a green certification or green marketing claims that are broader than the products’ benefits. Not long ago, the FTC sent warning letters to five providers of environmental certification seals and 28 businesses using those seals, alerting them to the agency’s concerns that the seals could be considered deceptive and may not comply with the FTC’s environmental marketing guidelines.
Fortunately, we have a solution that provides value, recognition, and is FTC-compliant. Our NGBS Green Certified Product program bridges the gap between manufacturers who produce NGBS Green-compliant products, and the builders/designers who want to use them. While it’s no surprise we found that ENERGY STAR certification enjoys almost universal recognition among the builders surveyed, it’s interesting to note that NGBS Green certification was the second most commonly recognized green certification. Builders know the NGBS Green mark. They recognize it because…
For building product manufacturers, many products are ineligible for the ENERGY STAR mark. By comparison, the National Green Building Standard offers hundreds of practices in the categories of resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, or indoor environmental quality, among others, for which your product can earn NGBS Green certification. And, because our certification was specifically designed with the FTC green guidelines in mind, NGBS Green certification doesn’t make unqualified general environmental benefit claims such as “green” and “eco-friendly,” which convey too broad a range of attributes that consumers would find misleading. Instead, NGBS Green certification are third-party qualified and Home Innovation provides examples of how to use the NGBS Green mark to avoid deceiving consumers. Our carefully designed certification program and accompanying NGBS Green mark directly address the primary reason builders say they want to use green certified products – to help them market their homes as green to homebuyers and renters (without fear of being in the FTC’s crosshairs).
FTC-compliant - check. Affordable - check. Credible - check. Directly marketed to the architects, builders, and developers who are looking for green products - check. The NGBS Green certification for products checks all the boxes you’re looking for in marketing your green building products.
Want to find out more? Get in touch to find out how Home Innovation can be your one-stop green shop.