APRIL 2021
Insider Update
Practical information and resources for NGBS Green Certification program partners. Find out more about the program, its tools & resources, and available marketing materials online. If you were forwarded this message or do not receive Insider Update regularly and would like to, sign up online.

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Pilot Program for Modular Green Certification
Due to the level of quality control and manufacturing precision available with off-site construction, modular and panelized homes and multifamily buildings may have an advantage in achieving above-code green building certification. However, testing and verification for NGBS compliance can be challenging due to timing and travel costs.

To offer more flexibility to modular and panelized partners, Home Innovation Research Labs will now offer a new process that will run as a pilot through September 2022. This new process requires that an accredited NGBS Green Verifier submit a Modular Producers Verification Plan that details quality assurance measures, production schedule, and verification plan, including use of sampling and remote verification. 

See the pilot description in the Builder’s Resource Guide (BRG). Contact us with any questions or feedback. 
2021 Spring Green Home Tour Hosted by the High Performance Building Council of the Triangle
May 1-2 | Virtual & In-Person

The High Performance Building Council (HPBC) of the Triangle presents the 2021 Spring Green Home Tour on May 1-2. This year’s tour will be a hybrid event, with some homes featuring in-person touring, while all 18 homes will have an online 3D virtual tour available. The Spring Green Home Tour will showcase a variety of excellent examples of green home construction at various levels of national certifications or ratings, including NGBS Green, ecoSelect, ENERGY STAR®, Duke HERO, and HERS.
The following NGBS Green Partners are participating in the tour:

  • BuildSense, Inc.
  • Cimarron Homes
  • Collins Design Build
  • Hearthstone Luxury Homes
  • Homes by Dickerson
  • J. Hoffman Studio Design + Build, LLC

Visit www.SpringGreenHomeTour.com or call 919-493-8899 for more information.
WaterSense Labeled Homes Program Version 2 Webinar
May 5, 2021, 2:00-3:30PM EDT

Please join us for a stakeholder webinar to learn more about Version 2 of the WaterSense Labeled Homes Program. EPA will review the requirements that homes must meet to earn the WaterSense label, and representatives from the Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) that have been approved by EPA will provide brief summaries of their organizations and how they plan to support the WaterSense Labeled Homes Program.

NAHB Virtual Green Home Tour
Home Performance Counts, the joint educational initiative between NAHB and NAR, has launched a Virtual Green Home Tour series to provide an inside look at green and high-performance homes and how they come together. The first in the series was held (& recorded) on Earth Day – check it out if you weren’t able to participate in the live session!
The first tour features Robinhood by Red Tree Builders, an artfully-crafted, mindfully-built high-performance home in the mountains near Asheville, N.C. Red Tree Builders Owner and President, Brandon Bryant, is a recent recipient of NAHB’s Best in American Living Award. Bryant was joined by Kelly Erin-Spinney of Modern Asheville Real Estate to discuss tips for talking about home performance with prospective buyers.
QAP Watch
The following states have or will revise their Qualified Allocation Plans (QAP) for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC). The summaries included indicate if NGBS Green certification is incentivized and provide information on how to submit comments or stay informed. If you know of current QAP activity in your state or locale that is not listed here or included in our online QAP Round-Up, please contact us.

OHIO: The 2022-2023 Annual Plan and QAP Forum is scheduled for May 5, 2021, at 1PM EDT. Join this forum to hear about the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Needs Assessment, Annual Plan, and QAP and share your feedback. Click here to register.

MICHIGAN: The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will host three public hearings on their 2022-2023 draft QAP on May 3, May 5, and May 6. A draft QAP and related materials will be published prior to the hearings. MSHDA’s current Green Policy requires that all projects pursue NGBS Green certification, Enterprise Green Communities, LEED, or the agency’s prescriptive criteria.
Webinar on GA QAP Sustainable Building Requirements
May 10, 12-1PM EDT

Join this panel discussion with representatives from the green building certification programs recognized in the 2020 GA Qualified Allocation Plan, as well as an experienced green building consultant working in Georgia, to discuss each program’s requirements and best practices for navigating the certification process. Home Innovation’s Cindy Wasser will present alongside representatives from Enterprise Green Partners, SKCollaborative, and Southface.

To learn more and register:
In each issue of Insider Update, Home Innovation profiles products that can help builders achieve points toward NGBS Green Certification. To browse all NGBS Green Certified products, visit the online directory.
NEW NGBS Green Certified Manufacturer Partner: Kirio
Kiro offers a comprehensive home automation solution through their Kirio Base station product, which supports communication with many other smart devices, systems, and appliances. The Kirio Base has been certified under multiple NGBS practices in Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 and contributes toward the +WELLNESS, +SMART HOME, and +UNIVERSAL DESIGN badges. Welcome, Kirio!
NEW NGBS Green Certified Manufacturer Partner: Waterless Co, Inc.
Waterless Co has been the leader in non-water urinals, offering the largest model line-up, as well as a very cost-effective urinal system. The Waterless No-Flush Urinal has been certified he 801.5(4)(c) under the 2012 and 2015 NGBS versions and 802.5.4(4)(c) under the 2020 NGBS version. Welcome, Waterless Co!
New Scoring Tool Functionality for WaterSense Compliance
The latest 2020 NGBS Green Scoring Tools includes new functionality to track the achievement of WaterSense certification. These new tabs function similarly to the NGBS Green+ Badge tabs, with inputs pulling in from the Design and Verification Report tabs.

Look for a tutorial video on these new tabs shortly.
Schedule an AIA-Approved NGBS Green Presentation for Your Team
The release of the 2020 NGBS offers a great opportunity for architect firms, development companies, and others to schedule continuing education trainings on the new compliance pathways and the latest technical changes.

The following presentations are available for AIA credit:

  • 2020 NGBS Overview
  • 2015 NGBS Overview
  • NGBS Compliance for Existing Buildings

The Home Innovation team is happy to deliver these presentations, or we can connect you with an NGBS Green Master Verifier who is well-equipped to deliver the information. Contact us to learn more.
Resilience is Key (Part 1 of 4): New NGBS Options
The 2020 NGBS is the first version to include a section to address a building’s resilience. Section 613 Resilient Construction for new construction and Section 11.613 Resilient Construction for the renovation provide certification points for enhanced resilience and durability above building code minimum design loads. This means that architects, designers, developers, and builders that design and construct more resilient homes and multifamily buildings can earn recognition for their buildings’ enhanced ability to withstand the forces generated by flooding, snow, wind, or seismic activity and reduce the potential for the loss of life and property. Read more in Michelle’s blog.
Resilience is Key (Part 2 of 4): Q&A with James Williams
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. Read a summary of the conversation here.
Voice of the Verifier: Stephen Evanko, NGBS Green MASTER Verifier, LEED AP, BPI – MFBA & HHE
As our latest Verifier blog takeover-er, Stephen provides some guidance on how he helps clients navigate HUD’s Green Financing for Existing Multifamily Buildings. Check out his unique and expert insights here.
Brand New Brand Data
Based on our 2020 end-of-year survey over 100,000 U.S. households, the 2021 Consumer Practices Reports are now available. The new information is “must read,” shedding light on how COVID-19 changed the U.S. and Canadian home remodeling industries and including incredible detail. Read Ed’s blog for details.
New Comparison Reports
We recently published several new and updated resources that compare the NGBS and Home Innovation’s NGBS Green certification program to other green building rating systems and programs. Download these resources, as well as other reports, at www.HomeInnovation.com/CompareNGBS and www.HomeInnovation.com/NGBSAdvocacy.

NGBS Green Case Studies & Other Resources
Recently, we’ve been posting more and more case studies on some unique and exemplary NGBS Green Certified projects. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, be sure to go to our Resources page – there are several there already and we’re adding more each week. While on the page, be sure to check out the wide range of guidance documents, comparisons, and other helpful resources we’ve created for our NGBS Green Partners, including:

NGBS Under Continuous Maintenance; Proposed Changes Accepted Online
As of January 6, 2020, the 2020 edition of the ICC -700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) was approved by ANSI. Because it is under continuous maintenance, proposed changes can be submitted at any time using the online form.
NGBS Green Interpretations
As NGBS Green certification agency, the NGBS Green team frequently sets program policies, provides technical assistance, specifies verification instructions, and offers compliance clarifications.

Infrequently, a practice or section of the NGBS may be unclear where two reasonable people could come to different conclusions regarding compliance. In these cases, there is a process outlined in the VRG and BRG for an NGBS Green interpretation. These are approved by Home Innovation Research Labs’ NGBS Appeals Board through a hearing process. These interpretations are specific to the NGBS Green certification program. A library of interpretations is available in the Resources section on the NGBS Green website.
New Investor Consensus: The Rising Demand for Healthy Buildings
A new report from the Center for Active Design & Fitwel, United National Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and BentallGreenOak, examines the impact of COVID-19 on the demand for healthy buildings and implications for future real estate investment decisions. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s worth a read by anyone interested in green homes.
Building America Solution Center Disaster Resistance Tool
Check out the new tool Building America has created to provide builders, remodelers, contractors, and homeowners with guidance on building, renovating, and restoring homes to be more resistant to natural disasters, including hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, wildfire, severe winter weather, and pests.

This is a valuable resource for anyone pursuing the new NGBS Resilient Construction practice and/or the +RESILIENCE badge.
Building Science, Research Engineer III - Sustainable Construction
Home Innovation Research Labs is looking for an inspired building scientist/building construction engineer to join our research team responsible for programmatic efforts in the fields of energy efficiency, energy modeling, technology innovation, and green building in residential construction.

Entry-Level Research Engineer - Building Science and Sustainable Construction
Home Innovation Research Labs is seeking a recent engineering graduate to join our Building Science Division. This person will be responsible for project work in the areas of energy efficiency, disaster resistance, cost evaluation, technology innovation, and green building in residential construction.

Senior Project Engineer/Senior Test Engineer - Building Products Lab
Home Innovation Research Labs, an accredited third-party test lab, is looking for a Senior Engineer who wants to be on the leading edge of building product testing and certification.

Construction Materials Laboratory Technician
Home Innovation Research Labs is seeking a well-organized self-starter to work in our materials and structures lab. This is a technical hands-on position that requires physical labor to set-up and perform tests on a variety of building products and components.

Let Us Know How We’re Doing!
Take a 1 minute survey and let us know what you think of our delivery of NGBS Green certification and our customer service.
As we strive to keep up with events of interest around the country, we welcome your input. If you know of a program that may be of interest to our NGBS Green program partners, please let us know. And, if you or a client are interested in scheduling virtual (or, eventually, live) training on the 2020 NGBS, contact us – we have an AIA-approved program that we’d be happy to deliver.

Join these upcoming events:
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