MARCH 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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Builder Partners in the Spotlight
Urban Northwest Homes is everywhere you look these days! First, “The Brazadian,” an Urban NW custom home in Ridgefield, Wash., was a Finalist in the International Home of the Year category for NAHB’s Global Innovation Awards. These awards recognize the most cutting-edge, advanced, and original products, services, and homes from around the world. The Brazadian, which Urban NW founder and co-owner Troy Johns says “redefined what healthy, sustainable luxury can look like,” features many advanced green technologies and earned Emerald-level NGBS Green certification. Read more about this impressive NGBS Green Certified home.
The Brazadian by Urban Northwest Homes, NGBS Green Certified Emerald, Finalist for NAHB’s Global Innovation Award International Home of the Year 
Troy, who is also the NGBS Green Advisory Group Chair, was also featured in the March 2021 edition of Builder and Developer magazine (pg. 26). His article, titled “Using Green Building Strategies,” described a holistic approach for introducing green building into a production home business.

Great work and congratulations all around! If your NGBS Green Certified homes have been featured through award programs or in the media, let us know! We love to share our Partners’ accomplishments.
2021 Spring Green Home Tour Hosted by the High Performance Building Council of the Triangle
April 24-25, May 1-2 | Virtual & In-Person

The High Performance Building Council (HPBC) of the Triangle presents the 2021 Spring Green Home Tour on April 24-25 and 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 or call 919-493-8899 for more information.
NFRC Spring Committee Virtual Meeting – DISCOUNT CODE AVAILABLE
March 29-31, 2021 | Virtual

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will hold its 2021 Spring Committee Virtual Meeting from March 29-31 with updates on the latest technology and innovations in windows, doors, and skylights. The online event will bring together leaders in the fenestration industry ranging from manufacturers and labs to architects and green building professionals.
At the three-day event, attendees will discuss industry advancements, updates to NFRC’s programs and processes, and review improvements in fenestration that affect the comfort and energy use in homes and offices nationwide. To learn more about the meeting and to register, click here. NGBS Green Partners can access a 50% discount on registration when they enter HIRLS21 at check-out.
2015 NGBS Sunset Proposal
After a thorough analysis of state codes, the NGBS Green Team found most states are using the 2015 suite of I-Codes or are set to adopt the 2015 codes, with a good number already above and the 2021 I-Codes available. Further, we believe that the code adoption process may speed up slightly as compared to the last few years with the Biden Administration’s objectives to tackle climate change, promote energy efficiency, and improve sustainability. Last, our clients have readily embraced the 2020 NGBS since its availability in April 2020 – project registrations are pouring in.

For some clients, the 2020 NGBS’s mandatory radon testing will be the practice that needs the most preparation and forethought for compliance. Please plan accordingly.

As always, we want to set a sunset date that allows our NGBS Green Partners sufficient time to make the transition to the latest NGBS version and does not cause problems for projects in process. We are proposing an April 2022 registration deadline for projects pursuing the 2015 NGBS – that gives everyone one more year to register projects to use the 2015 NGBS. After registration closes, the construction deadline will be April 2025 – that gives all registered projects three years to complete construction after registration.

Project teams are encouraged to pick the NGBS version that is above-code. For some areas of the country this means that projects should start to use the 2020 NGBS now. We will accept comments on the proposed sunset date for the next 30 days – please email Michelle Foster with any comments, questions, or concerns.
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.

IOWA: The Iowa Finance Authority has published its draft 2022-2023 QAP for public comment. A public comment hearing is scheduled for March 30 from 10-11AM CDT, and public comments are accepted through 4:30PM CDT that same day. You can submit QAP feedback for the document to

The 9% 2022-2023 notes the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, and LEED as alternatives to ENERGY STAR for new construction. However, the QAP only specifies an architect’s “certification” that the project will meet the specified rating system; third-party certification is not required.
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.
BamCore Prime Wall System
BamCore’s customizable bamboo-based Prime Wall system eliminates over 80% of wood studs, headers, and posts for a thermally secure envelope. The wall system is certified to many Resource Efficiency practices, including optimization of material use (601.2(1), performance-based design (601.2(3)), precut/preassembled system (601.5.2), biobased products (606.1(1-3)), and more.

After 8 months away from the program, we welcome BamCore back as an NGBS Green Partner!
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.
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.
FHFA Climate and Natural Disaster Risk Management Seeking Input
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking information on the current and future climate and natural disaster risk to the housing finance system and to the regulated entities: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. FHFA also seeks input on opportunities to strengthen its supervision and regulation of management and reporting on climate and natural disaster risks.

Stakeholders are invited to provide written comments on their Request for Input through April 19, 2021. Comments can be submitted electronically via this form.
HUD MAP Guide Resources
In December, HUD published a new Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guide, which established a national standard of practice and procedure for approved lenders to prepare, underwrite, and submit loan applications for FHA multifamily mortgage insurance.

HUD hosted a series of webinars to revive the latest MAP Guide. Webinar 1 addressed Energy and Water Conservation, including third-party green certification. Visit this page to access the recording, slides, and transcript from the training.

For a more condensed summary of the MAP Guide, see Home Innovation’s summary.
NYSERDA New Construction Incentives and Technical Support
NYSERDA’s New Construction Housing (NC-Housing) program aims to accelerate the design, development, and construction of reduced- or zero-carbon-emitting buildings, reducing their energy consumption and per capita carbon emissions while increasing passive survivability and climate change resilience.

Financial incentives and technical support are available for new construction projects. Incentives are tiered, with the highest levels available for net zero energy performance. For more information, see the funding solicitation page.

Applications are accepted through February 3, 2022, or until all funds are committed.
Don’t be a Drip: Get WaterSense Certification with NGBS Green
To help builders meet these growing consumer interests, NGBS Green certification now includes new offerings to help green certified homes stand apart from the competition specifically for their water-conserving features. By pursuing NGBS Green and a water certification concurrently, builders can demonstrate added, marketable value to buyers. Read Cindy’s blog to learn more.
Voice of the Verifier: Thiel Butner, NGBS Green Verifier
Every few weeks we are allowing a green blog media takeover and granting posting privileges to an NGBS Green Verifier influencer with green expertise to share. Our most recent takeover-er is Thiel Butner, Managing Principal of Pando Alliance and NGBS Accredited Verifier. Check out some of Thiel’s real-world experiences with how working with an NGBS Green Verifier saves builders time and money and provides other valuable benefits.
Quick Links to NGBS Green Marketing Materials, One-pagers
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.

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 virtual events:

  • NFRC Spring Committee Virtual Meeting – March 29-30, 2021 | Register here with discount code HIRLS21 
  • Spring Green Home Tour – April 24-25, May 1-2
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