MAY 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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Memorial Day Office Closing
Our offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st in observance of Memorial Day. Any reports submitted after 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 28, will not be processed until Tuesday, June 1. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
2015 NGBS Sunset Policy
April 1, 2022, is the registration deadline for projects pursuing certification to the 2015 NGBS. Registered projects will have until April 30, 2025 — three years — to complete construction. Large multifamily projects with a longer construction timeline should consider registering now under the 2020 NGBS.

If you have questions about which NGBS version is best for your project, see our decision tree and 2015 v 2020 NGBS comparison. Of course, as always, feel free to contact us with questions.
NGBS Green Training Earns Both AIA and ICC Continuing Education Credit
Home Innovation’s NGBS Green training is approved by both AIA and ICC for continuing education credits. Interested in holding a webinar for your staff to earn credits? Contact us.
Partners of Excellence Announcements are COMING!
Stay tuned for a Special Insider Update on our 2020 NGBS Green Partners of Excellence. This year we have added a Legacy recognition for our partners who have demonstrated a sustained excellence in and support of green building and the NGBS Green certification program.
Got Innovative Solutions? Showcase Them to NGBS Green Partners
In July, Home Innovation is hosting a virtual retreat for all NGBS Green Verifiers, and we want to showcase the innovative solutions offered by our manufacturer partners and other stakeholders. How’s it work? Give us your best pitch! Send Cindy a few sentences with the innovation that you’d like to share with our nearly 300 NGBS Green Verifier partners. These can include solutions for improving the health, comfort, efficiency, and/or durability of homes and apartments seeking NGBS Green certification. Presentations should highlight your technical expertise and solutions; product promotion should be secondary. Selected innovations will be scheduled for 10-30 minutes (TBD) of live presentation time during the July 19-21 Verifier Retreat, and recorded for later viewing for those who can’t attend live.
Location: Putnam, CT

Details: 6 interconnected buildings, 125 units total

Verifier: Karla Butterfield, Steven Winter Associates

Green Features: Once a former cotton mill in the early 1800s, the historic Cargill Falls Mill in Putnam, Connecticut has been transformed to over nine acres of residential space. The project earned NGBS Green certification at the Bronze level under the Renovation pathway. As a historically registered landmark, the complex was under strict renovation requirements. The project team and verifier found success with the NGBS Green Renovation path, as it allowed the project to quantify the energy and water savings while addressing the great efforts that made by the project team to reduce material use, address sustainable site strategies, and promote health and wellbeing of residents.

Learn more about this unique NGBS Green project by reading the full case study here.
NGBS Green Partners in the News:
New Federal Initiatives for High-Performance Buildings
During last week’s Better Buildings Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Biden Administration announced several new initiatives to make buildings more energy efficient, affordable, and healthy. As we learn about other new federal initiatives focused on efficiency and green building, we will continue to share our findings.

  • Through its Better Building Initiative and in coordination with HUD, DOE will launch a Low-Carbon Buildings Pilot Program, which will share lessons learned for real world pathways to low- and no-emission buildings.
  • DOE is also launching a new initiative to increase market adoption of high-efficiency, grid-connected heat pump water heaters (which are 2X - 4X more efficient than conventional water heaters) in residential and commercial buildings.
  • DOE released a national grid-interactive efficient buildings roadmap, which includes recommendations to better integrate buildings with solar and wind power through smart operation of electricity demand and storage. 
  • EPA is seeking to accelerate efficiency and electrification retrofits through the launch of an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program and a new zero-carbon commercial building certification.
  • EPA will launch a new greenhouse gas calculation tool within its ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.
Heads Up! NGBS Green as Alternative to IECC Compliance
Provisions in the Scope and Administration sections of both the residential and commercial IECC provisions allow a local jurisdiction to accept compliance with any equivalent green building program as an alternative compliance path for the IECC. [See except from the commercial code provisions below. For the residential language, see R102.1.1.]

These sections provide verifiers and builders with an opportunity to get 2020 NGBS Green certification recognized as an alternative compliance option. The NGBS Green Team has prepared an equivalency analysis (coming soon) that can be used to advocate with local jurisdictions and code officials that 2020 NGBS Green certification is equivalent to the 2021 IECC. The NGBS Green Team stands ready to help you in any advocacy efforts. As always, our advocacy position is that NGBS Green certification is an alternative to code compliance, and we do not advocate for it to be an exclusive alternative. Contact us if we can be of assistance or if you want to discuss a potential advocacy strategy.


C102.1 General.

The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. The code official shall have the authority to approve an alternative material, design or method of construction upon the written application of the owner or owner's authorized agent. The code official shall first find that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, energy conservation and safety. The code official shall respond to the applicant, in writing, stating the reasons why the alternative was approved or was not approved.

C102.1.1 Above code programs.

The code official or other authority having jurisdiction shall be permitted to deem a national, state or local energy efficiency program as exceeding the energy efficiency required by this code. Buildings approved in writing by such an energy efficiency program shall be considered to be in compliance with this code. The requirements identified in Table C407.2 shall be met.
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.

Connecticut: The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) has released a draft 2022-2023 QAP for review and public comment. The QAP features a revamped Sustainable Design section with new sub-sections for Energy Conservation, Green Building, Renewables/Electrification/Resiliency, Operations/Resiliency, and Sustainable Development with Digital Literacy and Connectivity. Home Innovation staff participated in a public hearing on May 19th to provide feedback on the criteria. We commended CHFA for expanding its focus to include emerging topics, including resiliency. We also requested that the point structure be revamped to better reflect the rigor and holistic nature of third-party green certifications. Contact Cindy if you would like to see our comment letter or get involved.

Iowa: In March, the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) published its draft 2022-2023 QAP for public comment. The 9% 2022-2023 QAP noted the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, and LEED as alternatives to ENERGY STAR for new construction. However, the QAP only specified an architect’s “certification” that the project will meet the specified rating system; third-party certification was not required. Home Innovation shared written and verbal public comments that recommended that IFA require evidence of third-party certification, rather than rely on the architect’s assertion of compliance. We were VERY PLEASED to see that green building was retained in the final 2022-2023 QAP, and third-party certification is required. Thank you to all partners who engaged with IFA on this issue! Bronze-level NGBS Green certification is an accepted alternative to the QAP’s ENERGY STAR requirement for new construction.

Illinois: In early May, Home Innovation staff participated in a QAP Summit (listening session) for the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) 2022 QAP. We learned that IHDA intends to increase green building requirements in the 2022 QAP. Presently, IHDA envisions requiring that all funded projects meet the mandatory practices of Enterprise Green Communities, and threshold points would be available when a green building or net zero energy certification is pursued. Presently, IHDA recognizes the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, and LEED for Homes (at the Silver level) within their 2020-2021 QAP. We will ask IHDA to ensure that any minimum requirements are achievable regardless of the green building program pursued and offer technical assistance to support their efforts. We will keep you posted on this development. If you are interested in becoming engaged on this topic, contact Cindy.

Louisiana: Louisiana Housing Corporation has released a draft version of the 2022 QAP for public comment. An in-person public hearing is scheduled for June 3rd in Baton Rouge, LA, and written comments are being accepted at The draft QAP requires NGBS Green, EarthCraft, Enterprise Green Communities, or LEED certification. NGBS Green Partners are encouraged to express support for the QAP’s inclusion of third-party green certifications, including NGBS Green certification.

North Dakota: North Dakota Housing Finance Agency published their final 2022 Qualified Allocation Plan, which awards 7 points for NGBS Green Certification. Enterprise Green Communities and LEED are also accepted green certifications for 1-7 threshold points.

Wyoming: The Wyoming Community Development Authority has released a draft 2022 QAP for public comment. A public hearing is scheduled for June 9th in Casper Wyoming, and a call-in option is available for participants. Written comments are being accepted through 5PM MDT on June 8th. The draft QAP has 15 points available for green building certifications. Fifteen points are available for LEED certification, and 10 points are available for NGBS and Enterprise. We will request that NGBS Green certification be recognized as on-par with LEED in terms of points.
Welcome Back, Rollex!
Rollex, manufacturer of aluminum and steel siding, recently re-joined the NGBS Green program. View their certified siding and downspout system products on our website:

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.
Aeroseal® Aerosol Air Duct Sealing
Aeroseal’s aerosol air duct sealing process seal leaks from the inside of the duct, without coating the duct at all. Aeroseal’s product has been certified for mandatory practice 701.4.2.1, because sealing by a licensed Aeroseal dealer is guaranteed to satisfy duct sealing requirements.
NFRC & Home Innovation Overview of 2020 NGBS Fenestration Requirements
June 9, 2021, 2:30 PM EDT | Virtual

Join this session to learn about the fenestration requirements within the 2020 NGBS, as well as the opportunities for windows and doors to become NGBS Green Certified and distinguished from competitors. Learn more and register online.
Learn about the Water Rating Index (WRI) at Next Generation Water Summit
June 3, 2021, 12:10 MDT | Virtual

Home Innovation’s Cindy Wasser will participate in a panel discussion about the Water Rating Index (WRI), its origin, and benefits to new home builders.

Join this session to learn how the Water Rating Index (WRI) was established in the 2020 National Green Building Standard and how it can be used by water jurisdictions facing pressures of growth with limited and declining allocations of water. You can't manage what you're not measuring, especially new residential growth. The WRI is a predictive water-usage calculation tool based on a zero-to-100 scale, with zero being net zero water usage. The index can calculate projected gallons of annual usage and can predict how many new homes can be sustained by an acre foot of available water.

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.
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.

Project Engineer/Test Engineer - Building Products Lab
Home Innovation Research Labs, an accredited third-party test lab, is looking for a motivated 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 and ICC-approved program that we’d be happy to deliver.

Join these upcoming events:

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