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.
Puerto Rico accepts 2020 NGBS for Projects Seeking Recovery Funding
Home Innovation received written confirmation that either the 2015 NGBS or the 2020 NGBS are acceptable for buildings in Puerto Rico that are seeking HUD recovery funding.
Fannie Mae Green Multifamily Financing for Communities of Single-Family/Townhouse Rental Homes
Home Innovation received written confirmation that Fannie Mae’s green financing is available for single-family and duplex rentals if they are constructed for the purpose of rental and operated as a multifamily community, with a leasing office and shared amenities. Fannie Mae will accept NGBS Green single-family home certification to qualify for financing eligibility.
Historic Building Compliance
We’ve been asked, “If the historic society has imposed restrictions on the types of windows that can be installed, is the building exempt from any NGBS mandatory practices on fenestration?” In short, the answer is “yes.” The NGBS specifically states that it is not intended to abridge requirements contained in other applicable laws, codes, or ordinances. Complying with historic preservation ordinances is usually a prerequisite to obtain a building permit. Therefore, as an example, if a historic building’s renovation/reuse is conditioned on clear glass windows it would be exempt from the NGBS’s SHGC mandatory requirements. If however, it is an architect/owner’s desire to waive an NGBS provision for historical consistency, the NGBS practice cannot be waived.
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.

ARIZONA: The Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) has published its draft 2021 QAP for public comment. ADOH will host a public hearing on Friday, October 16 from 1-3PM PDT and will accept written comments until 5PM PDT on October 16. In 2018, ADOH replaced their green building requirements for an energy analysis conducted following RESNET standards. If you would like to submit QAP feedback or recommend that the NGBS be recognized, submit comments to rental-qap@azhousing.gov.

CONNECTICUT: The final 2020 QAP was approved in late August. The QAP includes a tiered point system for Sustainable Design Measures based on energy performance and green building achievement. The NGBS is recognized alongside other credible programs, including Enterprise Green Communities and LEED.

COLORADO: the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority will accept written comments to inform their 2021 QAP draft via this form through November 1. The Colorado QAP currently requires certification to the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, or LEED, and additional points are available for net zero or passive construction.

FLORIDA: the Florida Housing Finance Corporation posted four Requests for Applications (RFAs) for several funding opportunities. Each RFA requires certification to the NGBS, Florida Green Building Coalition, Enterprise Green Communities, or LEED.

GEORGIA: Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has posted a draft 2021 QAP for public comment. A virtual public hearing will be held on October 21 at 1:30PM EDT. (Access information will be posted here sometime the week of 10/12/20.) Comments are accepted through November 1. Comments can be submitted anonymously via the online QAP survey form or via email attachment sent to hfdround@dca.ga.gov. GA DCA had indicated that they planned to make green certification voluntary (it’s currently mandatory) and simplify the list of prescriptive requirements. We were pleasantly surprised to see both the green certification requirement and many prescriptive green measures included in this draft QAP. All properties must be certified to the NGBS, EarthCraft, Enterprise Green Communities, or LEED. NGBS Green Partners are encouraged to submit letters of support.

KANSAS: the 2021 Kansas QAP was approved on September 30. No green building requirements are included. Funded projects must demonstrate compliance with the 2018 IECC and undergo an energy audit.

MICHIGAN: the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has posted a draft 2021 QAP and Draft Green Policy for public comment. MSHDA will host 3 virtual hearings on October 13 and 14, and written comments will be accepted through October 14. All projects receiving tax credits must be built in compliance with the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, LEED, or MSHDA Affordable Green. NGBS Green Partners are encouraged to submit letters of support to Carol Thompson at ThompsonC7@michigan.gov.

MINNESOTA: a second public comment period is open on Minnesota’s 2022-2023 QAP from October 12 - 26. A public hearing will be held via conference call on October 21 at 10AM CDT. Final approval is expected in December. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency will continue to recognize its Minnesota Overlay to Enterprise Green Communities but intends to recognize higher levels of sustainability and energy performance. If you would like to submit QAP feedback or request NGBS be recognized, submit comments to HTC.MHFA@state.mn.us.

MISSOURI: the 2020 QAP was approved on September 25. New construction projects must be built in compliance with the NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities, or LEED.

MONTANA: Montana Housing has published a draft 2022 QAP and will accept comments through October 15, 2020. The QAP recognizes Passive House standards and voluntary prescriptive energy efficiency and green building measures. If you would like to submit comments or request that the NGBS be recognized, submit comments to Kellie Guariglia at kguariglia@mt.gov.

OKLAHOMA: the final 2021 QAP was approved and will be effective on January 1, 2021. The QAP does not include any green building programs.

VERMONT: a draft 2022 QAP, proposed Building Design Standards, and Energy Efficiency Standards have been released, and public comments are accepted through October 15. These draft documents would require new construction and “substantial rehabilitation” projects to comply with Efficiency Vermont’s 2020 High-Performance Track Standards.
NGBS Official Interpretations
We are off and running with our first 2020 NGBS certification awarded in August – a multifamily project that achieved Emerald AND an NGBS Green+ WELLNESS badge; see the September IU for details. Given the significant scope revision and the number of new and revised practices (950 2020 NGBS revisions were proposed, debated, and voted on!), there will inevitably be questions regarding compliance. In the past we have always cataloged interpretations or policies specific to a practice in the Verifier Resource Guide (VRG). We will continue to offer Verifier guidance and interpretations in the VRG, but, to make it easier for Verifiers and clients to find more substantial interpretations, we will also catalog them on our Resources Page. You will find the first official 2020 NGBS interpretation posted there.
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.
Superior Walls Insulated Precast Concrete Walls
Superior Walls offers a range of precast concrete wall products. Panels are custom made with high-quality and high-strength materials. This product has been certified as higher-strength (601.2.2), a precast assembly (601.5(1-3)), having a capillary break (602.1.1.2), and reduced material use (608.1).
NEW Scoring Tools Include New Tabs to Support NGBS Green+
Download the latest New Construction and Renovation scoring tools to track and submit projects seeking NGBS Green+ badges. For more information on NGBS Green+, visit our webpage or view the recorded webinar. See our tutorial video on tracking NGBS Green+ compliance with these new tools.
NEW NGBS Green Speaker Series
September Recap:
Kim Betencourt, Fannie Mae Director of Economics & Multifamily Research
Kim’s presentation on the multifamily industry outlook is available for NGBS Green program partners.

Stay tuned for our December NGBS Green Speaker Series announcement. Have a subject you want discussed? Contact us.
Solar Toolkit for Builders
NAHB’s new Solar Toolkit for Builders includes a suite of resources to help builders familiarize themselves with solar photovoltaics. Working with its members, NAHB has released preliminary components of the toolkit, including sections on: the basics of solar; solar mandate pros and cons; solar system financing; interconnection to the grid; preparing a roof to be solar-ready; and a list of external resources. Future topics that will be rolled out on a monthly basis include sections on: community solar; fire safety and code; builder liability, benefits, and customer education; batteries/storage; and tips on what makes a good solar partner. NAHB needs your help! Is there a section or information that is missing? Any feedback on additional sections or info (not listed) that would be helpful for builders should be emailed to Anna Stern.
New Marketing Materials & Guidance
  • Quick Start Guide: this resource walks you through the NGBS Green certification program requirements, outlines the certification process, and answers commonly-asked questions.

  • NGBS Green v HERS: this one-pager is designed for builders to make the step up from the HERS Index to a comprehensive green certification.

  • Commercial Space Certification Options: this one-pager is designed for architects, developers, and owners, working on mixed-use buildings who may want to get the entire building, including the non-residential space, NGBS Green certified.

  • Which Version is Best? This document is designed to help guide your decisions as to which NGBS version is best.
Green Building Incentives Are a Tool to Attract Builders to Your Community
The cost, time, and regulatory requirements for constructing homes can influence the attractiveness of a county to builders. Using NGBS Green certification as an above-code incentive to relieve some of these pressures can attract builders and developers to your community. Check out NAHB’s recent blog on the National Association of Counties (NACo) website.
BBVA USA Launches Sustainability-Focused CRE Loan for Small Businesses
BBVA USA, a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates branches in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, has launched a new loan that could encourage business owners to purchase environmentally sustainable commercial real estate. Find out more in the Birmingham Business Journal (sign in/subscription required) or on the BBVA website.
Is Wellness the New Energy Efficiency?
Market research tells us that while energy efficiency is one factor that influences a homebuyer’s decision, there is another factor that is even more important as an emotional driver for selecting one home over another: health and wellness. Read Michelle’s blog for her insight into connecting with buyers in today’s market.
What’s in a Name? Defining “Residential” in NGBS Terms
Students in dorms, fraternities, and sororities should be able to live in NGBS Green Certified buildings. Seniors and other adults who live in assisted living facilities should also be able to enjoy the benefits of an NGBS Green Certified building. Likewise, while our stays in hotels and motels may be transitional, we essentially “live” in these buildings for the duration of our visit. With the 2020 NGBS, now everyone can find a better place to call home. Read Michelle’s blog to learn about the expanded definition of “residential” in the 2020 NGBS.
Smart Products are Green Products
Today, it can seem impossible to find a new appliance that isn’t a “smart” product. Beyond the cool factor and added convenience, smart products offer greater control over a home’s systems, with the potential for improved comfort and reduced energy and water use. When incorporated into a whole-home strategy, smart appliances can contribute toward green building certification and additional recognitions. Read Cindy’s blog to learn more about how smart products contribute toward NGBS compliance and additional recognition opportunities.
With COVID-19 Market Disruptions, Slight Needle Tilt in Attitudes Toward Offsite Construction
Prior to COVID-19, a tightening labor supply and hot housing market portended a bright future for offsite housing construction methods, such as panelization and modular. In the wake of coronavirus and rising availability of workers sidelined from other industries, at least one key driver of builders adopting offsite methods may have faded. Are builders less inclined to adopt offsite construction now? Or are there other factors making them more ready for the change? Read Ed’s blog to learn about a recent survey aimed to find out the answer to these and other related questions.
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. For more information.

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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.

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