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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Home Innovation Recognized as a WaterSense HCO
Last week, Home Innovation Research Labs was named by EPA as one of two Home Certification Organizations for the new and improved WaterSense® Home Certification program.

“By seeking WaterSense certification in addition to NGBS Green Certification, builders can leverage EPA’s recognized mark for water efficiency to further spotlight that attribute for consumers,” said Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation’s Senior Manager, Green Building Programs. “Homes are third-party certified to a comprehensive green rating system, AND buyers can be assured that they were designed and constructed to be at least 30% more water efficient than typical construction.”

Check out our news release about the new streamlined process and the opportunities this now offers to those seeking NGBS Green certification.
IBSx Show Homes Earn Emerald-Level NGBS Green Certification
Both The New American Home (TNAH) and The New American Remodel (TNAR) for 2021 earned Emerald-level NGBS Green certification. The single-family homes were among the first to earn certification under the 2020 NGBS, and also among the first to earn the NGBS Green+ NET ZERO and WELLNESS badges. View photos and take a 3D tour of the homes at their respective websites, and you can check our case study on TNAR.
Cindy presents NGBS Green certificate and badges during IBSx TNAH/TNAR Virtual Suppliers’ Reception.
Home Innovation’s Cindy Wasser presented the certifications and NGBS Green+ honors to the project teams during a virtual IBSx event. Congratulations to NGBS Green Verifiers, Drew Smith and Josh Kane, of Two Trails, Inc., for providing verification services to these spectacular show homes.
Drew describes green building features of the show homes (the day after the Bucs Super Bowl win - #superfan).
Fannie Mae Green Financing Incentives for Renovated Buildings
It was brought to our attention that Fannie Mae incorrectly interpreted the 2020 NGBS’s requirement for renovated buildings and downgraded the financing incentives available for NGBS Green Certified buildings. We have discussed this issue with Fannie Mae, and they will update their published guidance.

2020 NGBS certified building renovations, at any certification level, are eligible for the highest Fannie Mae financing incentive (which varies depending on current rates). Their website won’t be corrected until the summer, but buildings should not have a problem with the higher incentive level. If you have a project and it meets any resistance, please contact us.
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.
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 2020-2021 QAP for public comment. A public comment hearing is scheduled for March 16 from 10-11AM CST, and public comments are accepted through 4:30PM CST that same day. ENERGY STAR certification and a HERS Index value of 70 or less is required. For new construction, 8 points are available for an HERS Index value of 62 or less (3 stories or less) or exceeding ASHRAE 90.1 by at least 20% (4 stories and above). For existing construction, 8 points are available when the 2015 IECC is exceeded by 8% or more. If you would like to submit QAP feedback or recommend that the NGBS be recognized, submit comments to QAP@nhhfa.org.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: a public forum is schedule for February 26th from 12:30-2:00PM EST to inform the 2023-2024 New Hampshire QAP. Currently, the NH QAP awards 2 points for NGBS Green Gold-level, LEED Gold, or Enterprise Green Communities certifications and 5 points for Passive House or Living Future Net Zero certification.

VERMONT: The 2022-2023 Vermont QAP is finalized and awaiting Governor-approval. No green building programs are required or incentivized. Buildings must comply with the VHFA Energy Efficiency Standards.
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.
Vertical Field Urban Community Farm (U.C.F.) Solution
Vertical Field’s U.C.F. aims to be one of the future solutions of feeding our growing population. Growing food vertically ensures that land is being used smartly, resources are being consumed in a limited way, and quality is maintained. This product is certified under 505.5(a), earning 3 points for a community garden, and contributes toward the NGBS Green+ WELLNESS badge.
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.
Tropical Zone Certification Agency Interpretation and Compliance Guidance
As we gain more experience with buildings seeking certification in the Tropical Zone, we have revised our compliance and verification guidance to be more complete. If you have a building seeking certification in the Tropical Zone, please check out our newly revised one-pager.
HUD Incentives for Green Buildings
HUD offers significant incentives for multifamily properties seeking green certification and recently released a new version of its 2020 MAP Guide. The new Guide includes important information related to energy and water conservation. For Verifiers, there were two important MAP Guide revisions. First, the Green MIP rules were formally added to the Guide. Second, HUD included new rules, effective for two years, to allow newly-built properties without a green certification to qualify for the Green MIP. We assume that this was to handle the overwhelming number of developers eager to earn the MIP reduction who did not avail themselves of a green certification before completing construction.

Regardless of these new rules, we hold fast to the belief that the best way to a high performing, green building is for developers to engage with a Verifier during design, or at the latest, during the early stages of construction. See our summary of the noteworthy sections in the MAP guide here.
Critical Calculations for Consumer Comfort
NGBS Green is the building certification of choice for builders because it provides flexibility for compliance without compromising the level of building performance expected from certified buildings. Builders have the flexibility to determine which air tightness calculation best suits their building type — ACH or ELR — when calculating building envelope tightness. In his blog, Chinedu explains the differences between these two calculations methods.
Putting the EE in Green in GREEN: Energy Efficiency Compliance for Single-family NGBS Green Certification
Builders interested in pursuing NGBS Green certfication often ask which energy compliance option they should pursue. Chinedu’s blog explains the two compliance options to help you decide which one is best for your next project.
Everything Old Can be New Again: 2020 NGBS Enhancements for Existing Buildings
While previous NGBS versions always provided a rigorous and practical approach for green certification of existing buildings, the 2020 NGBS Consensus Committee thought the NGBS could be improved by providing some additional flexibility, especially for multifamily buildings, so they added two significant features. Read more in Michelle’s blog.
Voice of the Verifier : Laurie Colwander & Jamie Carr
Every few weeks we are allowing a green blog media takeover and granting posting privileges to an NGBS Green Verifier influencer with expertise to share. The most recent take-over posts are by Laurie Colwander from Southern Energy Management, and Jamie Carr from EcoAchievers.
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.
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