NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING STANDARD

The National Green Building Standard(NGBS) was developed in 2009 more than 15 years later than Energy Star or Leed. Individual home builders wanted their own independent green building standard that was internally controlled, more flexible and cost effective than Energy star or Leed. The NGBS is the only green certified rating system specifically approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The standard was initially developed for single family and multi family buildings. Later the standard was expanded to included: residential portions of mixed use buildings, affordable housing and residential renovations. In 2015 The NGBS introduced and partnered with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). After a decade of development and implementation there are currently over 130,000 residential units certified by NGBS.  Less than 10% of Energy Star or Leed certified projects. The NAHB green building standard receives periodic reviewing and upgrading over the years.

The National Green Building Standard is a point based system.Points are accumulated for the design, construction, green building techniques and green (recycled) materials used in each individual project. Points are earned and accumulated within six(6) general categories.

  1. Lot preparation, design and development.
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. water Efficiency
  4. resource efficiency
  5. Indoor environmental quality
  6. Operation. maintenance, and ongoing consumer education.

NGBS individual projects can qualify for four(4) separate levels of certification.

Bronze 221 points

Silver 334 points

Gold 489 points

Emerald 611 points

Each rating level is achieved by the lowest point accumulated in any specific general category. A NGBS green verifier is specifically trained, has a prerequisite background in green building,and  required to maintain an annual accreditation. The green verifier visits each project twice for two separate independent third party inspections.The green verifier visually inspects every documented green building technique/material  component. Upon completion of each project the documentation is submitted to the NAHB green research center for quality control.

In  2018 a publicly released report from National Home Builder Association (NAHB) NGBS Home Renovation Research Lab. Some interesting results were publicly revealed. In a sample of homes from 246 single family home builders approximately 25% of the home builders had enough green features for the minimum point requirement to be certified under the NGBS standard. However only eleven percent(11%) of the homes actually had NGBS certifications.

Specifically for each of the four NGBS levels, 25% of the homes had accumulated enough points to achieve the 2015 bronze certification. Only 1.6% of the surveyed homes (LESS THAN 2%) scored 334 points to achieve silver certification. Not one single home in the survey had accumulated enough points to be NGBS gold or emerald certified.

Additionally as 25% of the homes met the required 221 points to achieved the minimum bronze certification…Only 11% of the homes actually had a documented  NGBS bronze certification. Another interesting fact is 41% of the homes in the survey had an Energy Star certification and 48% of the homes had a HERS certification. Therefore through extrapolation of this first time publicly revealed data. The following conclusions can be surmised. Few builders even utilize the NGBS certification with only 11% actually documenting and fulfilling their obligations to become documented bronze certified. Energy Star and LEED certification are more prominent, have more market visibility and consumer awareness than the National Green building standard(NGBS).

These recently revealed NAHB green metrics are significant, relevant, and informative. The NAHB  was created in 1942 far proceeding either the creation of Energy Star or LEED. The NAHB is one of the largest trade organizations in the United States with over 800 local and state chapters. Thirty percent (30%)of the NAHB membership is home builders and the remaining seventy(70%) are involved in ancillary related industries such as mortgages. Eighty percent of all homes constructed in the United States are constructed by NAHB members.

Therefore with only 11% of the homes in the NAHB survey actually being HGBS bronze certified and documented. There is a lack of communication, market awareness, and NAHB coherent strategy as a green certification is a prerequisite requirement to obtain a below market interest rate green mortgage. As the economy accelerates and the Federal Reserve continues to raise the benchmark rate, effecting the 10 year bond yield, for each 1/4 rate increase in mortgage rates approximately 250,000 potential home buyers no longer qualify for a mortgage.

With 70% of the NAHB trade organization working in ancillary industries.The NGBS last category requiring on going consumer education.There is no vertical alignment to properly and competitively finance the largest asset purchased in America..a new green home! Fannie Mae a government (GSE) has performed all the greenmortgage research and marketing. The NAHB research center should have researched and developed a comprehensive national green building standard to competitively market and finance their trade organization product. The NAHB decade delay has caused the green rating market to fracture and fragment adding to consumer confusion and delaying the research and development of the green mortgage.This comprehensive negligence can now be directly juxtaposed to the emerging green mortgage market in Europe.

As the home buying public reviews the NGBS internally selected six categories. Number three: water efficiency, the NAHB research center has no consumer scale for numerical water efficiency. Once again a third party Resent has researched and developed a water rater consumer scale that is now currently being rolled out nationally for the home buying public. The water rater scale is a companion to the Resnet HERS energy efficiency scale.This is a significant fact as the monthly cost of metered water is now over $200.00 dollars a month in some cities. The homeowner is now fined if their grass is not green and has turned brown due to lack of watering.

 

 

 

 

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