The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification goes well beyond saying a property is energy efficient – It provides independent, third-party verification that a project is designed and built to achieve high-performance targets in six key areas:
There are four levels of NGBS certification – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald, with Emerald being the highest achievable level. Points are awarded for sustainable building practices in each area, and verified by a third-party (that’s us!) for reaching designated performance targets. With 435,000+ NGBS Green certified homes nationwide, NGBS is a great program to help achieve your sustainability and ESG goals with a holistic and comprehensive green building approach.
Since 2001, our accredited team has certified over 500 multifamily and mixed-use buildings with 27,000+ dwelling units to the NGBS standard. Schedule a free consult if you’d like to learn more about NGBS for your next project.
NGBS features certification pathways for a variety of project types:
Distinguish your project in a competitive market. NGBS Certification demonstrates your commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable building practices that contribute to your ESG goals. As a third-party verified certification program, NGBS also provides an extra set of eyes on site for quality control while reducing warranty claims and callbacks.
Ensure your projects are sustainable and energy-efficient. The NGBS program strength is in the on-site verification and testing process. To ensure minimal speed bumps during construction the program requirements and critical details must be clearly shown in the plans and specs. This process starts early on the design phase before the project is out to bid.
Establish clear guidelines with a nationally recognized standard. Incentivize or mandate the use of sustainable and energy-efficient building practices in your jurisdiction. NGBS offers program guidance for project certification at the single-family, multifamily and mixed-use, and community levels.
Evaluate the sustainability and potential value of a residential property. NGBS Certification is a seal of confidence that a project is third-party verified to be energy-efficient and future-ready helping you to decide when to offer better mortgage rates, insurance premiums, and market valuation for green certified properties.
As an NGBS Verifier, we are happy to support your project from design review through testing, documentation, and certification!
Working with single-family, multifamily, mixed-use, new construction, and renovation projects
Onsite training for general contractors and sub-contractors
Insulation grading, blower door, and HVAC testing
NGBS-certified homes cost less to operate. Through cost-effective energy and water efficiency practices, homes experience reduced utility costs. Its durable construction and product selection help control maintenance costs. With technical and educational resources, the home reaches optimum performance.
NGBS-certified homes are healthier. Attention to detail and installation of air sealing and insulation has a positive impact on indoor air quality, not just energy efficiency. NGBS requires proper ventilation for bathrooms, clothes dryers, fireplaces, and other gas equipment, mitigating pollutants inside the building’s conditioned space. Lastly, NGBS ensures buildings with attached parking decks or garages have details to fully separate those areas from the living space including framing, air sealing, and weatherstripping.
Certification to NGBS requires certification and verification fees. Certification fees are paid to Home Innovation Research Labs and can be found here.
Please contact us for a quote on verification fees.
NGBS certified projects may be eligible to tap into various incentives at the federal, state, and/or local level. Here is a summary of various programs available by state: www.homeinnovation.com/ngbsgreenincentives
The timeline for achieving National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification can vary depending on size and complexity of the project. The NGBS certification process runs parallel to the normal construction process. We work with your project team to keep the certification process on schedule and ensure we’re on site to complete verification checkpoints throughout various points of construction.
We recommend starting as early on in the design process as possible. The Design Development phase is a sweet spot. At that time there is enough detail in the plan set to review and benchmark a project to see how it is complying or scoring with the NGBS program. And it’s early enough on in the process that changes can be made before going out to bid.
Once a building is certified under the NGBS, that certification remains valid for the life of the building under the version of the NGBS it was certified. Like many green building certification programs, it’s important to note that NGBS criteria continuously evolves over time with new versions being released every couple of years. As such, a building that was certified under an older version of the NGBS may not meet the requirements of newer versions of the standard.
While NGBS and LEED are both green building certification programs, they differ in areas such as minimum program requirements, verification process, documentation requirements, review process, and pricing, to name a few. In general, both certification platforms cover similar areas of assessment, including site design, water and energy efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
Yes, existing buildings can get NGBS Certification through a specific path designed for remodeled or renovated residential buildings. There are two pathways, whole-house or whole-building renovations, that single-family, multifamily, and mixed-use buildings can take advantage of depending on the scale of the project.
National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certification spans four levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald. Bronze certification, the entry level, requires compliance with mandatory measures and a certain number of optional points from a range of green building practices. Silver, Gold, and Emerald certifications require increasingly higher scoring of optional points, reflecting more advanced energy-efficient design and construction, with Emerald being the highest level of certification achievable.
NGBS certification analyzes the green building practices of single family, multifamily, and mixed-use projects across six key areas: Indoor air quality, energy efficiency, water efficiency, resource efficiency, operation & durability, and site design & location. Within each of these categories, NGBS outlines mandatory measures and optional practices based on the project type. A minimum number of points must be reached to achieve certification.
Here are a few examples of NGBS requirements:
Our in-house NGBS program team is happy to review the full scope of NGBS certification requirements with you and analyze your project to recommend a path forward for reaching your sustainability goals. Schedule a free consult →
Schedule a meeting with our green building specialists to review your project goals and challenges.