The latest issue of Green Home Builder magazine highlights three energy-efficient homes and content from RESNET, The Green Building Initiative, USGBC, and Build It Green to discuss third-party energy certifications, biophilic design, and the intersection of sustainability and affordability. One of the builders featured includes RESNET Energy Smart Builder (and recent RESNET HERS® Builder of the Month) Providence Homes and its Kettering at eTown development that boasts a list of energy certifications: HERS® ratings, Zero Energy Ready Home, Energy STAR®, and Indoor airPLUS. The community is all-electric and, at the time of sales, was the largest Zero Energy Ready Home community in Florida. Continuing with the theme of excellence in energy efficiency, the issue features articles from RESNET and others on green certifications as a standardized benchmark for sustainability and strategies that can be implemented to prevent affordable housing from being negatively impacted by upfront costs associated with green building practices. The article from RESNET Communications Director Valerie Briggs discusses RESNET’s collaboration with Habitat for Humanity International to promote the work of their members and affordable, sustainable housing. As the 27th largest homebuilder in the US in 2022, Habitat for Humanity, to date, has built 12,372 homes that were HERS® rated. The importance of HERS® Ratings to publicly traded builders has been increasing as investors look more at environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has a corporate reporting standard specifically for the homebuilding industry, in which it recommends that builders report on the number of homes they had HERS® Rated, the average HERS® Index score, and how many ENERGY STAR homes they certified. All this data is readily available to builders of HERS® Rated homes. The article closes with information on two of the major purchases of mortgages, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, who use HERS® rating data to measure delinquency rates, and to offer incentives for lenders on new single-family homes that achieve a HERS® Index score of 60 or less, respectively. Fannie Mae has offered its Green MBS program for new single-family homes based on ENERGY STAR Certification, since 2020. Independent verification for homes in the program is conducted by RESNET accredited Rating Provider, PEG, LLC. The mortgage lender recently announced that its Single-Family Green Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) program eclipsed $1 billion in issuance in just two years. As sustainable home building gains traction, it is reflected in the uptick or homebuyers actively seeking houses that are certified as energy efficient. Download the full article here.