If you are looking to increase your business and bottom line, adding green building inspections to your inspection services can set you apart from the competition. No special tools are involved, and it is a niche with limited competition and growing in demand. Read on to discover what green building inspections involve and how to get insurance for this profitable ancillary service.
Green Building Inspections and Insurance Coverage
What is Green Building?
Green building is the building industry’s response to our society’s increased focus on environmental responsibility and conservation. Simply put, green building means that the builder uses sustainable materials and techniques to build the home and that the home itself is energy efficient with features that are healthier for its inhabitants and the environment. Green building inspections confirm that the building has green features in working order.
Advantages of Green Building
Green building is a win-win scenario when done properly. It is healthier for the homeowners and better for the environment. Skilled contractors can produce green buildings often at lower costs using sustainable and sometimes local materials. Homes built using green building principles require less energy to run and save money and resources over their lifetime. As more people recognize the benefits of green building, it presents an opportunity for inspectors to add green building inspections to their list of services.
What Systems and Features Need to be Inspected for Green Buildings?
To perform green building inspections, inspectors do not need to test the output and performance of green features within a home – only that they exist and appear to be in working order. Evaluating the performance of green features is under the scope of an energy audit. When you perform a green building inspection, you will observe and review that:
- Heating and cooling systems are energy-efficient and sustainable
- Showers, toilets, and water systems are low flow and use less water
- Building materials and roof are sustainable and have energy-conserving attributes
- Windows and ventilation are low energy rated and robust
- Outdoor features are sustainable
What Skills do you Need to Perform Green Building Inspections?
To perform green building inspections, inspectors will need some additional skills. Fortunately, they are easy to come by. You can learn how to do green building inspections by joining InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) and taking their free online Green Building Inspection course. You can even go a step further and take their How to Perform Energy Audits course (also free to members).
How do you Report Energy-Efficiency Problems?
Although standard reporting for home inspections touches on some aspects of energy efficiency, there is an additional report that you will provide to your client to attest to the fact that the home is green certified. This report will guide you through the green building inspection and rate how well the home meets green building standards. You can find the report by Move In Certified on the InterNACHI website along with their courses and other resources. Note that reporting for commercial buildings is different and can also be found on the InterNACHI website.
Green Upgrade Insurance Coverage
Green upgrade insurance coverage is additional property insurance coverage available to homeowners to cover the cost of updating a home with green materials or methods in the case of damage or loss. This type of coverage can give homeowners a discount on their homeowner’s policy and is becoming increasingly popular as more people wish to be environmentally responsible. It also provides additional opportunities for green building inspections, especially since some green upgrades qualify for federal, state, and municipal tax breaks if they meet certain standards.
Green Building Policy
Homeowners are not the only ones going green. Many companies have adopted green policies as well, which simply means that they have a formal policy committing to operating their business in an eco-friendly way. Green building inspections for commercial buildings and inspections of commercial buildings are more complicated than home inspections and have their own set of requirements and skills needed.
What is Covered by Green Inspection Insurance and How can EliteMGA help?
In addition to your General Liability and Errors and Omissions policies, you should have specific coverage to perform green building inspections. EliteMGA is the leading provider of home inspection insurance with over 13 years of operations and half a million homes inspected. EliteMGA provides green inspection insurance for both homes and commercial properties. Contact us to learn more about adding coverage for green building inspections and growing your business.