Courtesy iLevel by Weyerhaeuser

At first glance, the Green-Approved product qualification program launched last year by the NAHB Research Center may appear to be just another third-party certification to consider in your sustainable building specs.

But that’s only if you build to the ANSI-approved National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The Green-Approved program is designed to identify and qualify products and systems specifically for the NGBS, in large part to streamline the specification and verification process (and costs) for builders seeking certification.

The program essentially pre-approves products and systems that comply with and earn points under the NAHBGreen rating system instead of requiring builders to submit documentation of a product’s qualities, such as VOC emissions or recycled content, to a verifier. It also enables builders and design professionals to find and consider products on the list prior to beginning green projects built to the NGBS.

The Research Center, which acted as the secretariat for the ANSI consensus approval of the NGBS and is an established and accredited testing facility, evaluates products submitted for inclusion in the online Green-Approved directory. “We will accept third-party data or verification [of a product’s claim] from any competent and accredited lab” to conduct that evaluation, says Research Center president Michael Luzier. “It’s a straightforward application and verification process” that typically takes the Center’s staff mere days to conduct once the applicant (a manufacturer) submits the required paperwork.

Applicants pay a one-time fee of $200 and an annual fee of $1,000 for each product listing and $250 per practice area for which the product qualifies for NGBS points to retain their status in the directory. They must also submit written reconfirmations annually or resubmit data if the product has been altered.

As of mid-May, 47 suppliers and 131 products were listed in the online directory, posted at