The NAHB Research Center on March 26 announced that KB Home (NYSE: KBH) has for the second consecutive year earned its National Housing Quality (NHQ) Certified Builder designation for all of its operations nationwide. It remains first and only builder since the program was begun in 2004 to do so.

The certification follows a rigorous NAHB-RC audit of the quality assurance systems of each division.

KB was the first major builder to participate in the NHQ program, with its Las Vegas division earning the first NHQ certification during the program's pilot phase in 2004. KB Home went on to implement the program in all of its divisions across the country, becoming the first builder to achieve national certification in February 2008.

"Nothing is more important to our homeowners than quality, and we are proud to be the only home builder to have our quality management system backed by this rigorous third-party certification on a national level," said Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer of KB Home.

NHQ certification is awarded to home builders and trade contractors that have documented and implemented quality management systems and participated in systematic reviews of the implementation of those systems. There are currently 29 home building companies in the program. Certification requirements ensure that all elements of a company's quality assurance system are aligned to improve quality performance and provide greater customer satisfaction. Since implementing the NHQ program, KB Home has seen its customer satisfaction ratings rise to their highest levels ever.

"In the current housing environment, builders are seeking higher customer satisfaction ratings and a competitive edge," according to Bob Hill, director of certification and laboratory services at the NAHB Research Center. "By meeting the rigorous requirements of the NHQ Program and earning this certification again this year, KB Home is making a powerful statement to potential homebuyers that their satisfaction is the company's top priority."