Third party inspections prove valuable in the refurbishment or new construction of LIHTC properties. A study by SK Collaborative did released The National Association of Home Builders website has verified third party inspections of 10 refurbished LIHTC Georgia properties. Half of the properties audited by the study aimed for environmentally friendly certification, which typically requires a third party review during the construction process and again after completion. The properties were seeking certification from NGBS, Enterprise Green Communities and EarthCraft Multifamily.
Of the properties that opted for environmentally friendly certification, seven errors were found during the building inspection and six errors during the final inspection. Most of these errors were due to overlooked errors in the building code during city inspections. Many building codes overlap with the International Residential Code, the International Fire Code, and the International Energy Conservation Code. Other errors were due to incomplete pipelines or requirements for leaks, sedimentation and erosion control.
The study found that third party inspections can help resolve long-term problems. Compared to the projects in the study that did not seek green certifications, environmentally certified projects had more inspection errors, especially with basic energy code requirements such as insulation and airtightness.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, this would have resulted in increased utility bills, maintenance issues, and complaints from local residents if these errors had not been corrected through a third-party inspection model.
While this particular survey dealt with the environmental certification of LIHTC properties, environmentally friendly construction is enjoying growing popularity overall. The pandemic has made green building a value proposition for frail entrepreneurs trying to cut costs. This means making green buildings available to a larger part of the population, so a current interview with Aaron Bernstein, co-director of the Harvard Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment. The pandemic could encourage the building community to be more receptive to environmentally friendly building improvements that improve the bottom line.
But it's not just about the end result. As a result of the pandemic, health and safety concerns are also growing, and green buildings can help create safer environments. T.H. The Chan School of Public Health found that people in cities with slightly higher levels of particulate matter also had higher death rates from COVID-19. Green buildings help reduce air pollution, and land near public transport helps reduce greenhouse gases. These features will continue to drive the demand for green building.