The standards of the IBN are very rigorous. Results cannot be accurately anticipated at the design phase of the building; on-site testing post-construction is the only option. However, homeowners and designers can use the principles of building biology as a design reference to help ensure a finished building that will perform well in tests.
There is no certification or labeling for buildings that have been tested to IBN standards, and not all parameters must be tested. A consultant certified by the IBN must perform all testing.
To certify or not?
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Pursuing certification in any green building program allows the homeowner and the project team to verify that all of the intended goals of the project are, indeed, being met. The documentation and inspections can help to ensure that all members of the build team follow through on commitments for material selection and quality of installation, as well as waste handling and other aspects of the project that may be hard to assess or monitor. Certification documents can increase the sales price for the home by providing assurance to buyers that claims for environmental performance are true.
At the same time, the project team can simply use the published guidelines for any of these standards to create their own checklists, and not necessarily follow through with the full certification process. In the end, the decision will be based on a range of individual factors unique to each project.
Mix ’n Match
Each rating system differs in the degree to which it prioritizes particular criteria. It is likely that no one system will satisfy all the provisions of your particular Criteria Matrix, and in that case it is a reasonable approach to pick and choose the elements of two or more systems to more closely resemble the kind of standard you wish to create. Adding to a particular energy efficiency standard — perhaps one that is recognized by your local municipality for grant programs, rebates, or other incentives — with aspects of environmental performance from other standards can allow you to benefit from government programs without limiting your overall ambitions.