From the desk of Robin Butler…
As President & CEO of NOAH Certified I am often asked many questions that pertain to the Tiny House on Wheels (THOW’s) movement.
In an effort to respond to some of these questions I am offering my personal opinion based on the insight that I have come across.
One such relevant question is: Who certifies what?
This is an effort to clarify exactly who certifies what. Let’s begin with who certifies compliance with the NOAH (National Organization of Alternative Housing) Standard for Tiny House on Wheels. NOAH has set a standard based on life safety and fire safety codes that are nationally recognized in the RV industry and the construction and energy codes that are nationally recognized in the home-building industry.
Each builder, pledging to build to the NOAH Standard, is the one certifying that the Tiny House on Wheels is built to the NOAH Standard.
As stated in ANSI 119.5 “ A single living unit that is primarily designed and completed on a single chassis, mounted on wheels, to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or seasonal use, is certified by the manufacturer as complying with all applicable requirements”. The NOAH seal actually reads “Builder Certifies Compliance with the NOAH Standard, NFPA 1192, NFPA 70 (NEC), IRC Construction Guidelines.
The builder could on his own say that he certifies that it was built to the standards. However, there is the “authority having jurisdiction”. AHJ is defined in ANSI 119.5 as “An organization, office or individual responsible for enforcing the requirements of a code or standard, or for approving equipment, materials, an installation, or a procedure”. Please refer to ANSI 119.5 for a more descriptive breakdown definition of an AHJ.
The fact that the THOW was verified by a third-party inspection company creates a Safety net. Additionally, the fact that each inspection is Digitized and stored for other AHJ’s to view creates an additional safety net. Further, the fact that the digitized and storage inspection begins with the VIN and is performed by a third-party adds additional layers of protection on the build to verify that it has been built to a certain standard.
Because of NOAH and our inspection process, some AHJ’s are already approving NOAH Certified THOWs. Foremost insurance, Property owners & RV parks like Paradise by the Sea in Southern California are just a few such AHJ’s.
Also, Municipalities like Minnesota are currently considering NOAH Certified as a safe way to allow THOWs in on residential property.
As I have always said I have learned that it is best to do your homework before starting your THOW build to be sure that your end goals can be reached.