In April, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) officially approved the ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), a national standard for sustainable construction endorsed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This is the third edition of the NGBS to be available for public use, and it is intended to be an industry benchmark for residential projects.
The NGBS was first published in 2009 after two years of preparation and funding by the NAHB and International Code Council (ICC) as a guide for high-performance residential construction, and it also provides a means for builders to obtain third-party certification for new and remodeled homes. The NGBS is completely voluntary, but it has been the basis for several state and local programs on sustainable building. Some of these government agencies also provide incentives for achieving NGBS certification.
According to Home Innovation Research Labs, which presides over the certification process, nearly 80,000 projects have been certified through the NGBS. As an independent subsidiary of the NAHB, Home Innovation Research Labs also acted as secretariat during the approval process for the third edition of the NGBS.
“Home Innovation’s culture as an independent, third party makes us ideally suited to the role of secretariat for the exacting ANSI standards development process,” said Michael Luzier, president and CEO of Home Innovation. “Those exacting elements create opportunities for the best, most informed decisions to be reached.”
The 2015 NGBS aligns the standard with the ICC building codes and adds new, innovative practices upon a solid foundation. A large number of ideas were incorporated from stakeholder experiences that had been submitted since the 2012 NGBS was published.
“The standard’s thorough review and revision process allows builders to follow the most proven and effective sustainable practices,” said Ed Brady, chairman of the NAHB. “As the green revolution continues to expand, we will find more and more builders relying on this standard.”
Following are only a few of the updates contained in the third edition of the NGBS:
- More stringent energy efficiency ratings
- New references for resource efficiency and environmental product declarations
- Revamped storm-management options
- Stricter indoor environmental-quality requirements
- Section on homeowner education
Hard copies of the 2015 NGBS can be purchased and free- e-copies can be obtained online through the NAHB store BuilderBooks.com.