Environment Matters

Green for homes

The International Code Council (ICC) recently released the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS), the first American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard addressing residential green building. ICC and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) developed the standard with input from their many stakeholders, including code officials and building professionals in the green construction field.

The standard

The NGBS promotes green, sustainable and high-performance construction methods; it includes guidelines for sustainable building practices applicable to the design and construction of residential buildings in the U.S.—from new and renovated single-family homes to high-rise residential buildings except institutional residences. Because a key component of a building's sustainability is owner buy-in, the NGBS also promotes homeowner education, including maintenance and proper operation.

Similar to other standards, the NGBS provides minimum requirements; however, unlike most standards, the NGBS awards points for meeting its requirements. In that sense, the standard is a rating system for residential construction's environmental performance. The NGBS contains four performance level categories—Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald.