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 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
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