The nation’s first consensus-driven standard for residential green building has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) provides a flexible and robust third-party rating system for residential green project certification, which will be used for the NAHB National Green Building Program (NAHB Green).

“Builders and home buyers who have been confused by the many characterizations of green building in the marketplace now have clear, flexible, bona fide criteria defined under the NGBS,” says Michael Luzier, president of the NAHB Research Center. “Under the standard, there are options for bronze, silver, gold, or emerald levels of certification that provide builders with the flexibility to choose the certification level appropriate for their market and their customers.”

As an ANSI-approved standards writing organization, the Research Center played a pivotal role in the development process for the standard. Prior to approval of the standard, the Center’s green home certification was based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which applied only to new single-family homes. With the new option of certification to the standard, developments, multifamily dwellings, remodeling projects, and additions can also receive National Green Building certification from the Research Center.

Using the interactive Green Scoring Tool available on the NAHB Green Web site, builders, designers, remodelers, and home buyers can compile information about the practices and products that make a home green. The tool specifies points that are awarded per the criteria of either the guidelines (lot design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, homeowner education, and global impact) or the standard (lot design, preparation, and development; resource efficiency; energy efficiency; water efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and operation, ­maintenance, and building owner education).

Additional information about the National Green Building Program including the Green Scoring Tool, verification, and green project certification is available from or from the National Green Building Hotline at 877-NAHB-GRN (877-624-2476).