Every day brings a litany of misperceptions about the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), so let’s set the record straight on some of the common unknowns about the NGBS.

1. The NGBS is not the NAHB Green Building Standard.

The NAHB and International Code Council (ICC) facilitated the development of the NGBS, but it is not the NAHB Green Building Standard. The NGBS was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2009. Approval signifies that the standard meets ANSI's requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process. Once it was ANSI-approved, the NGBS joined the family of International Codes, published by the ICC. The NAHB has nothing to do with the NGBS Green Certification Program. Rather, Home Innovation Research Labs, an accredited third-party certification agency, provides national NGBS certification services to the residential construction industry.

2. The NGBS is the most rigorous national green rating system for residential buildings.

The NGBS has six categories of green practices: Lot Design; Energy Efficiency; Water Efficiency; Indoor Environmental Quality; Resource Efficiency; and Building Operation and Maintenance. NGBS certification requires a building to achieve a minimum number of green practices/points in every category for each level of certification. NGBS-certified homes are verified to be green in all six categories. To achieve a higher certification level, the building has to meet higher point thresholds for all categories.

3. The NGBS is not just for new construction.

The NGBS has a certification path designed to improve the performance of existing buildings. Given the large number of older buildings that would benefit from efficiency improvements, just imagine what could be achieved if the NGBS Green Remodel Path was more widely utilized. Certification requires three things: improve energy efficiency, improve water efficiency, and ensure air quality isn’t impaired through five practices specific to the indoor environment. And with the recent ANSI approval and introduction of the 2012 NGBS, there’s now also a section dedicated to small project certification.

4. The NGBS can be used to certify mid- and high-rise apartment buildings.

There is no height limit for buildings to be NGBS certified. The NGBS applies to the design and construction of all residential buildings, and the residential portions of mixed-use buildings.

5. The NGBS will change how you think about green certification.

All residential buildings can aspire to attain green certification to the NGBS. The NGBS Green Certification Program fees are low for all types of certification, and there’s no charge to NGBS program partners for interpretations, technical advice, or marketing assistance.

To learn more about the NGBS certification options, visit www.HomeInnovation.com/Green.