On Jan. 10, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) notified the NAHB Research Center of its approval of the ICC 700-2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The center served as Secretariat for the standard development process that began in November 2010.

In 2007, the NAHB and the International Code Council partnered to fund the development of the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval by ANSI as an American National Standard.

The 2012 NGBS builds on the stakeholder experiences with the 2008 version, including perspectives on design, construction, certification, and operation of new and existing green single- and multifamily buildings and green residential land developments. The updates align the NGBS with building codes that have been adopted around the country since initial version was approved by ANSI. Some of the most notable changes include the :

• The energy efficiency chapter was revised with the new rating levels based on whole-house energy savings above the 2009 IECC.

• The point assignments for water efficiency practices were reanalyzed to achieve an improved internal consistency regarding actual water savings. The provisions for rainwater collection and distribution were expanded to encourage rainwater use for irrigation and indoor demand.

• The 2012 NGBS provides two options for remodelers interested in getting their green projects rated. Also, all renovation and addition notes were removed from the NGBS and the remodeling practices are organized into two chapters that address only remodeling.

• The durability provisions were reorganized, expanded, and compiled into a single section as part of the resource efficiency chapter.

• Homes built in a green development get rewarded by accumulating related points under lot design, which helps stimulates green practices by large land developers.

• The life cycle analysis practice was expanded and refined.

• The implementation of green practices for multifamily buildings now includes common areas.

• Community gardens are encouraged as part of the development strategies to provide local food production options.

The Research Center also is the adopting entity for offering national home and land certification to the NGBS. The center currently requires a free registration process that allows builders to select from either the 2008 or 2012 NGBS until May 1—after that date, it will not be possible to register a project to the 2008 NGBS. The registration process must be completed by an accredited green verifier. For information on how to have a project certified by the NAHB Research Center or to find an accredited verifier in your area, visit www.nahbrc.com/green.