Preparations for the development of the 2012 version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) are now officially underway by the NAHB Research Center. The Research Center will again act as the secretariat, or administrator, of the standard development process. Once completed, the updated standard will again be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for approval.

Initiated in 2007 by the NAHB and the International Code Council, the NGBS (ICC 700-2008) was developed by a 42-member Consensus Committee and approved by ANSI in January 2009, making it the first point-based rating system for green residential construction, remodeling, and land development to be approved by ANSI. As an ANSI-approved standard, the document is subject to updates as a way to ensure that advances in building codes, technology, and other developments can be considered for incorporation.

The development of the standard must follow an ANSI-approved process. To begin the process, the Research Center issued a call for committee members on the Consensus Committee that will be charged with developing updates to the Standard (applications were due by Jan. 4, 2011). Similar to the make-up of the committee convened to develop the original standard, the committee for the updated version will include a balanced mix of government officials, advocacy groups, home builders, product manufacturers, and other affected industry stakeholders in residential construction. The committee members and other interested parties will be assigned to task groups, each specializing in a different area of the standard—such as energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, or lot and site development.

The Research Center is also seeking proposed changes to ICC 700-2008 as part of the update process. Individuals and groups can submit their proposed changes online ( by Jan. 31, 2011. Task groups will review the proposed changes and develop committee proposals in early 2011.

“ANSI rules for standards development provide for a set of checks and balances based on the principles of openness, consensus, balance, and due process, lending to the unmatched credibility of the NGBS in the residential industry,” says Michael Luzier, president of the NAHB Research Center. “Because the ANSI process requires a balanced representation of stakeholders on the Consensus Committee and consideration of the views of all participants, this update provides an important opportunity for all those with an interest in bona fide green home building.”

The entire Consensus Committee will hold two hearings at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C., in 2011.

At the first hearing, members will review all proposed changes to the Standard and decide the formal committee action on each of them. After balloting on the committee actions has been completed, a draft of the 2012 standard will be released for public comment.

At the second hearing, Consensus Committee members will consider, discuss, and then take formal action on the public comments submitted on the draft standard.

Once the committee has completed its work, the newly updated NGBS will be submitted to ANSI for approval in 2012.