The ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is available for public use.

Some significant changes to the 2015 edition are the energy efficiency chapter referencing the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code; expanded builder options by including environmental product declarations for both specific and industry-wide products; and revamped stormwater management options that focus on low-impact development. The 2015 edition better aligns the NGBS with the I-Codes, expands the application of innovative practices and builds upon years of building and certifying to the NGBS. Green practices such as energy, water and resource conservation; indoor air quality; lot and site development; and building operation and owner education remain largely intact.

This third edition brings together three industry leaders–the International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) –who have combined their expertise, knowledge and credibility to develop the NGBS. Home Innovation Research Labs served as administrator of the standard development process, as it has done in previous versions.

“The standard’s thorough review and revision process allows builders to follow the most proven and effective sustainable practices,” said NAHB chairman Ed Brady, a builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill. “As the ‘green’ revolution continues to expand, we will find more and more builders relying on this standard.”

First published in 2009, the NGBS provides a pathway by which builders and developers can seek third-party certification of their new homes, developments and remodeling projects. Although voluntary, the NGBS is the basis for several federal, state and local green building programs.

“The updated NGBS provides designers, contractors, developers and policy makers with the most innovative options for minimizing a building’s environmental footprint,” said ICC CEO Dominic Sims. “Consumers will benefit as well with lower utility bills, greater comfort, reduced maintenance, and increased value.”

“There are expected to be 140.6 million dwelling units in the United States by 2030, so we must take the lead in ensuring these homes are as sustainable as they can be,” said ASHRAE president David Underwood. “ASHRAE has been pleased to be a partner in the NGBS, and honored to provide its technical and standards guidance to help guide the homebuilding industry.”

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