ANSI OKs Green Homebuilding Standard


The newly updated ICC 700 National Green Building Standard has gained approval by the American National Standards Institute—the first and only residential green building rating system to do so, developers say.

The ICC 700-2012: National Green Building Standard provides green practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high-rise multifamily buildings, home remodeling and additions, hotels and motels, as well as the site upon which the green homes are located.

The standard was developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This is the first time the standard has undergone Consensus Committee review and update since it was published in 2009, NAHB and ICC said in a joint release.

Standardizing Green Practices

ICC 700-2012 covers a wide range of green homebuilding practices, including:

  • Lot design, preparation and development;
  • Resource, energy, and water efficiency;
  • Indoor environmental quality; and
  • Operation, maintenance, and building owner education.

The standard can be used by any builder for individual projects or as the basis for a local, community or state green building program. Four thresholds—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald—allow builders a range of achievement options, from entry level to a level that incorporates energy savings of 60 percent or higher.

Green homebuilding

Thousands of housing units and lots have been certified to ICC 700, the standard's developers say. The 2012 version of the standard goes on sale this week.

The standard has been widely implemented throughout the industry. The NAHB Research Center, which served as the secretariat of the standard as it progressed through ANSI, says it has certified the compliance of thousands of dwelling units and developed lots to the ICC 700.
Dozens of regional and local green initiatives refer to the standard within their program criteria, and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) requires compliance with the ICC 700 if a jurisdiction chooses to regulate residential buildings four stories or less in height, the developers say.
'A Huge Deal'
NAHB and ICC applauded ANSI's approval, saying the action "reinforces the quality and transparency of the process used to develop this important standard for constructing green residential buildings across America."
“We are proud to develop the codes and standards that ICC and NAHB members use to guide the construction of safe, sustainable and affordable homes, and provide an opportunity for ICC Members to play a vital role in this important undertaking.” ICC board president Ronald Piester and CEO Dominic Sims said in a joint statement.
NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg called the introduction of the 2012 standard "a huge deal for our industry."
"Not only does the updated version raise the bar on energy efficiency requirements, but it also completely revolutionizes how renovations and remodeling projects are treated under the standard," said Rutenberg.

Homebuilders called the updated standard "a huge deal for our industry."

"The 2012 updates make the standard easier to understand and implement, and we expect that this will certainly help to build upon the momentum we are already seeing in green building across the residential building industry.”

Highlights and Changes

The new version of the standard includes several important changes, including:

  • Energy Code Update: While the original ICC 700 used the 2006 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a basis, the new version will use the 2009 IECC. The 2009 version is estimated to result in energy-efficient performance that is about 15 percent higher than the previous code. 
  • Restructured Scoring for Remodeling: The new version revamped the scoring for renovations and remodeling projects. The revised standard includes two new chapters devoted to existing building projects. The first provides criteria for entire buildings and includes requirements for improved energy and water efficiency. The second provides a green protocol for the most common renovation and addition projects that focus on functional areas of a home.
  • Incentives for Development and Lot Design: The 2012 ICC 700 includes a new scoring opportunity for those choosing build lots in green communities. Six points can be earned in the Lot Design, Preparation and Development chapter for choosing lots in developments that have been certified to ICC 700 or an equivalent program.

The standard will be available for order on Jan. 23.


Tagged categories: ANSI; Certifications and standards; Energy efficiency; Good Technical Practice; Green building; Home builders; ICC; National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

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