ICC 700-2020 National Green Building Standard®

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The ICC 700-2020 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS) is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - approved, residential building standard. This fourth edition was developed by an independent consensus committee of a broad range of stakeholders completed through a partnership between the International Code Council and the National Association of Home Builders. The NGBS outlines a variety of green design and construction practices that can be incorporated into single-family, multifamily, and mixed-use buildings, either for new construction or remodeling. The NGBS also includes green practices for land development projects as well as assisted living facilities, residential board and care facilities, and group homes.

The NGBS includes high-performance building practices in six areas: Lot Design and Development, Resource Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Building Operation & Maintenance.

The NGBS has four primary certification levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald, providing residential building professionals options to integrate sustainability and high-performance into their projects at a level most appropriate for their business models, customer base, and local housing markets. A new compliance path (Certified) customized for single-family and townhome dwellings has been added to the 2020 Edition. The NGBS also offers a compliance path for residential and mixed-use communities with four levels of land development practices, ranging from One-Star to Four-Star.

Changes in the 2020 Edition

The 2020 edition expands the application of innovative practices, offers additional options towards acheiving certification, and builds upon a decade strong foundation of program use.  Significant changes include:

  • A new Chapter 12: Certified Compliance Path for Single-Family Homes, Townhomes and Duplexes, provides a new compliance path customized for single-family dwellings;
  • An expanded scope that now includes compliance for the non-residential portion of mixed-use buildings as long as the residential portion of the building is greater than 50 percent of gross floor area (previous editions defined criteria only for the residential portion of the project);
  • A new performance path for demonstrating water efficiency that uses an index to generate a score that represents the project’s water efficiency as compared to a baseline (code-built) home;
  • An option to certify each phase of a multifamily remodeling project as completed;
  • And, a substantially revised remodeling chapter that offers a choice of prescriptive or performance compliance paths for energy and water efficiency.

The NGBS continues to provide architects, builders, and developers the flexibility needed to design and construct homes and mixed-use buildings that are sustainable, cost-effective and appropriate for a home’s

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