Latest Edition of Green Residential Standard Gets ANSI Approval

January 14, 2013

The American National Standards Institute has approved the 2012 edition of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the International Code Council.  Changes in the updated version of the residential standard impact energy efficiency requirements and scoring of remodeling projects.

"The introduction of the 2012 National Green Building Standard is a huge deal for our industry," says Barry Rutenberg, a Florida home builder and NAHB chairman. "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. 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."

In 2007, NAHB and ICC partnered to establish the ICC 700 residential green building rating system, which was published in 2009. To date, the standard has been widely implemented throughout the industry, officials report. The NAHB Research Center, which serves as the secretariat of the standard as it progresses through ANSI, 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  requires compliance with the ICC 700 if a jurisdiction chooses to regulate residential buildings four stories or less in height.

The new version of the standard includes:

  • Energy Code Update: While the original ICC 700 used the 2006 version of the International Energy Conservation Code as a basis, the new version will use the 2009 IECC. The requirements of the 2009 IECC are estimated to result in energy efficient performance that is about 15 percent higher than the previous 2006 code.
  • Restructured Scoring for Remodeling: The new version completely 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 that increases as higher levels of compliance are sought. The second provides a green protocol for the most common renovation and addition projects that focus on functional areas of a home such as a kitchen, bathroom, basement, or addition under 400 square feet.
  • Incentives for Development and Lot Design: The 2012 ICC 700 includes the addition of a new scoring opportunity for those choosing the build lots in green communities. In the new version, 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. In the previous version of the standard no such incentives were provided.

"ANSI's approval of the 2012 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard reinforces the quality and transparency of the process used to develop this important standard for constructing green residential buildings across America," said Ronald Piester, ICC president, and Dominic Sims, ICC CEO, in a joint statement. "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."

On Wednesday, January. 23, NAHB and ICC will release additional information on the changes in the 2012 standard at a conference at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. More information on the standard, which becomes available January 23, is availablat the NAHB website.