The Sun Has Set on the 2012 National Green Building Standard

ngbs coverThe ICC 700-2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) has been sunset,* and the ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 NGBS is currently the only version of the standard for residential green building certification. Those who have used the 2012 version will find the 2015 NGBS familiar, but will also notice several code updates and practice changes/additions designed to enhance user flexibility.

If you have not used the NGBS previously, this is a great time to consider adding certification to your business model.

A few of the more significant changes from the 2012 to 2015 standard are:

  • The baseline codes for the 2015 NGBS have been updated to 2015 IECC, 2015 IRC and 2015 IBC.
  • With the update to 2015 IECC, several practices to obtain Silver, Gold or Emerald level compliance for Chapter 7 in the 2012 NGBS are now part of the baseline energy performance requirements. As such, the point totals were adjusted accordingly for both Chapter 7 and overall project certification.
  • Grade I insulation installation is now mandatory.
  • Ventilation specs have been revised from ASHRAE 62.2-2007 to 62.2-2010.

Additional changes focus on increasing the flexibility of the 2015 NGBS to provide builders with more practices to choose from to earn the required points towards certification.

These additions include:

  • Projects in high-density areas and lots with a landscape plan (Ch. 5);
  • Building envelope assemblies designed for moisture control (Ch. 6);
  • A more flexible energy performance path (Ch. 7);
  • A new HERS Index Target compliance path and new Tropical Climate Zone provisions (Ch. 7);
  • Greater recognition of the WaterSense program (Ch. 8);
  • Exemption of fireplaces in common areas of multifamily buildings from venting requirements (Ch. 9); and
  • Recognition of smart-home technology — enabling building owners to determine if energy and water usage deviate from expected levels (Ch. 10).

A fact sheet by Home Innovation Research Labs summarizes additional changes from the 2012 to 2015 standard. You can download a free pdf of the ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 NGBS at BuilderBooks.

Those new to NGBS can check out a summary review of the certification process. These videos provide an introduction to the standard and using the NGBS Green Scoring Tool to help you evaluate how your current building practices align with the standard.

For more information about NAHB’s sustainable and green building programs, contact Program Manager Michelle Diller.

To stay current on the high-performance residential building sector, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building team on Twitter.

*Projects in states currently using pre-2012 versions of the IECC, or where the code has been significantly modified, will be allowed to register 2012 NGBS projects until 12 a.m. ET on Dec. 31, 2019, and must complete construction and certification by Dec. 31, 2022.

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