Home Innovation Insights

Moving forward toward a 2015 National Green Building Standard

Vladimir Kochkin
March 6, 2014

Go forward? It's the only thing to do!

Moving forward toward a 2015 National Green Building Standard

It's a basic rule of business: if you're not moving forward, you get left behind – and the green building market is no exception. With the ink barely dry on the 2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Home Innovation Research Labs is starting the development of the 2015 NGBS. It will take us about two years to fulfill ANSI’s demanding requirements and comprehensive process. That's why it's critical that we start early to have a completed NGBS when the market is ready.

The NGBS is the only residential green building rating system ANSI-approved. So what?

Adherence to ANSI rules, and final review and approval by ANSI, are an important hallmark of the NGBS for at least six reasons.

  • Credibility – ANSI’s approval is third-party verification that all rules in the standard’s development have been followed. It is ultimately ANSI’s decision alone whether a standard deserves the designation.
  • Openness and Transparency – Any affected party can present its views to the NGBS Consensus Committee. The committee has an obligation to consider, act upon, and respond to those views. All information is publicly available and anyone has the right to appeal to the standard development organization and, ultimately, to ANSI if their views were not given due consideration.
  • Balance – The committee is structured in a way that consideration of views and voting are not dominated by a single interest group. NGBS development efforts, as always, will be undertaken by a Consensus Committee carefully balanced between three major member categories: Users, Producers, and General Interest.
  • Due Process – The ANSI process is designed to give fair consideration to all views and objections. The process is well-defined and laid out in its entirety before development proceeds, so that all interested parties have ability to plan for working with the committee.
  • Consensus – As with any democratic process, consensus doesn’t mean unanimity. Home Innovation’s rules as a Standards Developer require that at least two-thirds of the voting committee members are in agreement before a change is approved.
    • Independence – An ANSI committee does not answer to anybody with regard to its collective technical opinion. If the committee achieves consensus on an issue, it is final and can only be challenged on procedural grounds.

    Call for NGBS Consensus Committee members

    During the International Builders Show last month, Home Innovation issued committee applications and a call for proposed changes to the 2012 NGBS. All interested parties can submit an application to be on the NGBS Consensus Committee – the lack of any barriers to participation is another hallmark of the ANSI process. From these applications, Home Innovation will appoint a committee of 30+ industry professionals with a broad range of expertise in green construction, balanced between the three major member categories mentioned above.

    For the NGBS process, Users are typically represented by practicing professionals such as architects, developers, and builders; Producers by product manufacturers; and General Interest by code officials and federal, state, and local government agencies. Each of these groups may have a different perspective on each issue brought up in front of the committee, so it's important that each of these groups is well represented, to avoid dominance by any one category.

    NGBS Task Groups

    Because the NGBS covers nearly all technical aspects of residential construction from land development to homeowner education, it is also important that the committee has access to critical technical expertise on a broad range of relevant subjects. In addition to appointing experienced industry professionals to serve on the Consensus Committee, several Task Groups are assembled – each with a specific area of expertise – to support the committee. Although it is the committee's decision that matters in the end, the task groups play an important role of advising the committee on complex technical matters.

    Don’t delay – still time to apply!

    Follow the development of the 2015 NGBS at www.homeinnovation.com/ngbs. The March 16, 2014, deadline is fast approaching, but there is still time to apply for the Consensus Committee or a Task Group. Propose changes to the Standard by March 24, 2014. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

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