The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved the ICC/ASHRAE 700-2015 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS). Home Innovation Research Labs served as Secretariat for the standard development process that began with a call for Consensus Committee members in February 2014, and culminated in submission of the final document to ANSI for consideration in February 2016. ANSI made the official public announcement of the NGBS approval in its Standards Action publication earlier this month.
In 2007, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) partnered to fund the development of the first and only residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive approval by ANSI as an American National Standard. This latest installment of the NGBS welcomed ASHRAE as a new partner to the development process. This broad-based collaboration of the leading code and standard development organizations and their continued commitment to the ANSI process further solidified the standing of the NGBS as the national benchmark for green residential construction in the United States. With more than 75,000 NGBS Green Certified homes to date nationwide, the 2015 NGBS incorporates improvements and adds new practices gleaned from the standard’s implementation in the field.
Shepherding a standard like this through the ANSI consensus process involves time, specific expertise, and thoroughness. As Secretariat for the NGBS, Home Innovation was responsible for ensuring that all substantive and procedural aspects of the ANSI process were followed. This included ensuring that the voting members of the Consensus Committee represented a balanced set of stakeholders; that no one member or industry segment could exert undue influence over the process; that public input was sought and addressed; and that there was a thorough opportunity for appeal.
“Home Innovation’s culture as an independent, third-party makes us ideally suited to the role of Secretariat for the exacting ANSI standards development process,” according to Michael Luzier, Home Innovation President and CEO. “Those exacting elements create opportunities for the best, most informed decisions to be reached. As Secretariat, our obligation to the decision-making process was not only to yield consensus, but to have the process culminate in the most thoughtful and comprehensive green building standard possible – mission accomplished.”
There were 42 members of the 2015 NGBS Consensus Committee, with Robert Ross of G&R Construction Services, LLC, serving as chairman, and Shirley Ellis of Texas A&M University and Chris Mathis of Mathis Consulting Company both serving as vice chairs. The committee represented those entities and interests that were directly affected by the provisions of the NGBS. In addition, a total of seven Task Groups were formed to reflect the specific areas of technical expertise the Consensus Committee needed as resources throughout the process. In total, close to 100 industry leaders and experts helped to shape the final version of the standard that was presented to ANSI.
“It was an honor for me to preside over this consensus process for the development of the 2015 National Green Building Standard,” said Ross. “I am very grateful to all the men and women who served on the Consensus Committee and the Task Groups to help accomplish this goal. While they may have disagreed about various points throughout the development process, their dedication to promoting rigorous and meaningful green building was never in dispute. I thank them all for their passion and professionalism.”
The Consensus Committee held three multi-day meetings during 2014 and 2015 to discuss and take formal actions first on proposed changes and then on public comments. All meetings were open to the public and provided an opportunity to testify before the Consensus Committee. All committee actions were also balloted through formal letter ballots. Overall, the Consensus Committee reviewed and acted upon nearly 600 proposed changes and public comments, ranging from revisions to individual provisions to the addition of an entire compliance path.
The 2015 NGBS builds upon the cumulative stakeholder experiences with the 2012 version, including perspectives on design, construction, certification, and operation of new and existing green single- and multifamily buildings and green residential land developments. In addition, the updates align the NGBS with 2015 family of ICC building codes.
Some of the most notable changes include:
In addition to being Secretariat for the standard development process, Home Innovation Research Labs is also an adopting entity, offering national NGBS Green certification for home, land, and product certification to the NGBS. Now that the 2015 version has been approved, Home Innovation will allow projects to be registered for certification to either the 2012 or 2015 NGBS; the registration process must be completed by an accredited NGBS Green Verifier.
To get your free electronic copy of the 2015 National Green Building Standard™ (or to buy a printed copy),
visit NAHB’s BuilderBooks website – www.BuilderBooks.com/NGBS. For more information on the process to create the NGBS, visit www.HomeInnovation.com/2015NGBS.
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