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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

National Green Building Standard ICC-700 Approved

A first in this industry, this standard provides the "green" practices that can be incorporated into livable spaces -- new homes, including high-rise multifamily buildings, home remodeling and additions, hotels and motels, and the site upon which the green homes are located.

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The National Green Building Standard, known as ICC-700, was approved on 1/29/09, as an "American National Standard" by The International Code Council and National Association of Home Builders who developed the Standard.

The new Standard provides guidance for safe and sustainable building practices for residential construction, including both new and renovated single-family to high-rise residential buildings.

This new standard provides a practical route to green, sustainable and high-performance construction, especially in communities with little if any green/sustainable buildings or guidelines to build green.

The standard also promotes homeowner education for the maintenance and operation of green residential buildings in order to ensure long-term benefits.

The standard’s rating system allows builders, designers and communities to choose the levels of high-performance green buildings that best suit their needs. Key provisions include:

  • Land conservation
  • Rainwater collection
  • Construction of smaller homes to conserve resources
  • Energy performance starting at 15% above the baseline requirements of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code
  • The use of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) materials and detached garages or carports to improve indoor environmental quality
  • Homeowner education on proper maintenance and operation to maintain its green status throughout its life cycle

A first in this industry, this standard provides the "green" practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high-rise multifamily buildings, home remodeling and additions, hotels and motels, and the site upon which the green homes are located.

The green practices include lot design, preparation and development; resource, energy, and water efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and operation, maintenance, and building owner education. The four threshold levels, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald provide builders with a means to achieve basic, entry-level green building, or achieve the highest level of sustainable "green" building that incorporates energy savings of 65 percent or higher. The Standard can be used by any builder for their individual projects, or be the basis for a local community or state green building program.

The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt codes choose the International Codes developed by the International Code Council.

ICC-700 is available along with related ICC publications through the Code Council website. It is scheduled to ship in the spring of 2009

National Green Building Standard (ICC 700-2008) $35.95.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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