In early January 2013, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the 2012 ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™, a rating system for residential green buildings developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).  According to the press release, the standard is an update on the previous ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, which was published in 2009.  The new 2012 version will be available for order on January 23 here.

The 2009 standard, which was first and only residential green building standard to be approved by ANSI after a full consensus process, has similarities to LEED for Homes.  It is a residential green building rating system for new construction and renovations, and awards points in sustainability categories, including Lot & Site Development, Resource Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Homeowner Education.  Projects can earn the minimum number of points required for certification, or can earn higher numbers of points to achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald certification.

The updates to the standard will be relevant to some home builders and renovators, because according to statistics from The Appraiser’s Research Foundation, about 4,500 single-family homes and 254 multi-family buildings (with nearly 6000 units) had received ICC 700 certification as of mid-2012.  This is only about a quarter of the number of LEED certified homes, which hit 20,000 in mid-2012. (learn more here).  However, ICC 700 is referenced in dozens of local and regional green building initiatives, which make it especially relevant to builders in these areas.