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ICC (distributed by Cengage Learning)
National Green Building Standard 2012

National Green Building Standard 2012

by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), International Code Council
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The future of building design is green construction. In fact, the shift toward incorporating green practices into everyday construction is already underway. As a result, there is no better way to prepare for the future than with the NATIONAL GREEN BUILDING STANDARD™ (ICC 700-2012) the result of a joint effort between the International Code Council (ICC) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The standard outlines effective, relevant green practices, including lot design; preparation and development; resource, energy, and water efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and operation, maintenance, and building owner education. Its goal is to give you the means to achieve your sustainability goals, whether they are designing a basic, entry-level green building or aiming for the highest level sustainable "green" building with energy savings of 65 percent or higher. It accomplishes this by defining four threshold levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald. The end result is a valuable tool that will help you put "green" methodology into practice in a variety of areas, from new homes to high-rise multifamily buildings, and from remodels and additions to hotels and motels. Also available - DEWALT Mobile Pro™, a free app that features a construction calculator with integrated reference materials and access to hundreds of additional calculations as add-ons. To learn more, visit

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780867186970
Publisher: ICC (distributed by Cengage Learning)
Publication date: 04/15/2013
Series: International Code Council Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 200,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct 80 percent of the new housing units projected for 2009.

ICC is a leading organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive, coordinated national model construction codes. To date, 48 U.S. states have adopted various international codes from ICC.

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101.1 Title. The title of this document is the National Green Building Standard™l, hereinafter referred to as "this Standard."

101.2 Scope. The provisions of this Standard shall apply to design and construction of the residential portion(s) of any building, not classified as an institutional use, in all climate zones. This Standard shall also apply to subdivisions, building sites, building lots, accessory structures, and the residential portions of alterations, additions, renovations, mixed-use buildings, and historic buildings.

101.3 Intent. The purpose of this Standard is to establish criteria for rating the environmental impact of design and construction practices to achieve conformance with specified performance levels for green residential buildings, renovation thereof, accessory structures, building sites, and subdivisions. This Standard is intended to provide flexibility to permit the use of innovative approaches and techniques. This Standard is not intended to abridge safety, health, or environmental requirements contained in other applicable laws, codes, or ordinances.

101.4 Referenced documents. The codes, standards, and other documents referenced in this Standard shall be considered part of the requirements of this Standard to the prescribed extent of each such reference. The edition of the code, standard, or other referenced document shall be the edition referenced in Chapter 13.

101.5 Appendices. Where specifically required by a provision in this Standard, that appendix shall apply. Appendices not specifically required by a provision of this Standard shall not apply unless specifically adopted.


102.1 Mandatory practices. This Standard does not require compliance with any specific practice except those noted as mandatory.

102.2 Conformance language. The green building provisions are written in mandatory language by way of using the verbs "to be," "is," "are," etc. The intent of the language is to require the user to conform to a particular practice in order to qualify for the number of points assigned to that practice. Where the term "shall" is used, or the points are designated as "mandatory," the provision or practice is mandatory.

102.3 Documentation. Verification of conformance to green building practices shall be the appropriate construction documents, architectural plans, site plans, specifications, builder certification and sign-off, inspection reports, or other data that demonstrates conformance as determined by the Adopting Entity. Where specific documentation is required by a provision of the Standard, that documentation is noted with that provision.

102.4 Alternative compliance methods. Alternative compliance methods shall be acceptable where the Adopting Entity finds that the proposed green building practice meets the intent of this Standard.


103.1 Administration. The Adopting Entity shall specify performance level(s) to be achieved as identified in Chapter 3 and shall provide a verification process to ensure compliance with this Standard.




201.1 Scope. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this Standard, have the meanings shown in this chapter.

201.2 Interchangeability. Words used in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural, the singular.

201.3 Terms defined in other documents. Where terms are not defined in this Standard, and such terms are used in relation to the reference of another document, those terms shall have the definition in that document.

201.4 Terms not defined. Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.


ACCESSORY STRUCTURE. A structure, the use of which is customarily accessory to and incidental to that of the residential building; the structure is located on the same lot or site as the residential building; the structure does not contain a dwelling unit; and (1) is classified as Group U – Utility and Miscellaneous in accordance with the ICC International Building Code, or (2) is classified as accessory in accordance with the ICC International Residential Code, or (3) is classified as accessory to the residential use by a determination of the Adopting Entity.

ADDITION. An extension or increase in floor area or height of a building or structure.

ADOPTING ENTITY. The governmental jurisdiction, green building program, or any other third-party compliance assurance body that adopts this Standard, and is responsible for implementation and administration of the practices herein.

ADVANCED FRAMING. Code compliant layout, framing and engineering techniques that minimize the amount of framing products used and waste generated to construct a building while maintaining the structural integrity of the building.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The ratio of annual output energy to annual input energy which includes any non-heating season pilot input loss, and for gas or oil-fired furnaces or boilers, does not include electrical energy.

AIR BARRIER. Material(s) assembled and joined together to provide a barrier to air leakage through the building envelope. An air barrier may be a single material or a combination of materials.

AIR HANDLER. A blower or fan used for the purpose of distributing supply air to a room, space, or area.

AIR INFILTRATION. The uncontrolled inward air leakage into a building caused by the pressure effects of wind or the effect of differences in the indoor and outdoor air density or both.

AIR, MAKE-UP. Air that is provided to replace air being exhausted.

ARCHITECTURAL COATINGS. A material applied onto or impregnated into a substrate for protective, decorative, or functional purposes. Such materials include, but are not limited to, primers, paints, varnishes, sealers, and stains. An architectural coating is a material applied to stationary structures or their appurtenances at the site of installation. Coatings applied in shop applications, sealants, and adhesives are not considered architectural coatings.

BIOBASED PRODUCT. A commercial or industrial product used in site development or building construction that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products, renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials), or forestry materials.

BROWNFIELD (also EPA-Recognized Brownfield). Real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse that may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant, and includes Brownfield Site as defined in Public Law 107-118 (H.R. 2869) - "Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act."

(i.e.: Pub.L. 107-118, § 1, Jan. 11, 2002, 115 Stat. 2356, provided that: "This Act [enacting 42 U.S.C.A. § 9628, amending this section, 42 U.S.C.A. § 9604, 42 U.S.C.A. § 9605, 42 U.S.C.A. § 9607, and 42 U.S.C.A. § 9622, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and 42 U.S.C.A. § 9607] may be cited as the 'Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act'.")

CERTIFIED GEOTHERMAL SERVICE CONTRACTOR. A person who has a current certification from the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association as an installer of ground source heat pump systems or as otherwise approved by the Adopting Entity.

CLIMATE ZONE. Climate zones are determined based on Figure 6(1).

CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT. A design technique that concentrates residential buildings and related infrastructure at a higher density within specified areas on a site. The remaining land on the site can then be used for low intensity uses such as recreation, common open space, farmland, or the preservation of historical sites and environmentally sensitive areas.

COGENERATION. An energy process that consecutively generates useful thermal and electric energy from the same fuel source.


1. Areas within a site or lot that are predominantly open spaces and consist of non-residential structures, landscaping, recreational facilities, roadways and walkways, which are owned and maintained by an incorporated or chartered entity such as a homeowner's association or governmental jurisdiction; or

2. Areas of a multi-unit building that are outside the boundaries of a dwelling unit and are shared among or serve the dwelling units; including, but not limited to, hallways, amenity and resident services areas, parking areas, property management offices, mechanical rooms, and laundry rooms.

COMPOST FACILITY. An outdoor bin or similar structure designed for the decomposition of organic material such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and vegetative food waste.

CONDITIONED SPACE. An area or room within a building being heated or cooled, containing uninsulated ducts, or with a fixed opening directly into an adjacent conditioned space.

CONSTRUCTED WETLAND. An artificial wetland system (such as a marsh or swamp) created as new and/or restored habitat for native wetland plant and wildlife communities as well as to provide and/or restore wetland functions to the area. Constructed wetlands are often created as compensatory mitigation for ecological disturbances that result in a loss of natural wetlands from (1) anthropogenic discharge for wastewater, stormwater runoff, or sewage treatment; (2) mines or refineries; or (3) the development.

CONSTRUCTION WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN. A system of measures designed to reduce, reuse, and recycle the waste generated during construction and to properly dispose of the remaining waste.

CONTINUOUS PHYSICAL FOUNDATION TERMITE BARRIER. An uninterrupted, non-chemical method of preventing ground termite infestation (e.g., aggregate barriers, stainless steel mesh, flashing, or plastic barriers).

COP (Coefficient of Performance). A measure of the heating efficiency of ground and air-source heat pumps defined as the ratio of the rate of heat provided by the heat pump to the rate of energy input, in consistent units, for a complete heat pump under defined operating conditions. (See EER as a measure of the cooling efficiency of heat pumps.)

DEMAND CONTROLLED HOT WATER LOOP. A hot water circulation (supply and return) loop with a pump that runs "on demand" when triggered by a user-activated switch or motion-activated sensor.

DESUPERHEATER. An auxiliary heat exchanger that uses superheated gases from an air conditioner's or heat pump's vapor-compression cycle to heat water.

DIRECT-VENT APPLIANCE. A fuel-burning appliance with a sealed combustion system that draws all air for combustion from the outside atmosphere and discharges all flue gases to the outside atmosphere.

DRAIN-WATER HEAT RECOVERY. A system to recapture the heat energy in drain water and use it to preheat cold water entering the water heater or other water fixtures.

DURABILITY. The ability of a building or any of its components to perform its required functions in its service environment over a period of time without unforeseen cost for maintenance or repair.

DWELLING UNIT. A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.

EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). A measure of the instantaneous energy efficiency of electric air conditioning defined as the ratio of net equipment cooling capacity in Btu/h to total rate of electric input in watts under designated operating conditions. When consistent units are used, this ratio becomes equal to COP. (See also Coefficient of Performance.)

ENERGY MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM. An integrated computerized control system that is intended to operate the heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, water heating, and/or other energy-consuming appliances and/or devices for a building in order to reduce energy consumption. Also known as Building Automation Control (BAC) or Building Management Control System (BMCS).

ENERGY MONITORING DEVICE. A device installed within a building or dwelling unit that can provide near realtime data on whole building or dwelling unit energy consumption.

ENGINEERED WOOD PRODUCTS. Products that are made by combining wood strand, veneers, lumber or other wood fiber with adhesive or connectors to make a larger composite structure.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. See LCA (Life Cycle Analysis/Assessment).


1. Areas within wetlands as defined by federal, state, or local regulations;

2. Areas of steep slopes;

3. "Prime Farmland" as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture;

4. Areas of "critical habitat" for any federal or state threatened or endangered species;

5. Areas defined by state or local jurisdiction as environmentally sensitive.

EROSION CONTROLS. Measures that prevent soil from being removed by wind, water, ice, or other disturbance.

EXISTING BUILDING. Building completed and occupied prior to any renovation considered under this Standard.

EXISTING SUBDIVISION. An area of land, defined as "Site" in this Chapter, that has received all development approvals and has been platted and all infrastructure is complete at time of application to this Standard.

FROST-PROTECTED SHALLOW FOUNDATION. A foundation that does not extend below the design frost depth and is protected against the effects of frost in compliance with SEI/ASCE 32-01 or the provisions for frost-protected shallow foundations of the ICC IBC or IRC, as applicable.

GRADE PLANE. A reference plane representing the average of the finished ground level adjoining the building at all exterior walls. Where the finished ground level slopes away from the exterior walls, the reference plane shall be established by the lowest points within the area between the building and the lot line or, where the lot line is more than 6 feet (1830 mm) from the building, between the structure and a point 6 feet (1830 mm) from the building.

GRAY WATER. Waste discharged from lavatories, bathtubs, showers, clothes washers, and laundry trays.

GREYFIELD SITE. A previously developed site with abandoned or underutilized structures, and little or no contamination or perceived contamination.

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP. Space conditioning and/or water heating systems that employ a geothermal resource such as the ground, groundwater, or surface water as both a heat source and a heat sink and use a reversible refrigeration cycle to provide both heating and cooling.

HARDSCAPE. Asphalt, concrete, masonry, stone, wood, and other non-plant elements external to the building shell on a landscape.

HEAT PUMP. An appliance having heating or heating/cooling capability and which uses refrigerants to extract heat from air, liquid, or other sources.

HIGH-EFFICACY LAMPS. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL); light emitting diode (LED); T-8 or smaller diameter linear fluorescent lamps; or lamps with a minimum efficacy of 1) 60 lumens per watt for lamps over 40 watts, 2) 50 lumens per watt for lamps over 15 watts to 40 watts, or 3) 40 lumens per watt for lamps 15 watts or less.

HISTORIC BUILDINGS. Buildings that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or designated as being of historic or architectural significance under an appropriate state or local law.

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). The total seasonal heating output of a heat pump, in Btu, divided by the total electric energy input during the same period, in watt-hours using a defined test methodology.

HYDROZONING. A landscape practice that groups plants with similar watering needs together in an effort to conserve water.

ICF (INSULATING CONCRETE FORMS). A concrete forming system using stay-in-place forms of rigid foam plastic insulation, a hybrid of cement and foam insulation, a hybrid of cement and wood chips, or other insulating material for constructing cast-in-place concrete walls.

IMPERVIOUS SURFACE. Hard-covered ground area that prevents/retards the entry of water into the soil at that location, resulting in water flowing to another location. (also see HARDSCAPE) INDIRECT-FIRED WATER HEATER. A water storage tank, typically with no internal heating elements, that is connected by piping to an external heating source such as a gas or oil-fired boiler.

INFILL. A location including vacant or underutilized land that may apply to either a site or a lot and is located in an area served by existing infrastructure such as centralized water and sewer connections, roads, drainage, etc., and the site boundaries are adjacent to existing development on at least one side.


Excerpted from "National Green Building Standard ICC-700 2012"
by .
Excerpted by permission of National Association of Home Builders.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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