The NAHB has announced that the newest version of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) will be available starting Jan. 23. It will build on the original version published in 2009, with changes including increased energy efficiency requirements and restructured scoring for remodeling projects.
“The introduction of the 2012 National Green Building Standard is a huge deal for our industry,” says NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “The 2012 updates make the standard easier to understand and implement, and we expect that this will certainly help to build upon the momentum we are already seeing in green building across the residential building industry.”
The new version of the standard includes several important changes including:
Energy Code Update: While the original ICC 700 used the 2006 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a basis, the new version will use the 2009 IECC. The requirements of the 2009 IECC are estimated to result in energy efficient performance that is about 15 percent higher than the previous 2006 code. 
Restructured Scoring for Remodeling: The new version completely revamped the scoring for renovations and remodeling projects. The revised standard includes two entirely new chapters devoted to existing building projects. The first provides criteria for entire buildings and includes requirements for improved energy and water efficiency that increases as higher levels of compliance are sought. The second provides a green protocol for the most common renovation and addition projects that focus on functional areas of a home such as a kitchen, bathroom, basement, or addition under 400 square feet.
Incentives for Development and Lot Design: The 2012 ICC 700 includes the addition of a new scoring opportunity for those choosing the build lots in green communities. In the new version, six points can be earned in the Lot Design, Preparation and Development chapter for choosing lots in developments that have been certified to ICC 700 or an equivalent program. In the previous version of the standard no such incentives were provided.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, “Green Day” at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NAHB and the ICC will release additional information on the 2012 standard.