National Green Building Standard

NGBSThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Code Council (ICC) partnered to establish a nationally recognized standard definition of green building for homes.

The National Green Building Standard, ICC 700, contains four threshold levels:  Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald.  The highest level, Emerald, calls for a building to save 60% or more of its energy use.


The main categories within the National Green Building Standard include:

  • Lot and site development
  • Resource efficiency
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Operation, maintenance, and building owner education

Residential projects under the standard include new single-family or multi-unit buildings, renovations of residential buildings, individual sections or phases of residential or mixed-use development, entire residential or mixed-use land development, and subdivisions.  A Green Scoring Tool is provided to walk projects through the certification process.

NAHB also instituted a Certified Green Professional™ designation to recognize builders, remodelers, and other business professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes without driving up construction costs.  Visit GBA’s Professional Credentials page for more information.

To discover more about this certification, visit the NAHB website, which includes:

  • News and information about the National Green Building Standard
  • A link to purchase the booklet