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How to Meet National Green Building Standards in Remodeling

The 2020 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard® (2020 NGBS) resource book builds on over a decade of green building experience.

June 03, 2021
National green building standard NAHB

Home owners are increasingly requesting more energy-efficient and green features in their remodeling projects. The 2020 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard® (2020 NGBS) resource book builds on over a decade of green building experience and includes a complete refresh of the remodeling chapter to provide expanded options and additional flexibility for remodelers interested in certifying their renovation projects to the standard.

The 2020 NGBS recognizes high-performance upgrades that have been completed in the three years prior to registering your project, provided you have baseline documentation to be able to validate the improvements. This is a helpful provision, as remodeling and renovation projects are sometimes conducted in phases for many reasons, including enabling buildings to remain occupied or to spread out the costs of renovation.

Additional new offerings in the remodeling chapter (Section 11) include:

  • Projects only need to comply with relevant mandatory practices (e.g., if the ductwork is not being replaced, those mandatory practices would not be relevant or required); and
  • A remodeler can use either the performance or prescriptive path for energy and water efficiency, depending on what works best for the project. For example:
  • The prescriptive path allows the remodeler to choose from a suite of practices, earning points to achieve the desired level of certification.
  • Under the performance path, the NGBS Verifier determines the pre-renovation baseline performance for energy and/or water. The remodeler then implements strategies resulting in a reduction in energy consumption from 15-45 percent and/or water consumption from 20-50 percent to meet the certification thresholds from Bronze to Emerald.

Obtaining NGBS Green certification for renovation of existing buildings can also lead to increased financing opportunities such as mortgage insurance premium rate reductions with Federal Housing Administration-insured multifamily loans, further demonstrating how certifying projects to the 2020 NGBS can offer remodelers affordable and flexible solutions for their next project.
The latest edition of the NGBS is available through NAHB's BuilderBooks, at builderbooks.com. To learn more about NGBS certification, go to nahb.org/NGBS.

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