After two years of negotiations, residential green building standards are taking the next step forward.

Specifically, the leading building code organizations have partnered to develop a singular green building code. This code combines elements from their various codes and standards – providing jurisdictions with a comprehensive set of green principles for legislative and regulatory approval.

Multifamily firms have long-been challenged by green building programs that were not well-tailored to the unique characteristics of the industry. NMHC has worked to ensure that any new standard allows for multifamily compliance using the ICC-700 – National Green Building Standard (NGBS). This standard was specifically designed to provide guidance for residential construction.

The technical foundation of the new standard will be developed by ASHRAE and be based on the current ASHRAE 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This standard does include provisions for multifamily construction more than 4-stories in height. But, the administrative provisions will be based on the ICC International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Importantly, the IgCC scoping provides apartment firms with a compliance path using the ICC-700.

The NGBS has been widely used throughout the industry and has been incorporated into numerous sustainability initiatives at the jurisdictional level. To date, 1,509 multifamily projects have been certified under the NGBS, totaling nearly 45,000 apartment units. An additional 49,000 multifamily units are currently in the certification pipeline.