New NGBS Offers Remodelers a Roadmap for High-Performance Projects


While spending significantly more time at home during the last few months, many home owners have likely noticed some inefficiencies with their home’s energy consumption, plumbing system, air quality and more. Home improvements that enhance comfort, energy efficiency and health will surely become more prevalent in remodeling conversations moving forward.

Using green-building techniques can better position remodelers to meet that growing demand. The new ICC 700-2020 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS) provides a roadmap to guide the design and construction of high-performance projects, while the certification process provides a third-party verification to validate the work.

NGBS Green Remodel Certifications can be for either multifamily or single-family projects and can range in size from a single room, to an addition, all the way up to the entire home.

The 2020 edition of the NGBS builds on more than a decade of green-building experience and offers several new opportunities and increased flexibility for remodelers. The remodeling chapter (Section 11) has been substantially revised and includes:

  • More flexible renovation requirements:
    • Generally, these are the same mandatory practices as new construction, but are only required when relevant.
    • Unaltered portions of the building are exempt from mandatory practices (unless safety or moisture issues are present).
  • A choice of prescriptive or performance compliance paths for energy and water efficiency:
    • Paths can be the same or different.
    • For performance paths, the certification level is based on the percent of reduction in energy or water consumption.
  • Attributes of the building that complied before the remodel, and remain in compliance, are eligible to earn points.
  • An optional three-year look back for remodel activities, provided there is documentation for baseline conditions.
  • An option to utilize a phased approach for multifamily remodeling projects
  • Remodeling projects that convert existing buildings to multifamily properties

Seeing green is 20/20 with the new NGBS. It provides remodelers the flexibility they need to renovate and remodel existing building stock to integrate cost-effective sustainability and high-performance strategies and features into their projects at a level most appropriate for their business model, customer base and local housing markets.

Download the NGBS for free at

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