Green Development

NAHB is leading the charge to get communities to rethink development requirements as an opportunity to “green” the built environment. The ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) is a voluntary standard that allows for builders and developers to achieve certification of homes and communities, using a common sense, economical approach. This comprehensive, residential green-building rating system is the first and only such system to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It was developed through ANSI’s rigorous consensus process, involving professionals from various industries and organizations representing both the public and private sectors.

Credible, Flexible, Affordable and Broadly Applicable

Being an ANSI standard means the NGBS is credible; but it is also broadly applicable, flexible, and very affordable compared with similar rating systems. It is applicable to all types of residential construction, including single family, multifamily and remodeling. Recognizing how land is developed sets the stage for successful green building. Chapter 4 of the NGBS addresses land development – specifically, Site Design and Development – and chapter 5 focuses on Lot Design, Preparation, and Development 

The Framework

The structure of the NGBS recognizes that a building and its site are closely integrated.  Through this rating system, builders and developers are rewarded for using both sustainable building and development practices. The choice of a site or lot (greenfield, infill, greyfield, brownfield, or low slope); its orientation; and steps taken to minimize disruption during planning, design, and construction all enhance the overall point level within the NGBS and create more opportunities for builders to earn green points within the building envelope.

Chapters 4 and 5 are intentionally more process-oriented than the rest of the standard because there is no national land development standard, and because environmentally sensitive strategies differ depending upon many factors, including locale, topography, climate etc. They offer a diverse menu of options for builders and developers that can be tailored to varying site and lot conditions and opportunities.

Additional Green Development Resources

NGBS for Land Development: Woodland’s Edge Case Study

Green Development Challenge

Green Infrastructure Requirements and Incentives: A Survey of 50 Municipalities across the U.S.