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Smart Growth

ICC 700-2012: 2012 National Green Building Standard (ICC 700)

Description A rating and certification system that aims to encourage increased environmental and health performance in residences and residential portions of buildings. Its criteria apply to the design and construction of homes and subdivisions.

Learn more about ICC 700.Exit
Standard Type1
  • Rating and certification system
Mandatory/ Voluntary2
  • Voluntary
Building Type(s)
  • Mixed use: residential space
  • Residential: all except institutional uses
Project Types
  • New construction
  • Additions
  • Alterations
Subject Areas
  • Sustainable sites
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Materials and resource use
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Building owner education
Community Adoption/Use
  • Communities could use this standard as the basis for a voluntary program to encourage construction of greener homes and neighborhoods.
Certification/Compliance Process
  • There are four green certification levels for homes — Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald. Land Developments can earn one, two, three, or four stars.
  • ICC 700 contains few minimum criteria but allows the builder or developer great flexibility in selecting green building practices.
  • Projects receive points in each subject area for reaching certain performance or construction goals.
  • Projects require inspection by third-party verifiers at the rough-in stage and upon completion. The NAHB Research Center provides accreditation for the verifiers as well as the final certification.
Relationship to Other Standards
  • Many of the mandatory measures found in ICC 700 are consistent with the family of International Code Council's codes.

¹ In the building community, there is no consistent use or definition of the term "standard." EPA uses the term "standard" here in a broad sense to mean "something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example: CRITERION" (Merriam-Webster). EPA uses it as an umbrella term to encompass model codes, rating systems, and other publications that provide criteria for the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings.

² Any standard can be adopted as a voluntary or mandatory program. We indicate here the intent of the authors.

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