2015 NGBS is Open for Public Comment!

RTAblog_2014_1007_2015NGBSThe 2015 National Green Building Standard is open for public comment. What could possibly be more exciting than commenting on a sustainable building standard?

A Consensus Committee of industry representatives has been meeting intermittently to develop the 2015 version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) since June of 2014. Ryan Taylor of RTA serves on the Consensus Committee and as Vice-Chairman for the Water Efficiency Task Group responsible for reviewing Chapter 8 of the standard.

Be sure to keep reading. There’s a “How You Can Act” section below in which RTA offers to help you submit a proposed change!

Public Comments Drive Development of the NGBS
The NGBS is the only voluntary green building standard that’s developed through a public process from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It’s the same ANSI method used to develop model building codes that many states adopt as state building codes. It’s a very organized method that insures opportunity for public participation.

For the 2015 NGBS, the public has been asked to submit comments that will be addressed by the NGBS Task Groups and Consensus Committee. You may propose changes or raise issues that have not yet been considered.

The public process used to develop the NGBS has made it a popular standard for certification of sustainably-built homes. It’s also been used as the basis for a permissive (voluntary) green building standard for homes in the State of Georgia – Georgia used the 2008 version of the NGBS.

RTA’s Contributions
RTA submitted comments with Ramesh Gulatee to expand the existing NGBS sections on universal design to address basic accessibility issues that should be considered in the design of each project. In November of 2014, the Consensus Committee made some insightful amendments to the proposal and voted to approve changes to both section of the standard.

RTA also submitted comments encouraging the award of an additional credit for better air filters that would capture fine particles in indoor air that result from cooking and other activities. Though the proposal was not approved by the Consensus Committee, the members offered great perspective by raising issues not considered in the proposal. The committee discussion is an incredible educational resource for anyone in the construction industry.

How You Can Act
If you’d like to be involved, please leave a comment below. Even if it’s a general comment, Ryan will look for an opportunity to address it in the next version of the NGBS and help you submit a comment – you don’t have to know the standard. Just share what’s of concern to you.

Comments are due by the 20th of April, 2015.

If you’d like more information, including access to the comment forms, you can find them on the Home Innovation Research Labs webpage for the NGBS. You can also see the entire work flow for the committee on that page.

In Conclusion
Building codes should always be considered the minimum allowable standard for construction. The National Green Building Standard is a code-plus (above code) building standard. The NGBS competes with other code-plus standards like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes green building standard and local|regional green building standards like the Earthcraft House program developed by the Southface Energy Institute.

It’s encouraging to see healthy competition in the market as organizations try to figure out and share best practices for building healthy, comfortable and efficient homes. The NGBS is worth our consideration because it’s being used as a basis for state building codes.

As always, if you’ve got a comment or question, please share it below. Thanks!

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