Green Building Code Coming Soon – Followup and Correction

June 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

A few days ago I put forward the information below and as it turns out neither I nor Green Technology Magazine were quite correct. Actually we over-generalized a bit…..

According to Green Technology Magazine there will soon be a green building rating system approved by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

Excerpt: The only green building rating system that will be accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Green Building Standard has been submitted to ANSI for approval and will become the benchmark for green homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The standard defines what green practices should be incorporated into home construction on a national scale and how homeowners should maintain and operate their green homes. The rating system ensures uniformity in everything from the size of electrical outlets to testing medical devices. To get to this point, NAHB volunteers and the International Code Council attended four public hearings and considered 3,000 public comments submitted for consideration.

This sounds pretty good and I am interested to see how this really plays out. If ANSI can get behind a rating system, then the other rating systems such as LEED and Greenpoint Rated will probably update their rules to be compatible. It would make trying to get your building evaluated a lot simpler and less expensive.

However I was contacted by Elizabeth Austin from ANSI and in a very nice email shared with me how the ANSI accreditations system functions:

Thank you very much for your recent post, “Green Building Code coming soon!” Articles like this one contribute significantly to overall public awareness of the importance of voluntary consensus standards. On behalf of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and our entire Federation of members, I thank you for your efforts.

I would like to call your attention to some inaccuracies in the source material you referenced from Green Technology Magazine:

The only green building rating system that will be accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Green Building Standard has been submitted to ANSI for approval and will become the benchmark for green homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

ANSI approves standards as American National Standards (ANS) based on evidence of procedural compliance with the requirements established in the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards. The hallmarks of the development process associated with a document that is approved as an American National Standard include openness, balance, due process and consensus.

I have highlighted the phrase “the only green building rating system” because in point of fact, more than one standard in a particular area may be approved as an American National Standard. To clarify, ANSI may approve a standard that is sponsored by an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer, such as NAHBRC, as an American National Standard. The ANSI Board of Standards Review (BSR) makes such decisions based on the evidence presented to it and in accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements.

I’ve also highlighted the phrase “will be accredited” because approval of a standard submitted to ANSI by an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer is neither automatic nor guaranteed. The ANSI BSR, in accordance with its procedures, will review each submittal and determine whether the evidence of procedural compliance submitted in support of it demonstrates that consensus has been achieved in accordance with ANSI’s requirements set-forth in the ANSI Essential Requirements. In the case of the draft National Green Building Standard developed by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), this process is still underway. Further, the term “accredited” relates to the status of the standards developer’s procedures, not to a particular standard.

So I stand corrected but still I am looking forward to the day when one or more accredited national standards regarding a green building code see the light of day!

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Compliance, Design, Planning, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. nick  |  July 29, 2008 at 9:10 am

    iLG9yQ hi! hice site!

    Reply

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