NGBS: National Green Building Standard

Green Building Certification for single-family and multi-family buildings and land developments

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

cove.tool can be used to assist users pursuing NGBS certification.

The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is a green building certification program, specifically focused on single-family and multi-family residential buildings, remodeling projects, and land developments. In a partnership with the ASHRAE, the International Code Council (ICC), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the NGBS was developed to provide a uniform platform for advancing green residential construction and development. Most notably, NGBS is the only green building rating system approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an international private non-profit organization that set's requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.

The certification measures high-performance in six areas:

  • Site Design and Development

  • Resource Efficiency

  • Water Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Building Operation and Maintenance

Similar to LEED's rating system, the NGBS is a point-based system, wherein a single-family or multifamily building(s) can attain certification depending on the sustainable and green practices included in design and construction, and planned for its operation and maintenance. Also, there are 4 levels of certification – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald – to allow a variety of options to builders based on market preferences, homebuyer budgets, and other regional or cultural influences.

Other Key Features

Depending on location, NBGS certified buildings and developments can qualify for a tax credits and other financial incentives. In the city of Atlanta, for example, owners can qualify for a tax credit ranging from 3-7% over the span of 5-10 years. Owners requesting financing from State Housing Finance through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could also qualify for a HUD mortgage premium reduction, making NGBS an attractive option for market-rate developers.

Many cities and counties across the US have adopted NGBS standard as a part of their building codes. Additionally, since the certification process is focused on residential projects, some affordable housing programs like Invest Atlanta require it.

Details regarding financial incentives for various cities and counties:

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