A three-bedroom, 1,900-square-foot model home built by RGB Custom Builders of East Stroudsberg, Pa., is the first recipient of the National Green Building Standard’s Emerald rating, the new program’s top certification. To earn the Emerald rating, a home must be designed to use 60 percent less energy than a house that complies with the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), plus meet other criteria for efficiency, air quality, land use, and the like.

Developed jointly by the NAHB and the International Code Council (ICC), the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is based on the NAHB’s Model Green Home Building Guidelines, first published in 2005. The standard — also known as ICC-700 — was formally approved in January of this year by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.

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