National Green Building Standards


There is a difference between green building standards and green building guidelines. While guidelines provide thresholds for efficiency, they are not generally written in code-adoptable language, and compliance is usually voluntary. Standards, on the other hand, provide definitive efficiency thresholds, are written in language that is enforceable, and are readily adopted by reference into codes and other regulations.

For example, the well-entrenched USGBC LEED  program consists of a set of guidelines that designers and builders may voluntarily choose to comply with (although some jurisdictions are choosing to mandate compliance with LEED to some level and use credits as the measure of compliance). As such, these guidelines are not generally written in language suitable for direct adoption or reference as codes or other regulations.