ICC News Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Madison Neal
June 29, 2020
(202) 754-1173
The International Code Council and RESNET Water Rating Index Standards Approved by the American National Standards Institute
This new ANSI standard sets the technical specifications for the inspection, testing and labeling of a home’s water efficiency.

Washington, D.C. – The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced that it has approved the RESNET/ICC Standard 850-2020.  This new ANSI standard sets the technical specifications for the inspection, testing and labeling of a home’s water efficiency.  Development of this standard was the culmination of a partnership between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the International Code Council dedicated to improving the performance and affordability of residential construction.

The release of this standard comes at a time when water resources are becoming increasingly strained in many parts of the country with the cost of water prices increasing faster than that of energy prices. Water price increases are not based solely on availability of water, but also are significantly impacted by the costs to upgrade aging water infrastructure and water utility rate structures. The potential for water cost savings through water efficiency measures is available in nearly all regions of the U.S.

The ANSI/RESNET/ICC Standard 850-2020 will also serve as the technical requirements for RESNET’s residential water efficiency rating system, known as HERSH2O.  The national roll-out of HERSH2O will be announced soon with additional information available at RESNET HERSH2O.

Jacob Atalla, Vice President of Sustainability of KB Home commented, “At KB Home, water efficiency is a standard with every home built. With this HERSH2O rating, we now have quantitative ways to measure the water efficiency and be able to communicate it to homebuyers. It’s a step toward educating the consumer and for the builder to do better going forward.”

RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden added, “RESNET owes a debt of gratitude to the ICC and members of the SDC 1100 and the countless hours that energy efficiency and water efficiency professionals volunteered on the RESNET working groups that developed the draft standard.”

“In response to the strain on water resources and increased costs, the Code Council and RESNET recognize this important need and came together to create the RESNET/ICC 850 standard,” said Code Council Executive Vice President and Director of Business Development Mark Johnson. “The market needed a consumer-friendly index for comparing the savings that different home efficiency practices could provide. We know that the costs of water and sewage services are rising at rates higher than inflation and these costs are important drivers of housing affordability.”

Jonah Schein, national program manager for homes and buildings at the EPA WaterSense program said, “WaterSense has supported the HERSH2O initiative from the beginning. We see as a great opportunity to leverage the rating infrastructure of all of the individual raters who have a great background in building science in the building industry to give them tools and education to be a positive force when it comes to water efficiency in the built environment. Moving forward we hopefully hope that any HERS Rater out there can turn to HERSH2O and provide their clients and their builders easy-to-understand metric of how efficient that home is performing regarding water.”

The print publication will soon be available through the International Code Council’s online bookstore.

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About the International Code Council
The International Code Council is a nonprofit association that provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification and training. It develops model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.


About RESNET
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is a not-for-profit, membership corporation that is governed by a board of directors (who are elected by membership). RESNET is a recognized national standards-making body for building energy efficiency rating and certification systems in the United States.