The National Association of Home Builders’ national green building standard is officially open for business.

The initiative, which was announced in February 2008, was recently approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) . This means that developers can now certify their projects under the first and only green building rating system to offer ANSI’s seal of approval.

“ANSI [approval] demonstrates through a third party the fact that we went through great lengths to include a broad cross-section of stakeholders [in the certification process], and those stakeholders were able to bring a variety of views to the table,” says Dominic Sims, chief operating officer at the International Code Council, which helped produce the standard.

Developers are optimistic that the new standard will make going green easier for the multifamily industry. “Fitting the LEED standard to what we build has had its challenges,” says Patrick Dennis, senior design and construction manager at Atlanta-based Wood Partners. “The strength of the new green standard is that it’s tailored to multifamily. We are looking forward to utilizing the standard on future projects that fit within the parameters of our green program.”