International Green Construction Code Launched

International buildingcode

On March 15, 2010, the International Code Council announced the launch of the theInternational Green Construction Code (IGCC), which represents a merger of two national efforts to adopt and create standards for enforceable green building standards.  The code combines the efforts of the ICC,  ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES.)  The AIA and ASTM International were early suppporters of the guidelines.  (See here the members and organizations which were part of the Sustainable Building Technology Committee.)

For decades, ICC and ASHRAE have worked to develop codes and standards that become the industry standard of care for the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. and internationally. In coordination with the efforts of ICC and ASHRAE, USGBC has been leading a nationwide green building movement centered on the LEED Green Building Rating System since LEED was launched in 2000. The convergence of these efforts in the IGCC is perhaps the most significant development in the buildings industry in the past 10 years.”

Leveraging ICC’s unrivaled delivery infrastructure to reach all 50 states and more than 22,000 local jurisdictions and ASHRAE, USGBC, and IES’s technical strengths, this partnership will accelerate the proliferation of green building codes and standards across the country and around the globe. The newly launched IGCC establishes a previously unimaginable regulatory framework for the construction of high performance commercial buildings that are safe, sustainable and by the book,” as stated in USGBC’s press release.

Included in the Code is ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, as an alternate path of compliance. Why was  Standard 189.1 so important for inclusion?  According to the USGBC,

“Standard 189.1 is a set of technically rigorous requirements, which like the IGCC, covers criteria including water use efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and the building’s impact on its site and its community. Standard 189.1 was written by experts representing all areas of the building industry, who contributed tens of thousands of man hours. Developed in a little over three years, the standard underwent four public reviews in which some 2,500 comments were received.”

The code contains eleven chapter ranging from building performance, indoor air quality, to site impact. (120 pages in total!)  During the GICC press conference, Richard Weiland, CEO of ICC, stressed that the new code is enforceable, adoptable, usable, and adaptable to existing building codes.  For free access to the code, see here. The Council offers consulting services for municipalities who wish to incorporate the code into their own code.

In addition, public comment is welcomed  for the IGCC Public Version 1.0.  However, public comment does not  include the  ASHRAE standard.  See here as to how to comment as well as the commenting schedule.

Just as a side note, as you watch the very beginning of the video, it appears that one of the gentlemen arrives late as the press conference begins.  He appears to have a  regular plastic line paper cup  in his hand. How about your own coffee cup, guy?  The ICC told me that it is a recycled content Starbuck’s cup.  Now, I don’t know DC, but can you recycle PE lined paper cups?  Despite this, how about carrying your own coffee cup.  Recycled material since has to be made and then processed again.  What kind of example is this?

This is not the first time I have attended a “green” conference to see a ton of non-recyclable plastic  being used.   So if you want to walk the talk,  green every part of your organization including serving coffee.  Simply creating green products, building codes, and recycling efforts are not enough.  It is a start.

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    I sincerely hope these sorts of protocols come over to the UK. we are governed by a reglatory body but we have yet to see any real incentives for businesses to take on renewable enegies an use sustainable materials and more to the point we have yet to see large penalties for aging business that does not update their manufacturing processes, much to the detrament of the environment and productivity as a whole.


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