The initiative to have a unified Green Building Code began in 2009 with Cooperating Sponsors the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International. The goal of creating this code is to provide an enforceable set of requirements for sustainable commercial construction, that cities and states can adopt into law.
What are the goals of this code? According to Go Green Toolshed,
The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. It addresses site development and land use, including preservation of natural and material resources. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (graywater).
The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.
The entire code is available for public viewing and they are soliciting feedback and support. You can download the new code.
The International Green Construction Code (IGCC), represents the merger of two national efforts to develop adoptable and enforceable green building codes. It has the support of The International Code Council (ICC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES). The IGCC provides the building industry with language that both broadens and strengthens building codes in a way that will accelerate the construction of high performance green buildings across the U.S.For decades, ICC and ASHRAE have worked to develop codes and standards that become the industry.
The BuildingProductMarketing.com has a post that addresses issues that manufacturers need to be aware of as they review this code.
What should you watch for? Think beyond LEED; while this code is informed by current green building guidelines and rating systems, it is not bound by them. Look for:
- Your product’s classification in the Material Selection section;
- Service life requirements for projects and components of projects;
- Life cycle analysis requirements;
- Mandatory and elective compliance;
- Envelope energy performance;
- Moisture management;
- Material emissions, not just for indoor air quality but for
greenhouse gas emissions.
A public hearing is scheduled to be held in Chicago this August and a final version of the code is expected in 2012.