The International Code Council today announced the release of Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) to regulate construction of new and existing commercial buildings.
"We talked to communities who indicate that their voluntary green building programs reach only, but an important, 30 percent of the built environment," Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland said. "This means that there is a clear need for a regulatory tool to establish a baseline to help jurisdictions meet their sustainability goals."
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 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 IGCC initiative was launched in 2009 with Cooperating Sponsors the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International. The support of the AIA underscores its long-time leadership in the sustainability movement, including its 2030 Carbon Neutrality challenge, and its emphasis on the critical role of architects and designers in the life cycle of sustainable construction.
The engagement of ASTM ensures the IGCC will make use of certain voluntary consensus standards recognized by industry, code officials, and other stakeholders for their high-degree of technical quality, relevance and their suitability to contribute to more sustainable and environmentally improved buildings.
The green code initiative is now joined with a Standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES), ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009 for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, as an alternative jurisdictional compliance option within the IGCC.
The IGCC also addresses residential construction by referencing the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the Code Council.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States