A new code designed to reguate the construction of new and existing commercial buildings was recently released by the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The announcement of a Green Building code addresses a major issue faced by designers, the lack of a standard code.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International collaborated to launch the initiative in 2009. Several other industry leading associations also supported the development of code.
“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.”
According to the IGCC, 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).
Though ASTM, IGCC believes there will be 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.
According to AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee, “The IGCC reinforces the role of the architect as a key leader in shaping the set of decisions that result in a truly green building and underlines the fact that good design matters. The AIA committed its resources to providing a strong presence at the drafting sessions to ensure that this code would truly be useful to our members and other stakeholders, and to ensure that the regulatory landscape was structured to facilitate the advancement beyond the AIA’s 2030 energy reduction goals for carbon neutral buildings. We are very pleased with the release of this initial public version and are committed to working with the ICC as the code moves forward through the review and adoption process.”
“We are proud of the valuable role that ASTM technical committees play in contributing to green building and construction initiatives,” said James A. Thomas, President, ASTM International. “Over 20 ASTM test methods, performance specifications, guides and practices are referenced in IGCC Public Version 1.0 in areas such as solar technology, environmental site assessment, and environmental aspects of cement and concrete. ASTM International looks forward to continuing these important efforts through the development of new standards that enable innovation and the environmentally improved commercial buildings of the future.”
Additional associations supported the ICC/AIA/ASTM team in developing the IGCC. These associations included: the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES). The IGCC will now reference the ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES
“Green building codes and standards working complementary to one another is a critical step towards advancing green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “This collaboration will accelerate the adoption of green building codes and standards developed jointly by ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES, across the country and around the globe as we work collectively towards transforming building design, construction and operations to green practices.”
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.