ICC releases green code set

WASHINGTON — The International Code Council and its partners have released the International Green Construction Code, a comprehensive model green building code designed to rapidly advance green building practice across the U.S.

ICC collaborated to write the code with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

International Green Construction Code (IGCC) represents the merger of two national efforts to develop adoptable and enforceable green building codes. The IGCC provides the building industry with language that 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 standard of care for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. 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.

Leveraging ICC’s infrastructure and reach into state and local jurisdictions and ASHRAE, USGBC and IES’s technical strengths, the partnership will accelerate the proliferation of green building codes and standards developed jointly by ICC, ASHRAE and USGBC and IES.

A landmark addition to the technical content of the IGCC is the inclusion of 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. Standard 189.1 is a set of technically rigorous requirements, which covers criteria for water use efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and the building’s impact on its site and its community.

“The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement, establishing a much-needed set of baseline regulations for green buildings that is adoptable, usable and enforceable by jurisdictions,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland. “The IGCC provides a vehicle for jurisdictions to regulate green for the design and performance of new and renovated buildings in a manner that is integrated with existing codes as an overlay, allowing all new buildings to reap the rewards of improved design and construction practices.”

“Bringing together the code expertise of ICC with technical expertise of ASHRAE to create a comprehensive green building code will accelerate our transformation to more sustainable building practices,” Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president, said. “ASHRAE is committed to providing the design guidance building designers and engineers need to reduce the energy consumption of buildings.”

“The U.S. Green Building Council’s mission is market transformation and we’ve long recognized the need to reach beyond the market leaders served by LEED to accomplish this goal,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Broadening the scope of the codes and establishing a higher floor allows us to continue to raise the ceiling, a critical factor in how the building industry is working to mitigate climate change. We are thrilled to see this set of complementary green building codes and standards; our organizations working collaboratively will advance green building nationwide in a way that was never before possible. ”

On March 15, ASHRAE, IES and USGBC joined ICC at its Washington headquarters as they and their co-authors, the American Institute of Architects and the American Society for Testing Materials, launch the IGCC. On the same day, Standard 189.1 and the IGCC became available for distribution, providing content, code language, and direction for a sustainable future. The organizations are also working together to advance related education and advocacy efforts to promote adoption, enforcement and compliance with the IGCC codes that will pave the way for green buildings and neighborhoods, while creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

Additional information on the IGCC is available at www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx. Additional information on Standard 189.1 is available at www.ashrae.org/greenstandard.

The International Code Council is a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention. ICC develops the codes and standards used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 51,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing HVACR to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

The Washington-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,500 member companies and organizations, and more than 140,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013.

TAGS: Green