ICC releases green building code

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 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,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland.

“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,” said Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president.

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.