New Green Building Code Introduced
(04/09/2010)

WASHINGTON – The nation’s leading organizations in building-code development and energy and lighting engineering announced the launch of the first nationwide standard set of green building codes, the International Green Construction Code Public Version 1.0.

The green building code system, which conforms to existing International Code Council codes, was designed to give professionals in the construction industry a standard method of developing high-performance green commercial buildings.

IGCC Public Version 1.0 was created through a collaborative effort of the ICC, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North American, the American Institute of Architects and other organizations.

Building professionals began developing the codes in July 2009. The ICC’s members and board of directors strongly supported the development of the green code system said ICC CEO Rick Weiland at the March 15 unveiling.

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“We went forward with this effort to make sure all levels of governments — federal, state, and local — would have a way to regulate the green construction of high performance buildings that was safe, sustainable and by the book,” Weiland says. “The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement.”

IGCC Public Version 1.0 offers coding for alternative energy technologies, including wind turbines, geothermal heating, solar energy, energy recovery, and management and control systems.

IGCC also supplies building codes for alternative water sources, such as gray water, rainwater, and reclaimed water, and for natural lighting design, heat island mitigation, and material and water management. 

“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,” Weiland says.

The IGCC code system outlines a minimum level of sustainability required for commercial buildings and the flexibility to customize the code based on local factors, such as flood areas, greenfield sites, and light pollution. Public Version 1.0 is compatible with voluntary rating systems, including LEED and Green Globes.

Accompanying the launch of IGCC Public Version 1.0 was ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Standard 189.1 offers an alternative method of compliance then the IGCC codes. Standard 189.1 provides minimal requirements in the siting, design, construction, and operational planning of high-performance green buildings, including in the areas of water use efficiency, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and materials and resource use.

To view IGCC Public Version 1.0 and Standard 189.1, visit www.iccsafe.org/CS/IGCC.

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