With a bold plan to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint, the International Code Council (ICC) has launched a Green Construction Code. This is a first!
Having written building code for almost a century, members of the ICC are now entering the world of environmental protection and building sustainability…and in a big way! A recent press release acknowledged that buildings consume about 40% of energy used and produce about the same in carbon emissions. Richard Weiland, CEO of ICC, said, “We believe the time has come for us to develop a code that will stand as a useful and credible regulatory framework for creating a greener commercial building stock.”
ICC will not be alone in this effort. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International will have visible participation in the development of this code as well. In fact, during the announcement, representatives from all three organizations were present. In addition, Weiland made a point of comparing the AIA’s 2030 carbon neutrality goals with the green code initiative.
The new code will be called International Green Construction Code (IGCC): Safe and Sustainable by the Book. In fact, it already has a website. This code will be developed by a newly created Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) appointed by the Board of Directors of ICC. The 28-member committee represents interests across the green building landscape. It has a target date of 2010 for a first draft and will focus mostly on traditional commercial buildings, additions, and alterations. It will address residential construction by referencing the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard. It will be coordinated with the other I codes, and will provide criteria to measure compliance.
It will use the model code approach that will allow jurisdictions to adopt and will cover energy-use efficiency, water-use efficiency, building materials, indoor air quality, environmental impact, site design, and owner education. It will set minimum and advanced levels of performance written in mandatory language, while still providing both prescriptive and performance solutions. It will account for local conditions such as weather or geographical considerations. It will comply with local, state and federal laws.
The committee’s work begins on July 28-30 at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. Visit the SBTC website for meeting dates and times.