ICC Urges Feds to Include Green Construction Code to Design, Build New Government Buildings
July 30, 2010

The International Code Council (ICC) encouraged the U.S. government to reference the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) in an effort to apply sustainable design principals to the design and construction of new federal building.

"Prior to this year, voluntary 'rating' type programs were among the only options for guiding the design of green buildings," said ICC CEO Rick Weiland testifying at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) public hearing. "Such programs, including LEED, were not designed to act as regulatory language. The gap between existing codes and rating systems has now been filled…. [and] are now available to address federal goals as well as meet the needs of state and local jurisdictions."

The ICC also offered specific comments to improve the usefulness and measurability of the proposed rule, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design Standards for New Federal Buildings. The IGCC, Weiland said, is a tool available to federal agencies for efficiently and rapidly achieving measurable levels of compliance with FEMP goals.

Industry support signals a consensus of key industry leaders around the necessity of a code to guide green construction, Weiland said. In addition the Code Council, IGCC sponsors are the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society.

"Our colleagues at the USGBC, the organization that originated the LEED standard, have publicly called for the adoption of the IGCC and described this new set of tools as allowing new versions of LEED to appropriately act as the ceiling in green construction while the IGCC serves as the floor." Weiland said. "In short, the IGCC is the result of a collaborative effort of hundreds of green building experts, integrating their work into a usable, enforceable document addressing every type of building, in a manner that is flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse jurisdictions."

The IGCC references ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009 for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings as an alternative compliance option. The code addresses residential construction by referencing the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the Code Council.

CLICK HERE to read a related article about the IGCC.

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