Organizations representing building safety professionals, energy and lighting engineers, green building practitioners, architects and technical standards developers have come together for the first time to establish a comprehensive model green building code designed to rapidly advance green building practice across the U.S.
The International Green Construction Code (IGCC) has been established by The International Code Council (ICC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), representing the merger of two national efforts to develop adoptable and enforceable green building codes. The IGCC aims to provide the building industry with language that both 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. and internationally. 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 unrivaled delivery infrastructure to reach all 50 states and more than 22,000 local jurisdictions and ASHRAE, USGBC and IES’s technical strengths, this partnership will accelerate the proliferation of green building codes and standards developed jointly by ICC, ASHRAE and USGBC and IES, across the country and around the globe. The newly launched International Green Construction Code (IGCC) establishes a previously unimaginable regulatory framework for the construction of high performance commercial buildings that are safe, sustainable and by the book.
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 like the IGCC, covers criteria including water use efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and the building’s impact on its site and its community. Standard 189.1 was written by experts representing all areas of the building industry, who contributed tens of thousands of man hours. Developed in a little over three years, the standard underwent four public reviews in which some 2,500 comments were received.
On Monday, March 15, ASHRAE, IES and USGBC will join ICC at its Washington, DC headquarters as they and their co-authors (the American Institute of Architects and the American Society for Testing Materials) launch the IGCC. On Monday, Standard 189 .1 and the IGCC will be available for wide distribution, providing much-needed content, code language, and vision for more safe and sustainable future.