ICC launches green construction code initiative for commercial buildings
The International Code Council has launched its International Green Construction Code (IGCC) initiative, which will aim to reduce energy usage and the carbon footprint of commercial buildings.
Entitled “IGCC: Safe and Sustainable By the Book,” the initiative is committed to develop a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings. It will focus on building design and performance. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of energy used and produce about the same amount of the nation’s carbon emissions.
ICC included a number of key organizations during its announcement, including noting special roles for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM as cooperating sponsors for this important project.
“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,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland. “We applaud and plan to utilize the good work of those who have developed systems, guidelines and standards to address green buildings.”
Weiland acknowledged the presence of many organizations that have developed “green tools” impacting the built environment and welcomed their support and assistance in crafting the new initiative. After recognizing the historic role of Code Council members in the development codes such as the International Energy Conservation Code and the rapid evolution of new systems and guidelines to address green technology, Weiland said it was time to move into a “new era of codes that specifically focus on green buildings and high performance. We are now at a place in the evolution of the sustainability movement that requires the specificity, the reliability, and the enforceability that only a code can bring.”
ICC Board President Adolf Zubia outlined the Code Council’s development timeline, which will include public meetings of the sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC), a public comment period on the Committee’s initial draft, and a final draft that will be made available in 2010 as a resource document before it moves through the development hearing and final action hearing stages. The Code Council Board established the SBTC last year and finalized the Committee’s membership earlier this month.
The AIA and ASTM will have visible participation in the development process. Weiland referenced the compatibility of the AIA 2030 carbon neutrality goals with the green code initiative, and emphasized the importance of design, architects and architecture in creating a useful tool for AIA members as well as the Code Council membership. The cooperation of the ASTM “signals the collaboration behind this project and the science that will drive it,” Weiland said. “Their cooperation with us will ensure we pursue a development process that is based on recognized and verifiable approaches to standards.”
AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee and ASTM President James A. Thomas also made remarks at the launch event.
“The AIA commends the leadership of ICC and is delighted to join with them and other stakeholders in working collaboratively toward the goal of a model green construction code,” said McEntee. “It is important for the private sector to be proactive and take a leadership position in the development of building codes and standards and this initiative makes a strong statement regarding the usefulness and necessity of the International Green Construction Code in fulfilling that goal. As the team leader in determining the performance of buildings, architects welcome the prospect of a reliable and quantifiable tool that will be a valuable resource in helping advance our steadfast commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.”
“ASTM International welcomes the opportunity to work hand in hand with the ICC, AIA and other stakeholders in the development of a new international code to improve the efficiency and sustainability attributes of buildings,” stated ASTM International President James A. Thomas. “Over 450 ASTM building and construction related standards are referenced by existing international codes and our members continue to develop innovative standards that will play an important role in meeting the objectives of this new green code initiative.”
Other attendees at the event included stakeholders from building safety and green organizations, government organizations and public interest groups.
The first public meetings of the SBTC are scheduled for 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on July 28-29, and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. July 30, at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont (Ill. suburban Chicago). The meetings of the SBTC are open meetings with meeting dates posted on the Code Council website.
To visit the IGCC web page, go to www.iccsafe.org/IGCC.
For more information on supporting publications and services for green activities, please review the Code Council’s green pages at www.iccsafe.org/green.
About The International Code Council
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose
the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.
About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.
About ASTM International
Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe. For more information, please visit www.astm.org.