The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will include the option to use an outcome-based approach when complying with local building energy codes, the first time the IgCC has allowed this method.
Previously, building energy codes relied on two main pathways to demonstrate compliance: performance (modeling energy consumption), and prescriptive measures (following code-defined values for individual building components). Both approaches fail to fully account for how buildings use power once they are completed, occupied, and maintained, according to the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT).
The new provision will help communities to ensure energy-efficient buildings are meeting performance expectations. The outcome-based approach requires the building owner to provide the building’s utility bills for a 12-month period within three years. This will ease pressure on code departments and align with the growing number of energy benchmarking regulations across the country, IMT says.
The decision to include an outcome-based pathway in the 2015 IgCC will directly influence future editions of the IgCC and other codes such as the Energy Conservation Code. This should smooth the process of including ASHRAE Standard 189.1 and the LEED green building program into the development of the IgCC, IMT says.