The International Code Council launched its International Green Construction Code (IGCC) initiative, which it hopes will reduce energy usage and the carbon footprint of commercial buildings. Titled “IGCC: Safe and Sustainable By the Book,” the initiative develops a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings’ design and performance.

Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of energy used and produce about the same amount of the nation’s carbon emissions, says ICC. “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 CEORichard P. Weiland. “We applaud and plan to utilize the good work of those who have developed systems, guidelines and standards to address green buildings.”

At the announcement, ICC included a number of organizations, including noting special roles for the American Institute of Architects and ASTM as cooperating sponsors for this project. Weiland also 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.

In the past, ICC members have played a role in the development of codes such as theInternational Energy Conservation Code, Weiland said, and also in the rapid evolution of new systems and guidelines to address green technology. “[It is] 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,” he stated.  

The timeline for the new IGCC includes public meetings of the Sustainable Building Technology Committee, 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 AIA and ASTM will have “visible participation” in the development process, Weiland said, and he referenced the compatibility of the AIA 2030 carbon neutrality goals with the green code initiative.

The first public meetings of the SBTC are scheduled for 8 am – 5 pm July 28-29, and 8 am – 2 pm July 30, at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. The meetings of the SBTC are open meetings with meeting dates posted at ICC’s website.

To visit the IGCC web page, go For more information on supporting publications and services for green activities, review the Code Council’s green pages

Source: International Code Council