Environmental Protection

ICC Releases Green Construction Code

The International Code Council® (ICC®) has finalized the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which is designed to be used for commercial buildings and is integrated with the existing International Codes®.

The process of developing the IGCC deliberately used diverse experts from government, industry, and advocacy organizations to produce a consensus IGCC Public Version 1.0 through a participatory series of meetings. The IGCC responds to the need expressed by jurisdictions that struggle with developing their own green code without the experts that have advised them on developing the rest of their codes.

In addition to creating a new regulatory baseline for jurisdictions, the IGCC will allow additional customization at the jurisdictional level and be compatible with voluntary rating systems (e.g., LEED, Green Globes).

The IGCC also:

  • offers the most comprehensive and effective code for alternative water sources such as gray water, rainwater, and reclaimed water;
  • encompasses the latest alternative energy technologies such as wind turbines, geothermal heating, solar energy, energy recovery, and management and control systems;
  • establishes code requirements for a minimum level of sustainability in commercial buildings;
  • offers the flexibility jurisdictions need to customize the code based on local factors such as flood areas, greenfield sites, light pollution, and many others.

Jay Peters, executive director of the ICC’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Group, indicates that understanding sustainable design and the codes that support it are not a passing phase, but rather part of an evolution that will result in the integration of green construction practices into standard construction practices. “It will soon become second nature to implement greener plumbing, mechanical and other energy- and resource-saving practices,” Peters said.

The International Code Council publishes building safety, energy efficiency and fire prevention codes that are used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings.

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