Proposals for changes to the International Green Construction Code are due by January 10

The process of updating the 2012 International Green Construction Code has commenced.

In fact, proposals for changes to the International Code Council’s “Green Construction Code” have been accepted since November and are due not later than January 10, 2014. Proposed IgCC changes are accepted from any member of the public. This is your opportunity to effect change in the environmental industrial complex.

The IgCC first debuted with public version 2.0 in November 2010. 

The IgCC is a collaborative effort of the International Code Council, the USGBC, the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and the Illuminating Engineering Society to be administered by local code officials as an overlay on existing construction and energy codes in the ICC codes family.

The IgCC provides model code language, to be adopted by local governments as an overlay to existing codes working in tandem with the administrative requirements of other adopted codes, to establish “baseline regulations for new and existing buildings related to energy conservation, water efficiency, building owner responsibilities, site impacts, building waste, and materials” and other matters.

The IgCC contains numerous jurisdictional and project electives that allow adopting jurisdictions and projects to customize code requirements to address local issues and selectively raise sustainability goals.

To date the IgCC is adopted or used as the basis for green building regulations in Richland, Washington; Keene, Hew Hampshire; Dallas, Texas; Maplewood, Minnesota; Fort Collins, Bolder, Carbondale and Snowmass, Colorado; Kayenta Township, Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Boynton Beach, Florida; Rhode Island; Maryland; Oregon; North Carolina; and, Washington DC.

But it is surprising to many that adoption has not been faster and broader. It may be that mandatory green building codes are controversial and fly in the face on the tenets of green building as voluntary stewardship of the Earth; which would explain the large market share that LEED has, as a voluntary third party green building rating system.

The ICC’s new cloud based code development system “cdpACCESS” will be used for the first time for the development of the 2015 IgCC.

Proposed IgCC changes submitted will be posted online by March 10, 2014 for public review. The changes will be heard by two technical committees in open hearings to be conducted April 27th through May 4th in Memphis.  The hearings will also be webcast live.

The results of the hearing (to accept, reject or accept with modifications) each IgCC change proposal, will be posted online for public review. A public comment period will then be conducted until July 16, 2014, where any member of the public may provide written comments.

Public Comment Hearings will be held during ICC’s Annual Conference in Ft. Lauderdale between October 1 and 7, 2014.  Voting on the final action on the public comments will be done by governmental ICC members both at the hearing and for a two week period afterward remotely. cdpACCESS will allow participation, including voting, when individuals cannot attend in person.

And significantly, ASHRAE Standard 189.1 will be republished in 2014 for adoption in the 2015 IgCC.

The resulting document, the 2015 IgCC will be released for use in the calendar year 2015 and will offer a more robust and greener Green Construction Code.

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