The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that new construction and renovation of state government buildings be green. And now Virginia has become the latest government to mandate an alternative compliance path for green building that includes the International Green Construction Code. 

Green building is not new in Virginia. In fact the first Governor’s Executive Order calling for energy performance and water conservation in Executive Branch building dates to 2007, Virginia’s quadricentennial year, celebrating 400 years since the establishment of the Jamestown Colony.

In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest continuous law making body in the New World, authorized the Department of General Services to create “Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards” for government building use.

A 2010 Executive Order signed by current Governor, Bob McDonnell, said, all new or renovated Executive Branch buildings, “should conform to LEED silver or Green Globes two-globe standards”.

And now, with the issuance of the 2013 edition of the Virginia Construction & Professional Services Manual, the statutes and executive orders have come together to put Virginia at the forefront of green building. Applicable to “all executive branch agencies and institutions entering the design phase for: construction of a new building greater than 5000 gross square feet in size; or, renovation of greater than 5000 square feet of a building where the cost of renovation exceeds 50 percent of the value of the building”,

New construction or renovation “shall be designed and constructed consistent with either” ..

A. LEED 2009 for New Construction & Major Renovations, Silver certified, or

B. Green Globes, obtaining 2 Globes certification, or

C. The Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Performance Standards that is the IgCC, Public Version 1.0, as significantly modified.

Careful observers will note the new 2013 Manual calls to both a LEED and Green Globe standard that are not the most current and an earlier version of the IgCC.

But the real ‘take away’ is the addition of the IgCC variant into the mix of “high performance building certifications” for public building construction authorized under Virginia law. Old Dominion is now at the forefront of an increasing number of governments adopting laws with alternative compliance paths for green building.

On an ancillary note, we alerted readers in a blog post last month that the process of updating the 2012 IgCC has commenced. Proposals for changes to the International Green Construction Code are due by January 10. It is not too late for you to participate.  

Photo not of a green building by Timber Ridge Craftsmen, Inc., Moneta, VA