ARTICLE

ICC Unveils International Green Construction Code Version 2.0

at 2010 Greenbuild

By Kyle Volenik, ICC Staff

ICC Board President Jimmy Brothers and ICC CEO RIck Weiland at IGCC press conference
ICC CEO RIck Weiland at the podium of a press conference introducing IGCC Public Version 2.0 at Greenbuild in Chicago as ICC Board President Jimmy Brothers looks on.
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The International Code Council released the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Public Version 2.0 in November in front of a large audience at the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2010 Greenbuild Conference in Chicago. The Code Council held a press conference for the release, and the cooperating sponsors of the IGCC — the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) were all in attendance for the announcement.

IGCC Version 2.0 provides a resource tool for jurisdictions considering adoption or amendment of regulations for green and high-performance construction. The document is available as a free download on the Code Council’s website. Public Version 2.0 reflects the work of the IGCC Public Hearings Committee, which conducted a review of 1,500 comments and nearly 120 hours of testimony during eight days of public hearings in Chicago last August.

The IGCC applies to new and existing, traditional and high-performance buildings. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 as a jurisdictional compliance option. Coordinated with the ICC family of codes, the IGCC is designed to go beyond traditional code requirements for communities that are pursuing a sustainability goal.

With the release of Version 2.0 of the IGCC, ICC has also extracted a document containing only the indoor and outdoor water efficiency and conservation provisions of the IGCC. The International Green Construction Code – Water Efficiency Provisions, is intended for jurisdictions with a special concern regarding the efficient and sustainable use of water.  It is ideal for users who want to rapidly deploy the most advanced water efficiency codes, providing real water savings without giving up flexibility and ease of use.  This document can be downloaded free separately on the ICC website.

IGCC press conference attendees
A full room of interested parties, including ICC staff, attending the press conference announcing the release of IGCC Public Version 2.0.

The press conference began with an introduction from USGBC's Vice President of Technical Development, Brendan Owens, who highlighted the importance of IGCC and the continued effort by all the cooperating sponsors. Owens then introduced Code Council CEO Rick Weiland to the audience.

“We are here at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild conference to underline the importance of how baseline codes can complement and enhance cutting-edge rating systems such as LEED, which have raised awareness and moved the industry forward in reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment," Weiland said.

In his opening remarks, Weiland highlighted a few of the important revisions of Version 2.0, such as requiring buildings to use no more than 51 percent of the energy allowable in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code and a 20 percent water savings beyond U.S. federal standards for water closets in residential settings.
Weiland introduced ICC's Board President Jimmy Brothers, Director of the Decatur, Alabama, Building Department. Brothers highlighted the key points of cooperation and progression as major factors for the continued success of the IGCC.

"I am especially pleased to note that through the efforts of collaboration and cooperation, and especially the commitment of those that were involved in the process, not only within ICC but our partners in this effort…we have a real opportunity here to move our country, and actually the entire world, forward in a safe and sustainable world," Brothers said. 

Weiland then went on to recognize the five cooperating sponsors of the IGCC, beginning with the AIA.

“The American Institute of Architects signed on as an original partner with the ICC in this effort because we see the significant benefits and the opportunity in the model code arena for achieving a more sustainable future,” said George Miller, President of AIA. “The creation of a new overlay code that establishes a minimum green standard and is written in enforceable code language will provide for a better regulatory tool for both designers and code officials. The IGCC, currently in its second draft, represents a major step towards the architectural profession’s goal of having carbon neutral buildings by 2030.”

Next, Weiland recognized ASTM International for its commitment to the IGCC as well as their overall relationship with the Code Council, as more than 450 ASTM standards are referenced in the International Codes.

George Miller, President, AIA; Jimmy Brothers, ICC Board President; Rick Weiland, ICC CEO; and at the podium Brendan Owens, USGBC's Vice President of Technical Development.
Left to right, George Miller, President, AIA; Jimmy Brothers, ICC Board President; Rick Weiland, ICC CEO; and at the podium Brendan Owens, USGBC's Vice President of Technical Development.

"For important attributes such as sustainability, energy efficiency and safety, the process of building design, construction and evaluation relies heavily on high quality standards and test methods developed by the volunteer experts of ASTM International,” said Jim Thomas, President of ASTM International. “I am pleased the IGCC Public Version 2.0 recommends numerous ASTM standards in providing much needed guidance to jurisdictions and regulators in these areas".

Weiland then went on to recognize ASHRAE for its part in constructing this recent edition of the IGCC.

“ASHRAE is pleased to see the ICC refining and advancing the International Green Building Code,” said ASHRAE President Lynn Bellenger. “IGCC Public Version 2.0, along with Standard 189.1 as a compliance option, will make energy efficient, green buildings more accessible to communities around the world.”

Owens returned to the podium after Weiland acknowledged him for assisting as a member of the ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA committee that developed Standard 189.1 – Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings.

“U.S. Green Building Council is pleased to support the continued development of the nation’s first set of model green building codes and standards,” Owens said.  “Both distinct and complementary to voluntary, above-code green building rating systems like LEED, the IGCC and its 189.1 compliance path together serve as a critical policy lever for communities as they address pressing human and environmental health concerns in their communities."

Weiland then introduced IES board member Nick Bleeker.

“The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America is pleased to support IGCC in this next phase of the code development process. Public Version 2.0 offers an adaptable model for states and local authorities to use to meet the needs of local conditions in developing sustainable compliance requirements for existing or new building codes." Bleeker said.

Bleeker then quoted Rita Harold, Technology Director of IES, "The agreement among ASHRAE, USGBC and IES to include Standard 189.1 in the IGCC provides a unified approach to joining technical information with code development to reach a broader and more diverse audience than any one organization can achieve alone.”
Weiland went on to thank not only the cooperating sponsors but also everyone involved in the IGCC development process.

"We are gratified by the many organizations and individuals who have joined us in the IGCC development process, and welcome them along with others to join us in the journey ahead toward safer and more sustainable communities,” Weiland said.
The IGCC development process now moves to two hearings in 2011. Code change proposals for Version 2.0 are due to the Code Council by January 3. Those proposals will be heard at the Code Development Hearings in May, to be held in Dallas. To get more information on submitting proposals, click here. The actions at that hearing will form the basis for Final Action Hearings to be held in October 2011 in Phoenix. The final version of the IGCC will be issued in early 2012.

Organizations, jurisdictions and individuals wishing to state their public support for the IGCC may register on the IGCC website. Ongoing participation by interested parties, including provision of testimony at hearings and submission of comments for consideration, is encouraged throughout the development process.

The IGCC Toolkit contains resources designed to help ICC members and member jurisdictions understand the background and importance of a green code in today’s building environment. The documents included are provided to educate officials and assist them in adoption of the IGCC. Please feel free to contact your local Government Relations representative with any questions you may have, or Sean Wallace with any comments or feedback.

As always, your articles ideas and submissions are welcome. Send them to foliver@iccsafe.org along with a daytime phone number at which to contact you with questions.