ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES Announce Nation’s First Set of Model Codes and Standards for Green Building in the U.S.

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First of its kind collaboration designed to boost critical green building practices across the country

The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement, establishing a much-needed set of baseline regulations for green buildings that is adoptable, usable and enforceable by jurisdictions.

What do organizations representing building safety professionals, energy and lighting engineers, green building practitioners, architects and technical standards developers have in common? They have all come together to green the nation’s built environment by establishing a comprehensive model green building code designed to rapidly advance green building practice across the U.S.

The International Code Council (ICC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) today announce the launch of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), representing the merger of two national efforts to develop adoptable and enforceable green building codes. The IGCC provides the building industry with language that both broadens and strengthens building codes in a way that will accelerate the construction of high performance green buildings across the U.S.

For decades, ICC and ASHRAE have worked to develop codes and standards that become the industry standard of care for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings in the U.S. and internationally. In coordination with the efforts of ICC and ASHRAE, USGBC has been leading a nationwide green building movement centered on the LEED Green Building Rating System since LEED was launched in 2000. The convergence of these efforts in the IGCC is perhaps the most significant development in the buildings industry in the past 10 years.

Leveraging ICC’s unrivaled delivery infrastructure to reach all 50 states and more than 22,000 local jurisdictions and ASHRAE, USGBC and IES’s technical strengths, this partnership will accelerate the proliferation of green building codes and standards developed jointly by ICC, ASHRAE and USGBC and IES, across the country and around the globe. The newly launched International Green Construction Code (IGCC) establishes a previously unimaginable regulatory framework for the construction of high performance commercial buildings that are safe, sustainable and by the book.

A landmark addition to the technical content of the IGCC is the inclusion of ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, as an alternate path of compliance. Standard 189.1 is a set of technically rigorous requirements, which like the IGCC, covers criteria including water use efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and the building’s impact on its site and its community. Standard 189.1 was written by experts representing all areas of the building industry, who contributed tens of thousands of man hours. Developed in a little over three years, the standard underwent four public reviews in which some 2,500 comments were received.

“The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement, establishing a much-needed set of baseline regulations for green buildings that is adoptable, usable and enforceable by jurisdictions,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland. “The IGCC provides a vehicle for jurisdictions to regulate green for the design and performance of new and renovated buildings in a manner that is integrated with existing codes as an overlay, allowing all new buildings to reap the rewards of improved design and construction practices.”

“Bringing together the code expertise of ICC with technical expertise of ASHRAE to create a comprehensive green building code will accelerate our transformation to more sustainable building practices,” Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president, said. “ASHRAE is committed to providing the design guidance building designers and engineers need to reduce the energy consumption of buildings.”

“The U.S. Green Building Council’s mission is market transformation and we’ve long recognized the need to reach beyond the market leaders served by LEED to accomplish this goal,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Broadening the scope of the codes and establishing a higher floor allows us to continue to raise the ceiling, a critical factor in how the building industry is working to mitigate climate change. We are thrilled to see this set of complementary green building codes and standards; our organizations working collaboratively will advance green building nationwide in a way that was never before possible. ”

"IES is pleased to support the collaborative efforts of the organizations which demonstrate expertise in code and technical standards development in this comprehensive green building code,” said Rita Harrold, IES Director of Technology. “IES looks forward to ongoing guidance for sustainable building practices."

On Monday, March 15, ASHRAE, IES and USGBC will join ICC at its Washington, DC headquarters as they and their co-authors (the American Institute of Architects and the American Society for Testing Materials) launch the IGCC. On Monday, Standard 189 .1 and the IGCC will be available for wide distribution, providing much-needed content, code language, and vision for more safe and sustainable future. The organizations are also working together to advance related education and advocacy efforts to promote adoption, enforcement and compliance with the IGCC codes that will pave the way for green buildings and neighborhoods, while creating jobs and strengthening the economy.

For more information on IGCC: http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx and on Standard 189.1: http://www.ashrae.org/greenstandard.

About ICC
The International Code Council (ICC) is a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention. ICC develops the codes and standards used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools.

The International Codes, or I-Codes, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.

Fifty states and the District of Columbia have adopted the I-Codes at the state or jurisdictional level. Federal agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, General Services Administration, National Park Service, Department of State, U.S. Forest Service and the Veterans Administration also enforce the I-Codes. The Department of Defense references the International Building Code for constructing military facilities, including those that house U.S. troops, domestically and abroad. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands enforce one or more of the I-Codes. http://www.intlcode.org.

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,500 member companies and organizations, and more than 140,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs. http://www.usgbc.org

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of 51,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education. http://www.ashrae.org

About IES
The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) is the recognized technical authority on illumination. For over 100 years; its objective has been to communicate information on all aspects of good lighting practice to its members, to the lighting community, and to consumers, through a variety of programs, publications, and services.

IES is a forum for the exchange of ideas and information, and a vehicle for its members' professional development and recognition. Through technical committees, with hundreds of qualified individuals from the lighting and user communities, IES correlates research, investigations, and discussions to guide lighting professionals and lay persons via consensus-based lighting recommendations. http://www.ies.org.


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