Maryland Adopts International Green Construction Code
On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, the International Code Council announced that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law legislation passed by the state’s General Assembly adopting the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) as an optional requirement for new construction. Maryland’s adoption of the IGCC, effective in March 2012, will apply to all commercial buildings as well as residential properties more than three stories high. The IGCC is a tool designed for jurisdictions to adopt into laws reducing the environmental impact of construction projects while keeping construction safety measures intact and enforceable.
“We applaud Maryland’s leadership in adopting an adaptable, affordable, and enforceable code that will set the standard for safe and sustainable buildings throughout the state,” ICC CEO Richard P. Weiland said.
The Building Codes—International Green Construction Code Act (HB 972)—which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and enacted into law by Governor O’Malley authorizes the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt the IGCC, while allowing local jurisdictions to make amendments to the IGCC under certain conditions as long as the local amendment is adopted in accordance with applicable local law.
“Adopting green building codes and standards is a prudent way for Maryland’s jurisdictions to demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable and safe future,” said Delegate Dana Stein, the legislation’s sponsor. “The International Green Construction Code is coordinated with several related I-Codes used for construction throughout the state.”
Recent IGCC adoptions also include: an optional code in Richland, WA; an alternative requirement for new public buildings in Rhode Island; and the nation’s first tribal community enactment in Kayenta Township, AZ, with an optional requirement with mandatory applications still under consideration. Fort Collins, CO, approved significant extractions from the IGCC and the National Green Building Standard, ICC 700, as part of green building code amendments to the city’s building codes.
The IGCC is an “Allowable Green Building System” in Keene, NH’s, Sustainable Energy Efficient Development zone, a voluntary urban incentive-based area that promotes green building and redevelopment in its downtown. Fort Collins, Kayenta, and Keene are the first jurisdictions in their states to adopt the IGCC. The Code Council expects several more state and local adoptions of the IGCC within the next few months.
The IGCC was established by the International Code Council to improve the long-term performance and safety of commercial and high-rise residential buildings. The code’s cooperating sponsors are the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.