Codes, Standards Developers Align Guidelines To Create Sustainable, High-Performance Buildings

Posted by Heidi SchwartzGreen Building Skyline.

Several associations that develop green building codes and standards are collaborating to align the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1 and the LEED green building program. The initiative is being welcomed by code officials, facility professionals, architects, engineers, and contractors.

“In just a few years we progressed from developing the first model code for green buildings to a new cooperative document that will make it easier for owners, designers, builders, and code officials to deliver sustainable, high-performing buildings,” said International Code Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “Thank you to our cooperating sponsors, ICC Members, and all who participate in the development of the International Green Construction Code for their support.”

Cooperating sponsors in the development of the IgCC are ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). All have agreed to collaborate on the development of the next edition of the IgCC, ASHRAE Standard 189.1, and the USGBC LEED green building program.

“We are working to align new versions of Standard 189.1—the Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings—and the IgCC into one regulatory tool,” said ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix. “This agreement also seeks to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.”

Standard 189.1 will continue to be produced as an American National Standards Institute consensus standard and then delivered to ICC to wrap in to its code-compliance frame and position it for adoption as a building code by states and municipalities.

“Sharing resources will help reach the goal of environmentally friendly structures that reduce the carbon footprint and lessen energy consumption,” said ICC Board of Directors President Guy Tomberlin, CBO. “With increased demand for sustainable buildings, this joint effort will have a major impact on creating more green buildings.”

The technical content of the IgCC will consist of the mandatory, prescriptive, and performance-based requirements developed for Standard 189.1; an updated standard will be produced every three years to complement the three-year code cycle.

“With the consolidation of the IgCC and Standard 189.1, and coordination with the LEED rating system, the AIA’s goal to achieve a single set of regulations makes a critical step forward, while also providing a clearer path toward a sustainable built environment,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA.

IES Director of Technology Rita Harrold said, “Different partners have different strengths. Our organizations working together will result in harmonization of technical, administrative, and compliance expertise to produce a single green code, simplifying the choice among design and code options for the using community.”

“This partnership leverages the unique strengths of world class organizations collaborating in an unprecedented way,” said USGBC Chief of Engineering Brendan Owens. “Building designers and operators know the benefits of integrated design and planning very well—we’ve taken our cue from them and will create a system where the whole is substantially more effective than the sum of its individual parts.”