IGCC Hearings Slated for August; Comments Due 5/14/10

As part of its commitment to safe and sustainable buildings, the International Code Council announces public comment hearings on Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The hearings are the next step in the Code Council’s governmental consensus code development process that will result in publishing the 2012 IGCC. Version 1.0 continues to be offered as a resource tool for jurisdictions seeking guidance on amending existing codes or writing new codes regulating green construction.

The hearings will be held August 14-22 at The Westin O’Hare (Rosemont, IL) in suburban Chicago. Advanced registration to attend the hearings is recommended. Public comments, which can be submitted until May 14, will serve as the agenda for the hearings. Comments will be posted online on July 2.

Comments received and testimony presented to a hearing committee at the August hearings will be the basis for Public Version 2.0 of the IGCC, scheduled for release in November. Version 2.0 will serve as the next version for code change submittals, due January 3, and will be considered at May 2011 code development hearings. The final action hearings will be held in November 2011.

The IGCC, which regulates the construction of new and existing commercial buildings, aims to reduce energy usage significantly. It addresses site development and land use, including preservation of natural and material resources. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (graywater).

The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best sustainable practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional requirements” and “project electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.

The IGCC initiative was launched with Cooperating Sponsors the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International. The IGCC references the ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009 for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings—developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)—as an alternative jurisdictional compliance option within the IGCC.

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. Most U.S. cities, counties, and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. 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.