Rhode Island First State To Adopt Green Construction Code

Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to adopt the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The Rhode Island Green Buildings Act identifies the IGCC, developed by the International Code Council, as an equivalent standard in compliance with requirements that all public agency major facility projects be designed and constructed as green buildings.

The Rules and Regulations to implement the Act took effect this month (October 2010). The IGCC applies to new and existing, traditional and high-performance commercial buildings. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 as a jurisdictional compliance option.

The Rhode Island Green Buildings Act applies to any public project that is owned, leased, or controlled by the State of Rhode Island, including new construction projects larger than 5,000 gross square feet, or renovations involving more than 10,000 gross square feet of occupied or conditioned space. All qualifying public projects must be designed and constructed to “an equivalent high performance green building standard.”

“The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step to provide states and communities with the opportunity to build sustainable and safe buildings,” Rick Weiland, International Code Council Chief Executive Officer said. “For establishing a much needed set of baseline regulations that are adoptable, usable, and affordable, we are pleased to recognize Rhode Island under the leadership of Governor Carcieri as the first state in the nation to adopt the International Green Construction Code.”

In addition to the Code Council, cooperating sponsors of the IGCC are 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).

“It’s very exciting to me as building code commissioner to see that we are the first,” John P. Leyden, Rhode Island State Building Code Commissioner said. “A lot of the legislatures around the country are also looking for more green buildings. I think this would be perfect for other states to look at to see if it fits in with their code adoptions.”


  1. Good to see such councils being formed to promote environmentally friendly buildings. More and more Green buildings need to be built rather than brick and mortar houses or even houses made of hard wood. Save trees!

  2. The state requirement an wording such as, “equivalent” are important to establish and encourage participation beyond municipal mandates. What has helped our community is the extention of “green” building codes into the mainstream. Why stop @ Municipal buildings? “High performance buildings” also have legislative funding initiatives since the introduction of bills in 2009. Emphasis must be put on lobbying efforts to further the message of community driven “Building Science”.

Comments are closed.