Code officials could see a new universal regulatory framework to guide the design and construction of green commercial buildings by the end of next year.
On June 29, the American Institute of Architects, along with the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), announced their intent to create an International Green Construction Code (IGCC).
The new code aims to cover all aspects of sustainability in the built environment, from roofing to ventilation strategies, drawing from existing codes and standards to create one universal code. The code will apply to new construction and renovations. “We hope this will bring all of the separate efforts together and put them under one umbrella to make it easier for jurisdictions to know what they are adopting,” says Adolf Zubia, ICC board president.
A 29-person drafting committee—made up of a broad range of stakeholders—will refer to an ASTM database of existing green codes and standards to “help draw up the code and identify any holes,” explains Dominic Sims, chief operating officer of the ICC.
Among the major initiatives already under way is Standard 189, a code-enforceable standard for green buildings that is being developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. The initiative was first launched in 2006 and, following several public comment periods, its final release is expected by the end of this year.
International Green Construction Code representatives plan to meet with Standard 189 committee representatives in late July to discuss how the groups can cooperate, says Richard Weiland, the ICC’s chief executive officer. “We hope this will compliment a lot of what’s going on with Standard 189,” he says. Plus, Brendan Owens, the USGBC’s vice president of LEED technical development, is serving on the drafting committee for the International Green Construction Code.
Kent Peterson, chairman of the committee writing Standard 189 and principal of California-based P2S Engineering, says he would like to ultimately see Standard 189 language in the IGCC code and looks forward to meeting with IGCC representatives to coordinate efforts. "We want to meet to make sure we're not all going in separate directions and confusing the industry," he says.
Christine McEntee, chief executive officer of AIA, emphasizes that the code will build on other efforts and provide the strongest regulatory option. “For measurable change to occur, we believe there needs to be a regulatory framework in place at the national, state, and local levels,” she says. “Only a building code offers that tool. A code has the best chance of being truly enforced at the local level.”
McEntee says adoption of the new code will also help create a road map to AIA’s 2030 initiative, which calls for carbon neutrality of buildings by 2030.
The IGCC committee will begin a series of public meetings this summer and fall to organize the initial code language. A draft is expected to be released for public comment in April 2010, and Sims says he hopes to see a final version ready by the end of next year.
Dennis Andrejko, FAIA
Associate Professor of Architecture
University at Buffalo, Department of Architecture
Jack Bailey, IES, LC, LEED AP
International Association of Lighting Designers
One Lux Studio, LLC
Peter Bruck, CBO
City of Rohnert Park
Frank Cole, PE, CEM, MCP
Conservation Program Engineer
New York Power Authority
Senior Technical Advisor/S&E V
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
Anthony Floyd, AIA, LEED AP
Green Building Program Manager
City of Scottsdale
Northeast Regional Manager, Bldg Codes & Standards
Holly Gerberding, AIA
City of Chicago, Department of General Services
Christopher Green, AIA, SBTC VICE CHAIR
Ago Studios, Inc.
Josh Greenfield, PE, LEED AP
Primera Engineers. Ltd.
Maureen Guttman, AIA
Executive Director, Governor's Green Government Council
PA Dept of Environment Protection
Jonathan Humble, AIA
American Iron and Steel Institute
Green Builder, LLC
Stephen Kanipe, CBO, LEED AP
Chief Building Official
City of Aspen, Colorado
Medard Kopczyinski, CBO
Assistant City Manager
City of Keene
Carol Marriott, PE
Director, Environmental Strategy
Plumbing Manufacturers Institute
R. Christopher Mathis, SMArchS
M C Squared
Superintendent of Building Department - Planning Director
Village of East Rockaway
Director, Office of Construction Codes
Georgia Department Of Community Affairs
Richard Morgan, PMP
Austin Energy Green Building Manager
Austin Energy/City of Austin
Brendan Owens, PE, LEED AP
Vice President, LEED Technical Department
U.S. Green Building Council
Director, Developmental Operations
Ravi Shah, SBTC CHAIR
ICC Board of Directors
Director of Urban Development
Stephen S. Szoke, S.E., P.E. LEED-AP, CDT, IOM
Director, Codes and Standards
Portland Cement Association
California Building Standards Commission
2525 Natomas Park Drive
Bob Weber, PE, CBO
R. D. Weber & Associates, Inc.
A. Vernon Woodworth, AIA
R.W. Sullivan, Inc.