The International Green Construction Code Public Version 2.0 is nearing the end of its Public Review and revision stage. If you are not aware of this code, you should note that it seeks to establish a mandatory baseline of codes for government and safety officials to utilize for green construction. This code is supported by ASHRAE, USGBC and IES.
There are many interesting issues within the code that should not go unnoticed. For example, there is a basic requirement to provide commissioning for most design features in addition to the energy features. The commissioning is required to be performed by the “registered design professional in “responsible charge” or “approved agency”.
The code places the responsibility of making the decision which methods to allow the engineer to use for life cycle assessments as a jurisdictional decision (i.e. the code official). Not surprisingly, ASHRAE 189.1 is one approved alternative method. All of this is defined in Chapter 3 which the code describes as its “core”. Chapter 3 establishes the Jurisdictional requirements and project electives.
There are many other nuances and specifics that will require a much longer explanation. The bottom line is that this code has the best interest of establishing safe building practices; however, there are many elements that go beyond safety and reach into preference.
California has already adopted their own code. South Carolina currently enforces the International Energy Code. The IGCC does not seek to replace the Energy Code but it does require a more detailed understanding of energy and sustainability than most code officials are prepared for. I think this code is a good idea but should be rigorously tested and modeled before being enforced. It will be interesting to see how our state responds.
For more information on the IGCC, go to http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/pages/default.aspx.