Building Groups Plan Single Green Code


Leading building associations have joined forces to develop a model set of green building guidelines to simplify design and code options nationally and internationally.

The initiative will make it easier for owners, code officials, architects, engineers and contractors to plan and execute green projects, the groups say.

The International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) say they will work together to align the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) voluntary rating program.

“With increased demand for sustainable buildings, this joint effort will have a major impact on creating more green buildings,” according to ICC Board of Directors President Guy Tomberlin.

The collaboration was announced Feb. 23.

‘A Single Green Code’

The groups plan to harness their technical, administrative and compliance expertise to develop “a single green code,” IES Director of Technology Rita Harrold said in a statement.

“Different partners have different strengths,” she said.

“Our organizations working together will [simplify] the choice among design and code options for the using community,” Harrold added. 

green office
© / blyjak

The collaboration aims to more closely align the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, and the LEED rating program.

The effort will make it “easier for owners, designers, builders and code officials to deliver sustainable, high-performance buildings,” according to ICC CEO Dominic Sims.

The ICC, along with cooperating sponsors AIA and ASTM International, develops the model code for green buildings. The code is intended to be administered by code officials and adopted by governmental units at any level on a mandatory basis.

The next iteration of the code will incorporate the “mandatory, prescriptive and performance-based requirements” developed for Standard 189.1, the partners said.

The LEED program will also be revised to more closely align with the other groups' codes and standards.

Development Plan

ASHRAE is currently making revisions to its Standard 189.1, the Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

The standard will continue to be produced as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) consensus standard.

Once the technical revisions are complete, the standard will be delivered to ICC to wrap in to its code-compliance framework to position it for adoption as a building code by states and municipalities, according to the partners.

IgCC logo

The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is intended to be administered by code officials and adopted by governmental bodies at any level.

“The LEED program will also be incorporated,” according to ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix.

An updated standard will be produced every three years to complement the three-year code cycle, the partners relate.

AIA, USGBC Comments

"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.

USGBC Chief of Engineering Brendan Owens says the partnership leverages strengths of the organizations in an “unprecedented way.”

“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.”

Members of a committee working to complete the standards and code alignment were recognized during ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference, held Jan. 24-28 in Chicago.

A timeline for the code development was not immediately available Thursday (March 5).


Tagged categories: Building codes; Building owners; Certifications and standards; Good Technical Practice; Green coatings; Green design; North America

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