The sustainable building code wave began on the West Coast with the development of the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen). From there, it coursed to the East Coast as the basis for the development of the International Code Council’s (ICC) International Green Construction Code (IgCC). It has now returned to our shores as the 2012 International Green Construction Code.
The IgCC is the first model code that includes sustainability measures for the entire construction project and its site—from design through construction, certificate of occupancy, and beyond. The new code was created to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste generated by the built environment, and have a positive impact on the health, safety, and welfare of society.
Because of its origins, it’s safe to assume that the 2012 IgCC will eventually be adopted by California to replace CALGreen. Furthermore, because CALGreen did serve as the basis of the 2012 IgCC, for most California architects its contents will come as no surprise and will be readily recognizable. For the uninitiated, however, the IgCC may look both unfamiliar and, at first read, as frightening as a tsunami.
To make the transition easier for end users of the code, the ICC is offering professional development and technical support services. These services offer training, certification exams, and contractor testing on the key elements of the IgCC, with additional support materials under development.
The IgCC provides clear baseline green requirements by creating a regulatory framework for new and existing buildings, establishing minimum green requirements for buildings, and complementing voluntary rating systems which may extend beyond the customizable baseline of the IgCC. The code acts as an overlay to the existing set of International Codes already in use in California and incorporates ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an alternate path to compliance.
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