Legally Green--ICC Releases Green Construction Code For Public Comment

Today the International Code Council released its Green Construction Code for public comment today.  You can download a copy here. The objective of the IGCC is

to develop a Green Building Code for traditional and high-performance buildings that is consistent and coordinated with the ICC family of Codes and Standards.

I have previously posted on the importance of such an effort here.  Public comments can be made on the IGCC until May 14, 2010.

Once finalized, the IGCC can be adopted by local governments, and comport with the already existing building codes. 

One interesting diversion from prior building codes is the integration of post-occupancy reporting.  According to the AIA:

When the building is complete and the C of O is issued, building owners will be required to submit a commissioning report to the local code official within 18 to 24 months. This report will detail how the building has performed in terms of energy efficiency, building envelope performance, water use, lighting controls, etc. The report can be completed by the primary designing architect, or by a third party designated by the client or building owner. In either case, the local code official must approve the commissioning agent that completes the report. If a building does not meet its performance goals, the commissioning report will document why and prompt the parties involved in its design and construction to improve it.

Such post-occupancy requirements, and performance reporting, will elicit the usual hand-wringing from green building law practitioners like me about what will become of buildings which do not perform to their expected levels, and what enforcement mechanisms will be implemented by local governments to require building owners to fix underperforming green buildings.  Nonetheless, if buildings are going to be required by law to meet green standards, it is important that some mechanism is in place to confirm compliance.



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Randy Dube, A.S.C.E. - March 16, 2010 12:17 AM

How long is the Codes and Construction Industry going to avoid improving the structural body-frames of buildings and structures? Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Floods, Sinkholes, landslides, Extreme heat and Cold, and Snow Loads are destroying more lives than the Insurance Industry can prevent nowadays!!

How are you going to water, fire, and thermal barrier the exterior walls of a building/structure, without continuous reinforcing? Continuous Structural Body-Frame Reinforcing limits the amount of movement each wall, frame component, and structural body; giving Designers a workable calculation for adding flexible material barriers as underlayments and/or finished exterior frame coverings!!

Bill Swanson - March 17, 2010 7:17 AM

I understand the need for measuring energy use post occupancy. And that the 18-24 month time period makes sense because most new buildings have a non-typical demand in the first year of occupancy. But why does it fall onto the Architect to verify. I doubt any extra fee will be paid for this additional time and liability since it's being required by the building Inspector. What stick does the Inspector get? Remove the C of O? How does the Architect enforce any improvements deemed necessary? I notice many inconvenient punch-list items are regularly ignored by contractors. And that's while they're under contract. What can be expected after the 12 month warranty? Contractors will expect to get paid additional money and if this report says the insulation was install poorly it will get very expensive opening up the walls.

On another note I give them Kudos for cleaning up some of the sections compared to ASHRAE 189.

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