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.