On March 15, the International Code Council (“ICC”), with cooperation from the American Institute of Architects and ASTM International, released a draft International Green Construction Code, Public Version 1.0 (the “Code”) that once finalized will provide a model code for the regulation of the construction of new and existing commercial buildings. ICC, which develops residential and commercial building codes used by most U.S. states and municipalities, sees the Code as a baseline to be integrated into and complement local codes, and to be used as an overlay to other ICC Codes. The model code notably provides “jurisdictional electives” that “allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.”
The draft model Code’s emphasis is on building performance, and includes a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure that the best energy-efficient practices are followed. It establishes minimum requirements related to conserving energy, natural resources, and materials, employing renewable energy technologies to improve indoor and outdoor air quality, and developing building operations and maintenance. A sample ordinance is included for local governments to adopt.
The recently released New York City Greener Greater Buildings Plan, which included four energy conservation and efficiency bills signed by Mayor Bloomberg, may complement the Code. However, the Code, once finalized and adopted, will likely provide a more expansive regulatory baseline for green construction.
The Code is open to public comment until May 14, and the final version is expected to be released in the beginning of 2012. The initial public version may be used by jurisdictions nationally and internationally until the final version is published.
The Code, and directions on submitting comments, are available here.
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