IGCC Public Hearings Produce Landmark Results
Key changes in IGCC Public Version 2.0 include more efficient plumbing fixtures, asbestos removal in compliance with ASTM standards, and responsibilities of design professionals and building owners.
The International Code Council IGCC Public Hearing Committee took action on more than 1,500 comments and nearly 120 hours of testimony on Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) during eight days of public hearings in Chicago. The outcome of the hearings will result in Public Version 2.0 of the International Green Construction Code, scheduled for release in November.
A broad cross section of industry leaders took part in the ICC consensus building process. The webcast of the hearings captured the interest of a record number of viewers from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Russia and South Africa, demonstrating a global interest in safe and sustainable construction.
Coordinated with the ICC family of codes, the IGCC is designed to go beyond traditional Code requirements for those communities who are aggressively pursuing a sustainable goal.
The most significant revision made by the Committee occurred in the area of energy conservation. References to Total Annual Net Energy Use (TANEU) were replaced with a Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), requiring buildings to use no more than 51 percent of the energy allowable in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code. In addition, the Committee revisited the formula regarding jurisdictional project electives, now requiring jurisdictions to enforce at least one and up to 14 electives, instead of allowing a jurisdiction to opt out of enforcing any project electives by choosing zero.
Of particular interest to the code enforcement community are the provisions addressing commissioning. Appliance information, radon mitigation and documentation requirements, were added to the commissioning provisions to ensure the health and safety of building occupants.
Other key changes to be included in Public Version 2.0 include:
- A 20 percent water savings beyond U.S. federal standards for water closets in residential settings;
- New requirements for identification and removal of materials containing asbestos;
- Land use regulations including new provisions addressing flood risk, development limitations related to “greenfields,” use of turf grass and minimum landfill diversion requirements;
- Movement of many responsibilities from the registered design professional to the owner to prevent potential conflicts with state and local requirements; and
- Consistency with industry standards for air handling systems.
The Committee indicated its focus would be on filling technical or inconsistency gaps found in Version 1.0, and to maintain the enforceability of the code for jurisdictions choosing to adopt or adapt the IGCC. Leading up to the November release of Version 2.0, updates on the IGCC will be posted on the Code Council’s website at www.iccsafe.org/igcc.
The IGCC development process now moves to two hearings in 2011. Comments will be solicited for the Code Development Hearings in May, to be held in Dallas. The actions at that hearing will form the basis for Final Action Hearings to be held in Phoenix in October 2011. The 2012 Version of the IGCC will be issued in early 2012.
The IGCC applies to new and existing, traditional and high-performance commercial buildings. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 as an alternative compliance requirement. The IGCC addresses residential construction by referencing the ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the Code Council.
In addition to the Code Council, cooperating sponsors are the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES). Organizations, jurisdictions and individuals wishing to state their public support for the IGCC may register on the IGCC web page at www.iccsafe.org/igcc. Ongoing participation by interested parties is encouraged throughout the development process, including providing testimony at hearings and submitting comments for consideration.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.