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IgCC Alternative Compliance Pathways
February 2, 2017
1:52 pm
Forum Posts: 394
Member Since:
April 6, 2015
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Here's the simple answer to the first question:

1) Why are green building standards such as ICC-700 and ASHRAE 189.1 considered alternative compliance paths to the IgCC?

Because the IgCC drafting committee and the subsequent proposals/public comments  that were approved to create the first edition (2012) of the IgCC, made the language that way.

Someone else on this forum might be able to provide their viewpoints on this.


I'm not trying to be trite with my answer. I'm just providing you a direction in order for you to be able to dig deeper into Code Development documentation.  To see the documentation on how the IgCC was originally "built", go to the following ICC Webpage:  

IgCC Development Archives   (This is publicly-accessible information.)

For your, and everyone else's, benefit to understand ICC's Code Development processes, this is how a brand new code (such as the IgCC) is made:

A drafting committee (not ICC staff) pulls together a rough draft of the new code in a small but publicly open meeting. There are no recorded "reasons" given for what gets put into that rough draft.  The rough draft is publicly posted (Public Version 1.0). The world reviews that draft and then people develop written comments (with reason statements) against Public Version 1.0.  The comments are heard before a Committee (not ICC staff) in a public hearing. Commenters testify. Comments are approved (or not approved) by that Committee and from that, Public Version 2.0 is generated for the world to review.  


[The following part of the new code process is identical to how the all of the existing I-Codes are developed (i.e. changed from one edition to the next)] 


People develop written code change proposals (with reason statements) for a Technical Committee (not ICC staff) public hearing.  Testimonies occur and the Committee makes a recommendation [Approval, Approval as Modified (by the Committee), or Disapproval] for each proposal. The results of the hearing are posted for the world to review. People submit written Public Comments (with reasons). Another Public Hearing occurs (no committee this time), testimonies are given and the ICC Governmental Members make the final decision (approve or disapprove) on all code change proposals with or without public comments. The Code is born!


I felt I had to provide the explanation above so that the documents in the above-provided link would make more sense. Possibly within the documents in the above link, you might find the answer as to why the code body made those decisions.  If you are an ICC paid member who has free code interpretation benefits, you can contact ICC to discuss your questions with ICC's Technical Staff. ICC also has a Commentary publication available for the IgCC in which there might be answers to your question. 


2) Are rating systems required to be an approved American National Standard prior to consideration for IgCC equivalence? 

The general question is: Is an ICC code referenced standard required to be ANSI approved?

The ICC Code Development Process is governed by ICC Council Policy CP#28 (All ICC Council Policies are publically available here:  ICC Bylaws and Council Policies.) Within CP#28, Section 3.6 concerns Referenced Standards (of which ICC 700 and ASHRAE 189.1 are considered as such). Specifically, Section states: The standard shall be developed and maintained through a consensus process such as ASTM or ANSI.  [I added the underline]

To assist the Technical Committee, ICC Staff attempts to identify that proposed standards comply with this requirement and advises them of those findings before the Committee hearing. A standard that does not comply with this section is not automatically rejected by the Technical Committee or in the end, by the ICC Governmental Voters. There are a number of referenced standards in the I-Codes that do not comply with Section The bottom line is that in the end, the ICC Governmental Voters can make a decision to include a standard, regardless of its consensus process pedigree! There just might not be anything better and the information in that standard is needed for the I-Code. The Technical Committee makes a recommendation for the language of the code (e.g. “use of XYZ standard is deemed to comply with the requirements of this code”) and the ICC Governmental Voters choose to accept that language. Note that there are other consensus processes that are considered to be similar to ANSI and ASTM. For example, CSA.


My apologies for the lengthy post! Hopefully it was educational!

February 2, 2017
10:15 am
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
February 2, 2017
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Why are green building standards such as ICC-700 and ASHRAE 189.1 considered alternative compliance paths to the IgCC? Are rating systems required to be an approved American National Standard prior to consideration for IgCC equivalence? 

Thank you,