By: Lane Kelman and Lori Wisniewski Azzara
After three years of public hearings and input from industry specialists, the International Code Counsel (ICC) recently released the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is the first model code to include sustainability measures for an entire construction project and its site – from design, through construction, certificate of occupancy and beyond. The American Institute of Architects and ASTM International co-sponsored the project with support from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society.
Aimed at making buildings more efficient and reducing waste, the IgCC is a tool that provides direction and standards for green design and construction. The Code’s model language establishes a baseline for new and existing buildings related to energy conservation, water efficiency, site impacts, building waste, material resource efficiency and other sustainability measures.
“[T]he Code Council and its sponsors announce a new green construction code that will make a contribution toward healthier, lower impact, and more sustainable building practices,” said Richard P. Weiland, CEO of the ICC. “Our community was diligent in developing a code that is not only adoptable, usable and enforceable, but also flexible and adaptable. We expect this new model code, like the family of other ICC Codes, to be adopted across the country and used globally.”
The IgCC is designed to serve as an overlay to the existing set of International Codes and complements LEED and other voluntary third-party certifications. Once adopted, the IgCC offers flexibility to jurisdictions by establishing several levels of compliance, starting with the core provisions of the code, and then offering requirement options that can be customized to fit the needs of a local community. A jurisdiction can also require higher performance through the use of “project elective” provisions based on the code. “Coordinated with the ICC family of codes, the IgCC is designed for use in communities that are pursuing sustainable construction above and beyond the traditional level of requirements in our codes,” said William D. Dupler, ICC Board President.
The relevance of the IgCC is dependent upon adoption by jurisdictions across the country. Several state and local governments, including Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Oregon, have already put into place earlier versions of the IgCC that were released during its development. We will continue to monitor the IgCC’s adoption throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Lane Kelman is a Partner at Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. He represents developers, general contractors, construction managers and the different trades in complex matters ranging from bid protests, contract negotiations and claim prevention & management.
Lori Wisniewski Azzara is an Associate at Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. Ms. Azzara practices in the areas of construction and commercial litigation and has experience in contract negotiation, claims for delay and inefficiency, mechanics’ liens, and all types of contractual disputes.