USGBC applauds new International Green Construction Code

April 6, 2012

The recently released 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) will increase the energy-efficiency of structures, along with providing direction to governments around the world in regards to oversight of green design and construction, according to the International Code Council.

A release from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) noted that the new code will help to provide necessary guidance for state and local governments that have been looking to quantify and codify green building practices.

"The IgCC and Standard 189.1 draw from more than a decade of national and regional leadership programs that road-tested green building practices, methods and materials," said Brendan Owens, vice president of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Technical Development, USGBC. "These pioneering efforts broke important new ground that has enabled the IgCC to mainstream green building practices that were previously considered innovative in a foundation intended for minimum code language."

According to the release, the 2012 IgCC offers a new code baseline that can be tailored by state and local governments to share the multitude of benefits that are associated with the millions of buildings that are constructed, designed and renovated to meet the minimum code.

"As the IgCC begins to inform building codes and building practice across the country, LEED is evolving to reward greater thresholds of green building leadership," said Roger Platt, senior vice president of Global Policy & Law, USGBC.

The USGBC noted that public policy has to be shaped for a significant change to occur, and this code represents progress in reaching this goal.

This public support of green building has recently been mirrored by the private sector, as companies and building owners around the U.S. are jumping on the energy efficient building bandwagon, according to Environmental Expert.

Retrofit projects, new construction and small improvements to buildings are being motivated by this green building trend, and an overall positive perception of sustainable commercial structures will provide the foundation for continued progress in the sector.

The fusion of government and the private sector is something that the U.S. Department of Energy looked to foster when it designated an innovation HUB for the energy efficient buildings sector.

Known as the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC), the effort is focused on enacting change in the sector through the promotion and adoption of energy efficient buildings and technology within the Greater Philadelphia region. Success related to the improvement of building stock in this area will stand as a model for the rest of the country.