The International Green Construction Code (IgCC)

Building owners now have another standard to live up to when it comes to making sure their buildings are green: the recently unveiled the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). A product of a rigorous effort at codifying objective green standards for buildings, the IgCC is a three-year endeavor by the International Code Council, the American Institute of Architects, ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society, the US Green Building Council, and the ASTM International.

Essentially, the IgCC provides a legal framework—a baseline document that different jurisdictions and states can adopt through legislation, in order to fully and easily integrate the benchmark of green construction internationally.

The importance of an international code that conforms with universally accepted green standards has never been clearer. As several states pass ordinances imposing green building codes, confusion as to what is the best and most efficient green building has arisen. In the midst of ordinances, the question of how to make buildings truly energy-efficient, sustainable, and reliable is being asked by policy making bodies all over the world. The IgCC clears up this confusion by providing minimum standards as to how green buildings should be.

A significant highlight of the code is that it is couched in mandatory language. Although LEED has done its job in challenging conventional modes of thinking of construction firms and building owners, the cost of registration and complying with the requirements aren’t exactly cheap. IgCC presents no problem when it comes to registration, as it is both cost-effective and for obligatory compliance with the law.

Because of its mandatory language, policymakers will not have a difficult time trying to adopt the code into their states. Also, the choices and the requirements set forth in the IgCC are much clearer. The enforcement procedures will clear up some confusion for building owners and construction firms.

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