2021 International Green Construction Code Is Released

Communities around the world have recognized the important role of buildings in realizing their sustainability goals—with many adopting stretch codes or policies that go beyond the content of baseline codes. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) provides communities with model code language to assist in achieving sustainability in their building stock. Green codes help fulfill the mission of providing for the health, life, and safety of the built environment; increasing the economic and resource efficiency of buildings; reducing the effects of climate change through more resilient buildings, communities, and cities; and providing for the best buildings of today without compromising the needs of future generations. In support of continuously improving the built environment, the International Code Council, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) have released the anticipated 2021 IgCC.

The IgCC is part of the Code Council’s family of comprehensive, coordinated, and modern model codes—including the International Building Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, and International Fire Code—used around the world. It provides a whole-systems approach to the design, construction, and operation of buildings and includes cost-effective measures that result in lower operating costs, better indoor environments, lower impact on natural resources, and improved neighborhood connections and walkability. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES 189.1 (2020): Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. A public-private collaboration, the green code correlates with the International Energy Conservation Code, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and many other referenced standards. It helps governments streamline code development and adoption, saving them the time and money needed to develop their own codes and creating uniformity among adopting jurisdictions.

“Building safety codes help our communities prepare for the future,” said International Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “Taking into account the latest technologies and cost-effective strategies for dealing with resource scarcity, the IgCC helps cities, states, and countries build stronger, smarter, sustainably, and more resiliently.”

In recent years, green building design, construction, and operational techniques have become increasingly widespread. More than 12 percent of water use, 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 65 percent of all waste outputs, and 70 percent of electricity consumption are attributed to the built environment. The IgCC provides communities with regulatory-based strategies to drive improvements in energy efficiency and water conservation, resource use, indoor environmental quality, site sustainability, and building operations.

Industry-leading codes, standards, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system have enabled the construction sector to mainstream fundamental strategies that protect occupant comfort and health, save money, and preserve resources during the design, construction, and operation of buildings. The USGBC is developing synergies between specific IgCC measures and LEED credits, enabling a streamlined approach to leadership that is built on a consistent green code.

Source: International Code Council

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