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Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 21, 2011 at 11:53 AM.
The U.S. has its first national green building code. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC), approved earlier this month after two years of development, applies to all new and renovated commercial and residential buildings more than three stories high. According to www.sustainablebusiness.com, the historic code sets mandatory baseline standards for all aspects of building design and construction, including energy and water efficiency, site impacts, building waste, and materials.
How does the new code differ from LEED certification? LEED certification is voluntary and designers can choose to address only certain areas of energy efficiency. The new IgCC has established enforceable minimum standards for every aspect of building design and construction that now must be reached where the code is adopted, thus raising the standard for all buildings.
According to the website, many local and state governments have begun to officially adopt the code before it will available in March 2012. Once it is published, they will have the choice of adopting the code — but once they do, it’s enforceable. They can also add their own requirements that address local concerns.
The International Code Council worked to develop the code with many stakeholders including the American Institute of Architects, US Green Building Council, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), foremost among them.