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First U.S. Green Building Code now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 9, 2012 at 11:09 AM.

Last week the International Code Council (ICC) published the first U.S. code for green building design and performance, the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), aimed to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gases in new and existing buildings.


The code, approved last November after two years of development, applies to all new and renovated commercial and residential buildings more than three stories high. It sets 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 is a voluntary rating system where designers can choose certain areas on which to focus, in an effort to gain the desired number of points or credits. The new IGCC, on the other hand, has established enforceable minimum requirements for every aspect of building design and construction for projects in jurisdictions that adopt it. Local and state governments 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, as well as choose whether to apply it to the entire jurisdiction or on a per-project basis.


The IGCC is available for purchase on the ICC website at For more information about the new code and an overview of its mandatory requirements, visit (direct link:


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