I attended a very interesting session on the International Green Construction Code at the American Institute of Architect’s convention last week. The AIA was ‘there at the creation’ of the IgCC, participating extensively in its development, and is asking their members to advocate for its adoption in their local markets. Lots of interesting questions were raised during the session (which were recorded and can be purchased at meetingproceedings.com/aia2012).
One of the things that surprised me was the range of viewpoints in the room. A panelist asked, “Who’s really excited about this code?” and a couple hands went up. In response to, “Who’s really concerned and anxious?”, most hands went up. The discussion certainly gave this non-architect a newfound respect for the extensive effort (non-billable time of course) that a practicing architect or consultant must devote to staying current with the codes, and with the IgCC there’s going to be even more to cover. There will be additional responsibilities in commissioning, metering, and monitoring of existing buildings - not just new ones. A range of permutations (and interpretations) of the IgCC is possible, leading to probable inconsistencies across jurisdictions. Of course, there will also be lots of opportunities and a chance to take a leadership position, for those that want to be on the forefront of the implementation and use of the new code.
As of this writing, the IgCC is not in force as a sole compliance option anywhere; but it has only been published for two months. The State of Maryland seems to be the furthest along, but the language directing municipalities is written ‘may adopt’, and as far as I know no municipalities have. But, generally, if you are used to very green projects, you’re going to be used to this. Even better, for the professional roofing contractor who installs cool roofing and has a membrane and insulation recycling program in place, you’re already most of the way there. And it was clear from the session that the best way to understand what’s coming is to know your architect. With the support of the AIA, they are actively being kept up to date. You can learn more at:
And just to get some comments on this posting going, here’s a question that came up during the sessions:
Q: If IgCC is adopted in your jurisdiction, can you still do LEED®?
Let’s hear what you have to say, and I’ll give the answer that was given in the sessions in the responses.