Adoption of 2012 IgCC Will Mean Stricter Performance Requirements for the Industry

April 2nd, 2012 by DWM Magazine

With the release of the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) “the [fenestration] industry will need to comply with increasingly more stringent energy performance requirements around U-value and solar heat gain coefficient,” says Valerie Block, senior marketing specialist at DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions in Wilmington, Del. “We are seeing insulating glass units specified more frequently in South Florida–one of many examples where the glass configuration is changing to exceed the minimum energy requirements of glazing.”

However, the impact of the code on the industry will depend on how broadly it’s adopted, says Jeff Inks, vice president of code and regulatory affairs at the Window and Door Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C.

Right now the IgCC is not widely adopted, according to Inks. “That could or will change depending on how broadly it’s eventually adopted and how it is applied,” he says. “For example, as an option for meeting other high-performance objectives that a state or local jurisdiction may have in place, or as a mandatory requirement for some or all buildings in jurisdiction.”

In the immediate term the 2012 IgCC probably has a more substantial impact as a codified benchmark for green construction requirements, especially for energy, Inks says. “For fenestration, that’s 10 percent more stringent than the 2012 IECC under the prescriptive path,” he says. “The performance path is much less predictable and more varied from project to project. The type of fenestration that will be required or specified will be based on predictive modeling for whole building energy use. So it will vary from building to building.”

The IgCC can be used in conjunction with the other I-codes for new and existing buildings, according to Block. “While the new ‘green’ code does not replace the other I-codes, it incorporates the basic focus areas of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system into code language that can be enforced by building officials,” she says. “As state and local jurisdictions adopt the code, we are likely to see more and more emphasis on sustainable building design.”

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