The International Code Council (ICC) recently introduced the 2018 version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), this time in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Yes, that’s a lot to put into an introductory paragraph, but it’s meaningful, because it underlines a point I’ve been making for some time now:

Green certification techniques are making their way into building codes.

According to the ICC site, “By collaborating on developing the 2018 IgCC, the strategic developing organizations supporting it envision a new era of building design and construction that includes environmental health and safety as code minimums.”

But, what does that really mean for our industry?

  1. Adoption rates will grow. At the time that I am writing this article, this particular code (in previous forms) has only been adopted in 14 states, plus Washington, D.C. However, I think we’ll see that number climb exponentially over the next couple of years. Since the new version incorporates ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES 189.1, it makes it more cost-effective for local jurisdictions to adopt green building codes, because they don’t have to create them from scratch.
  2. It should decrease costs. As adoption rates grow, green building costs should go down overall, because these practices will become more commonplace and mainstream. As I’ve said before, green building has become more of an expectation than a nice to have.
  3. Green certification will become more streamlined. The collaborative nature of this code means there will be efficiencies when achieving green building certifications. For example, the USGBC’s participation in the development of the code means that buildings that achieve IgCC compliance will earn credits toward LEED certification.

The View from Here is that we are no longer just on the verge of an entirely new era in construction. Rather, we are finding ourselves in the midst of it as code-creating bodies and private stakeholders are merging their efforts to streamline green building into a consistent green code.

For us, that means wider-spread adoption and a greater need for advancement in green technologies and more education.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

 

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