By Steve Rizer
Designers will have more flexibility to innovate and facilitate more energy-efficient buildings across America now that the outcome-based provision in the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) has been approved, but it remains to be seen just how much influence the new provision will have across the industry.
Here is the Institute for Market Transformation’s (IMT) take on the provision’s potential impact:
“The decision to include an outcome-based pathway in the 2015 IgCC is … significant [in part] because it will directly influence future editions of the IgCC and other I-Codes, such as the International Energy Conservation Code [IECC]. This decision should smooth the process of including ASHRAE [American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers] Standard 189.1 and the LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] green building program into the IgCC development process. Earlier this year, the International Code Council [ICC], ASHRAE, American Institute of Architects, Illuminating Engineering Society, and U.S. Green Building Council announced an unprecedented cooperation to develop and streamline the IgCC, Standard 189.1, and LEED into a single and comprehensive regulatory tool for building performance. This merger will make it easier for jurisdictions to adopt and move green construction standards and codes forward, as well as provide incentives for voluntary leadership and above-code options such as LEED.”
However, in an interview with ConstructionPro Week (CPW), IMT Senior Code Compliance Specialist Ryan Meres said that although support for the option has been growing, “there is no guarantee that it will get picked up by other codes, specifically the IECC. A large part of the success or failure of the outcome-based compliance path will be determined by how it does once it’s implemented.”
Since IgCC’s inception in 2010, a handful of states and local jurisdictions have adopted the code; however, proponents repeatedly have stressed that, just like most other codes, it will take time for the measure to gain a foothold in terms of codification.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes transcripts of CPW's interviews with Meres and an ICC spokesperson.