Find out how the new unified International Green Construction Code can lead to stronger, smarter, more sustainable and resilient buildings

by Brianna Crandall — November 14, 2018 — The 2018 International Green Construction Code (2018-IgCC) was released last week as a joint initiative of the International Code Council, global building technology society ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). The groundbreaking model code has wide applicability for incorporating resilient, high-performance green building strategies into building codes. It was created to help municipalities save money, protect resources, and increase the resilience, safety and standards of living for communities across the globe.

The 2018 International Green Construction Code was created to improve building industry standardization by integrating two previously separate guidance documents: it combines the technical requirements developed by ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES 189.1-2017 — Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Buildings with the model code administrative provisions in the Code Council’s multi-stakeholder International Green Construction Code.

The IgCC provides a whole systems approach to the design, construction and operation of buildings and includes cost-effective measures that result in lower operating costs, better indoor environments, lower impact on natural resources, and improved neighborhood connections and walkability. A public-private collaboration, the unified green code will help governments streamline code development and adoption; save them the time and money needed to develop their own codes; and create uniformity among adopting jurisdictions.

Sheila J. Hayter, 2018-2019 ASHRAE president, stated:

The 2018-IgCC leverages ASHRAE’s technical expertise to offer a comprehensive tool that has a direct effect on how green building strategies are implemented. Improving energy efficiency, building performance and indoor air quality are at the core of ASHRAE’s mission, and we are encouraged by the impact of this landmark model towards realizing more a sustainable future for us all.

Dominic Sims, CEO, International Code Council, remarked:

Building safety codes help our communities prepare for the future. Taking into account the latest technologies and cost-effective strategies for dealing with resource scarcity, the IgCC helps cities, states and countries build stronger, smarter, sustainably and more resiliently.

The IgCC is a part of the Code Council’s suite of comprehensive, coordinated and contemporary model codes — including the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code and International Fire Code — and is suitable for use in building codes around the world. Many jurisdictions in the US and abroad incorporate the International Codes in their building design and compliance processes to construct safe, sustainable and affordable structures.

Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC, pointed out:

Green building codes raise the floor for all buildings and are a critical complement in the policy toolbox to green building rating systems, like LEED, that are often adopted to demonstrate leadership. Today we are ushering in a new age of improved base codes, integrated green building codes, and next-generation beyond-code green building rating systems like LEED, each working with one another in an important, distinct and complementary manner. Our hope is that building professionals and policymakers alike adopt better, greener building strategies that help them better implement LEED and achieve higher performance in sustainability.

When pursuing LEED certification in jurisdictions that adopt the IgCC green code, USGBC will allow project teams to be recognized in LEED for their compliance to select IgCC measures. Visit the USGBC’s new Green Building Codes webpage for the latest information.

To purchase the 2018 International Green Construction Code, visit the ICC website.