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IGCC Public Version 2.0 Released For Comment
November 9, 2010
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The second draft version of the International Green Construction Code being prepared by the International Code Council (Public Version 2.0) was released last week as anticipated, which incorporates the actions taken at the hearings this past August.  If you have any suggestions on how to improve on Public Version 2.0, Code Change Submittals are now being accepted and the forms are available on the ICC's website.  The final action to adopt the IGCC is a year away, and the public review process will continue until then.  The schedule can be found on their website here, and we'll endeavor to keep you updated as it continues to evolve.

It is a lean, 221 page document, so you're going to have to set some time aside to wade through it.  In a nutshell, it really is a lot like the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction, so if you are familiar with that already, as many of our readers are, it is pretty much the same thing repackaged, but your local Building Official will be interpreting it, enforcing it, conducting commissioning, etc., rather than the current "voluntary" system set up by the USGBC.  There are a lot of kinks that will need to be worked out by each jurisdiction as they elect which components of the IGCC to adopt, as there is a lot of overlap and conflict with federal environmental law, ADA regs, zoning ordinances, etc.  Hopefully, this opportunity is used to clean up some of the conflicts.  Also, where the development community has been in a position to resolve a lot of these conflicts on its own during the various special exception processes, being flexible with design and being able to pick and choose which LEED credits it wanted to chase, we now stand to lose some of this flexibility (i.e. certain components of the IGCC will be mandatory and while other provisions will be elective), so hopefully an eye toward the appropriate amount of flexibility will be maintained during the process - but this may very well be part of the trade-off in the transition from an incentive based system to a mandatory system.

Also, there is no distinction in the IGCC between building types, as it proposes to apply to "...every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures and to the site on which the building is located."  The IGCC won't just apply to new construction, either, but to "...the design, construction, addition, alteration, change of occupancy, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure..."  That's some pretty broad language...