Why the world needs another green building standard

A recent ICC blog discusses how, unlike other green standards, the new green building code will integrate green thinking into international codes.

08/22/2009


Editor's note: Shari Shapiro is a member of the ICC developing the green construction code.

another green building standard ? The International Code Council's (ICC) green building code will be integrated with other building codes, which should make green building much less complicated, according to a blog post on Reuters.

According to the ICC, the objective of this new project is to develop a green building code for traditional and high-performance buildings that is consistent and coordinated with the ICC family of codes and standards. As articulated above, the point is to be consistent with other international codes, which most jurisdictions have adopted (or tweaked) as the basis of their building codes. Thus, builders must adhere to two standards at least-- the conventional building code and the green building standard. This has caused many issues, including the waterless urinal fiasco, in which waterless urinals were prohibited under conventional code provisions. By integrating a green building standard with the building code, these types of headaches can be minimized.

In addition, code officials and politicians are comfortable with adopting and using international codes as the basis for building regulations. Thus, municipalities do not have to reinvent the code wheel when looking to implement green building practices. Finally, a solid compromise green building code can advance green building as the default standard.

There will always be a place for inspirational green building standards. LEED, for example, should provide new and innovative and more challenging ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, materials usage, enhance energy efficiency, etc. The goal of a code, however, should be to raise the floor of all buildings to a greener baseline. ICC's green building code effort is a step toward making that happen.





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