Rhode Island is the first state to adopt the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The Rhode Island Green Buildings Act identifies the IGCC as an equivalent standard in compliance with requirements that all public agency major facility projects be designed and constructed as green buildings. The Rules and Regulations to implement the Act take effect in October.
“It’s very exciting to me as building code commissioner to see that we are the first,” John P. Leyden, C.B.O., and Rhode Island State Building Code Commissioner said. “I think that we are very fortunate in being a smaller state in that we can move things along a little quicker than other states. We adopt the other I-Codes, and so it fits in nicely.”
The IGCC applies to new and existing, traditional and high-performance commercial buildings. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 as an alternative compliance requirement.
“The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement, establishing a much-needed set of baseline regulations for green buildings that are adoptable, usable and enforceable by jurisdictions,” ICC CEO Rick Weiland said. “The IGCC provides a vehicle for jurisdictions to regulate green for the design and performance of buildings in a manner that is integrated with existing codes as an overlay, allowing new and existing buildings to reap the rewards of improved design and construction practices.”
In addition to the Code Council, cooperating sponsors of the IGCC are the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES).
“A lot of the legislatures around the country are also looking for more green buildings. I think this would be perfect for other states to look at to see if it fits in with their code adoptions,” Leyden said.
In August, Richland, Wash., became the first city globally to adopt the IGCC as a non-mandatory document for commercial buildings.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention, and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.