Green light for high-performance building code

Standard 189.1 now a compliance option with the newly-published IgCC

Standard 189.1 covers site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy ef?ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building?s impact on the atm
Standard 189.1 covers site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy ef?ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building?s impact on the atm

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The building industry now has greater flexibility in the design of high-performance buildings through an amendment to ASHRAE's green building standard.

The change impacts application of the green building standard from ASHRAE, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) included in the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides a green building foundation for those who strive to design, build and operate high-performance buildings.

It covers key topic areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy ef¬ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.

Standard 189.1 now serves as a compliance option with the newly-published IgCC, developed by the International Code Council (ICC) and endorsed by cooperating sponsors ASTM International and the American Institute of Architects.

The change allows permit applicants – rather than the authorities having jurisdiction – the option to use Standard 189.1 as the path of compliance.

In earlier versions of the IgCC, Standard 189.1 was deemed a “jurisdictional compliance option,” meaning code jurisdictions had to choose between the provisions of Standard 189.1 and the IgCC in determining which compliance path to take.

“ASHRAE is pleased to see this change take place, allowing building designers, owners and contractors to choose to design to Standard 189.1, instead of the choice being made solely by the jurisdiction setting the code,” Ron Jarnagin, ASHRAE president, said.

“With the release of the 2012 IgCC, jurisdictions now have a viable green code at their disposal. Standard 189.1 stands on equal footing within the IgCC to provide a more complete set of options for governments and project teams alike.”

“IES also fully supports the change that removes the restriction,” Rita Harrold, director of technology, said. “The resulting freedom of choice will benefit all segments of the construction industry involved in developing design criteria for high-performance buildings.”

The 2012 IgCC serves as a new model code for constructing and remodelling residential and commercial structures. It is expected to increase sustainability, cost-savings and job growth, while providing direction for safe and sustainable building design and construction, according to the ICC.

“The IgCC adds to the strong foundation of guidance to move the industry forward with regard to high-performance buildings,” said Jarnagin.

“The document brings together the code expertise of ICC with the technical expertise of ASHRAE to create a comprehensive green building code to improve overall performance of buildings, including reduction of energy consumption.”

“The ICC and its cooperating sponsors have announced a new green construction code that will make a contribution toward healthier, lower impact and more sustainable building practices,” Richard P. Weiland, CEO of the ICC, said.

Weiland said the IgCC was developed during the last three years with input from code and construction industry professionals, environmental organisations, policy makers and the public.

"Our community was diligent in developing a code that is not only adoptable, usable and enforceable, but also flexible and adaptable. We expect this new model code, like the family of other ICC codes, to be adopted and used globally."

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