AIA Partners With Code Council to Co-author Green Building CodeSource: AIA
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Sustainability took center stage in Washington, D.C., on Monday as the AIA, The International Code Council (ICC), and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) announced a joint effort to co-author a green building code for commercial construction.
Entitled the “International Green Construction Code: Safe and Sustainable By the Book” (IGCC), the initiative is committed to developing a model building code focused on new and existing commercial structures. It will focus heavily on building design and performance, as buildings consume approximately 40 percent of energy used and produce about the same amount of the nation’s carbon emissions.
“We believe the time has come for us to develop a code that will stand as a useful and credible regulatory framework for creating a greener commercial building stock,” says Code Council Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Weiland. “We applaud and plan to utilize the good work of those who have developed systems, guidelines and standards to address green buildings.”
The AIA/ICC/ASTM leadership acknowledged the presence of many other organizations that have developed “green tools” affecting the built environment and welcomed their support and assistance in crafting the new initiative. After recognizing the historic role of their own respective members in the development of codes, such as the International Energy Conservation Code and the rapid evolution of new systems and guidelines to address green technology, all agreed that it was time to move into a new era of codes that specifically focus on green buildings and high performance.
“We are now at a place in the evolution of the sustainability movement that requires the specificity, the reliability, and the enforceability that only a code can bring,” says Code Council Board President Adolf Zubia, as he outlined the code council’s development timeline, which will include public meetings of the Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC), the newly formed ICC Committee charged with writing the actual draft of the code itself, a public comment period on the committee’s initial draft, and a final draft that will be made available in 2010, as a resource document before it moves through the development hearing and final action hearing stages. The new code will be published and ready for adoption by 2012.
The AIA will have very visible participation in the development process, with several architects as voting members of the SBTC. While attending the press event, the Vice Chair of the SBTC, Chris Green, AIA , from Avon, Colo., said, “As an architect, the opportunity to be involved with and influence the creation of a green-building code is a significant and exciting opportunity. This code will establish the foundation for minimum green-building standards for adoption by all our communities in the United States. In fact, this code will help shape the future practice of our profession and reinforce the sustainable paradigm architect's are currently working toward.”
Rick Weiland, the ICC CEO, referenced the compatibility of the AIA 2030 carbon-neutrality goals with the green-code initiative, and emphasized the importance of design, architects, and architecture in creating a useful tool for AIA members as well as the code council membership. Furthermore, AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee made key remarks at the launch event.
“The AIA commends the leadership of ICC and is delighted to join with them and other stakeholders in working collaboratively toward the goal of a model green construction code,” said McEntee. “It is important for the private sector to be proactive and take a leadership position in the development of building codes and standards, and this initiative makes a strong statement regarding the usefulness and necessity of the International Green Construction Code in fulfilling that goal. As the team leader in determining the performance of buildings, architects welcome the prospect of a reliable and quantifiable tool that will be a valuable resource in helping advance our steadfast commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.”
AIA National and the ICC are also attending the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Annual Legislative Summit on July 20-24. Both organizations will have exhibit space in order to speak to state legislators about the creation of the IGCC and their recent partnership.
For more information on this exciting opportunity for the AIA, or the AIA code effort in general, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, director of State Relations.
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