The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is finally out. This new code is another example of a string connection between the green performance groups and government expectations of lowered infrastructure costs. If you live in one of a growing list of communities that already use one of the earlier model codes then you are ahead of the game. For the rest of us here is another code that I believe continues to erode the value of a USGBC certification or plaque for your building. But that's a debate for a later time. This code sets minimum green requirements for buildings and sites according to the International Code Council, the publisher of this model code. While their stated intent is to "compliment the LEED certification" as you look through the code the bottom line is increasing building performance by reducing waste which is the same goal of the USGBC. The ICC web site touts this new code as an "Adaptable, Enforceable and Consensus-based" code.
As a practitioner of sustainable design for over 30 years I can lend my support as well to a code that raises the bar for new elements in our Built Environment. I still wonder about the long-term effects as owners often disregard the operations manuals that come with the equipment and controls installed to enhance good passive design. As design and construction professionals we need to keep up our educational efforts with our clients. It is incumbent on us to help them understand how to harvest the seeds of efficiency and sustainability we have planted in their buildings by being good stewards of their buildings.