Articles

Outcome-Based Compliance Path Approved for the International Green Construction Code 

The new option tracks a completed building's energy consumption.
By Hallie Busta

The International Code Council has approved an optional outcome-based pathway for use with the 2015 version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) to comply with local building energy codes. The decision was announced on Nov. 20, following a vote by industry groups including the Washington, D.C.–based Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the National Institute of Building Sciences, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

This is the first time that the provision—which allows project teams to quantify a building’s performance through energy consumed once it is occupied and regularly maintained—has been offered for the national code. The outcome-based option joins the current accepted model-based performance and code-defined prescriptive measures. It gives teams more flexibility when deciding on an IgCC compliance path, accommodating variations in building age and typology by letting teams set an energy-consumption target and report on the building's actual performance.

“The introduction of an outcome-based pathway for the IgCC opens the door to more effective design strategies to save energy and lower construction costs,” Cliff Majersik, the IMT’s executive director, said in a statement on the decision. “This option will give designers more flexibility to innovate and will lead to a stronger, healthier, and more energy-efficient built environment.”

The decision follows news in August of a move to streamline ASHRAE Standard 189.1, the LEED green rating system, and the IgCC into a single regulatory standard enforced by the ICC, easing the national code’s adoption process for jurisdictions across the country.

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