We alerted readers of this blog in a post some days ago, All the Cool Green Building People will be in Memphis Next Week. And some thought we oversold the story. But when Britain’s Prince William and Prince Harry arrived in Memphis last week for the wedding of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Wilson and Guy Pelly, we felt vindicated.

And while the paparazzi did not take our picture after we ate at Rendezvous, last Thursday night the restaurant was full of code folks having completed a day of Committee Action Hearings on the 2015 International Green Construction Code.

More than 900 changes to the 2012 IgCC were proposed grouped and ordered in a big code effort into just over 500 “proposed changes” publicly discussed and voted on over 7 days of hearings. Changes ranged from clarifying confusing text to updating provisions to reflect the new and best science.

Much of the chatter among the hundreds of participants in the hearings was about “super habitable” buildings and questioning the efficacy of the proposed emphasis on materials, including EPDs, as being not supported by science and as straying too far from green building and any articulable benefit to building occupants.

With hundreds in the room, many representing industry interests, the ICC update of the Green Code is a voluntary consensus based process with openness, balance of interests, due process, an appeal process, and consensus. It is not perfect and at this hearing the concrete industries united to oppose the asphalt pavement industry’s attempt to allow asphalt pavement to be used under the IgCC. The existing code all but bans asphalt pavement in favor of concrete products (i.e., the 2012 IgCC mandates heat island mitigation for not less than 50% of site hardscape with material as having a solar reflectance value of not less than 0.30, including not even allowing the use of permeable asphalt); making the IgCC an outlier as the only green standard, rating system or code to effectively ban the use of asphalt pavement.

With the hearings now concluded the Report of the Committee Action Hearings (to accept, reject or accept with modifications each IgCC change proposal) will be posted online on June 6, 2014. A public comment period will be conducted until July 16, 2014, where any member of the public may provide written comments. And this is where the new IgCC gets real.

Public Comment Hearings will be held in Ft. Lauderdale between October 1 and 7, 2014.  Voting on the final action on the public comments will be done by governmental ICC members both at the hearing and for a two week period afterward with the online cdpACCESS.

The resultant document, the 2015 IgCC will be released for use in the calendar year 2015 offering a more robust and greener Green Construction Code that will be a real alternative to LEED and Green Globes, with broader and wider adoption across the country.

The IgCC is moving forward. On June 6, with the posting online of the then current version, the public will have more than a month to comment. Don’t be left behind. Review the proposal and comment.

Article by Stuart Kaplow, appearing courtesy Green Building Law Update.



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About Author

Stuart Kaplow is an environmental attorney and the principal at the law firm that bears his name, Stuart D. Kaplow, P.A.

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