Maryland is primed to expand and incentivize use of the International Green Construction Code. In 2011, Maryland was the first state in the country to authorize use of the IgCC for private and public construction.
It is not surprising the IgCC found Maryland fertile ground. Relative to its population, Maryland has more green building projects than any other state. The first certified LEED Platinum building was in Maryland. Maryland was one of the first states to offer a green building tax credit in 2001. All government construction must be LEED Silver. Today, 14 local governments in Maryland have enacted a green building initiative, including several that have mandatory green construction laws imposed on private building.
But despite the fact that Maryland was the first state to “enable” local governments to implement the IgCC as a voluntary compliance alternative, not a single local government across the state has enacted the green building code. So, more than 2 years after the legislature acted, the IgCC can still not actually be utilized anywhere in Maryland.
It is anticipated that the situation will change dramatically.
The Maryland Green Building Council (an instrumentality of the state and not associated with the U.S. Green Building Council Maryland Chapter) is expected, before year’s end, to vote on a recommendation that the IgCC is a “cost-effective green building technology the State could possibly require to be used in the construction of State facilities.” This recommendation to the Secretaries of Departments of General Services and Budget & Management will allow newly constructed government buildings including schools, that today must be certified LEED Silver or higher, to alternatively be constructed to comply with the IgCC.
Second, the Council is also expected to recommend legislation be introduced in January 2014 before the state legislature expanding the definition of “high performance building” to also include IgCC projects. That expansion of the definition would allow not only LEED Silver certified private building, but also IgCC compliant projects to be eligible for state and local tax credits and other incentives.
And against that backdrop, it is expected that in early 2014 Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland will each adopt a local IgCC enactment as a voluntary alternative to existing mandatory LEED-centric green building laws.
Maryland is about to expand and incentivize use of the IgCC as a voluntary green code, in a manner that may be an ideal model for other states.
Article by Stuart Kaplow, appearing courtesy Green Building Law Update.