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Adopting high-performance build- ing strategies is about to get easier. The 2018 International
Green Construction Code (IgCC), a model
code for sustainable building, integrates
the IgCC’s model code provisions with
ASHRAE 189.1’s technical requirements to
simplify adoption, usage and enforcement.
“The requirements have changed quite
a bit, but the concepts are essentially
the same,” explains Wes Sullens, direc-
tor of codes technical development for
USGBC. “ASHRAE took over the techni-
cal development process and 189.1 has
become the guts of the standard. The
requirements in terms of stringency have
gone up a little bit and there were some
new things added, like a focus on resil-
ience. It’s not simply the old IgCC with
Here are five of the changes you can
expect in the new code.
1. Resilience requirements. The green
code already included several measures
that contribute to resilience and passive
survivability, like energy efficiency and
daylighting, Sullens explains. The new
one builds on that foundation by adding more advanced resilience strategies,
including pre-plumbing that will prepare
the building for recycling graywater,
using recycled water or rainwater for irrigation, and on-site renewables.
2. Electric vehicle infrastructure. The
code now reflects the increasing popu-
larity of electric vehicles by including
provisions for charging and parking.
5 Things to Know About the New
2018 INTERNATIONAL GREEN CONSTRUCTION CODE LOOKS
TO SIMPLIFY ADOPTION, USAGE AND ENFORCEMENT
3. Changes to the water efficiency
requirements. Previous versions included a
prescriptive path and a performance-based
path to complying with the water efficiency
portion. The performance path has been
eliminated, so now the maximum flow limits
apply to all water fixtures, Sullens explains.
4. Energy displays. A new requirement builds on the energy metering and
efficiency provisions by adding a display,
such as a dashboard or analysis software.
“The idea is that you’ll have something
that takes measurements, stores that data
and then displays it,” Sullens says. “The
code describes what it needs to collect and
report, but it doesn’t dictate how you pres-
5. Occupant comfort. An indoor environmental quality survey now appears in chapter 10 ( bit.ly/2PA758k). It should be implemented within the 6- to 18-month window
after the building is occupied. The results
are interpreted using a scale from ASHRAE
55 and must be compared to a nationally
recognized benchmarking database.
Model codes allow cities to implement
parts of the IgCC as it works for them,
Sullens explains. Several sections of the
IgCC also align with LEED v4 credits, which
code developers hope will further accelerate adoption.
“Approach this green code with an
incrementalist approach,” Sullens advises.
“The idea is to start bringing these strate-
gies into building codes. It raises the floor
for everybody and makes LEED easier to
achieve once we have these systems in
place. Do what you can. If you’re in a place
that can only adopt three things, start with
those three. If you have an energy code in
place, look at water and air quality mea-
Ready to see the rest of the updates?
The full text is available from the
International Code Council for free (codes.
Janelle Penny ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
is a senior writer for BUILDINGS.
RESILIENCE, including daylighting, is
a focus in the green code updates.
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