Late last month the AIA announced that it is in support of the International Green Construction Code (lgCC) which will be a guide and model that helps architects and builders design buildings that conserve energy and move to a sustainable design strategy. The AIA is part of a long list of supporters which include ASHRAE, the US Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society. For architecture and engineering, this is a step in the right direction. This provides designers with a tool that makes responsible design less cryptic by offering solutions for energy saving strategies. More on this after the break.
The IgCC covers commercial and residential buildings and has been adopted by numerous states. According to AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA, the code “will create a path for the United States to follow in cutting energy use in one of its biggest energy consumers – commercial buildings”. Individuals have been taking their own initiative in designs that address issues of energy consumption and material toxicity, but with the backing of a large organization such as the AIA and the introduction of these guidelines, the accessibility to this information give more opportunities for architects to push their designs to be safer, more intelligent and more sustainable. The IgCC was released on March 28th, as an overlay to current international codes. It was developed through the public forum with guidance from experts in many fields including code development and enforcements, architecture, engineering, building science, environmental advocacy, government, business, academia and the public. It provides a baseline for a regulatory framework by establishing minimum green requirements for buildings to follow. It also has levels of compliance to address adaptablity of the code for different uses and needs of the jurisdictions that adopt these guidelines. The IgCC also provides an enforcable set of guidelines so that state and communities can ensure the safety of their built environment and demand safe and sustainable construction. With the expansion of the market for sustainable design, adaptation of these codes also is promising for the creation of new jobs and opportunities in architecture, construction, building technologies, information systems and numerous other fields that are affected by the building industry. It also ensures that the market is pushed further into the field of sustinable development as new technologies will be in higher demand to address the guidelines of IgCC. For detailed information on the growth of “green jobs”, check out this study conducted by the US Green Building Council.