Monday, May 2, 2011

USGBC Updates White Paper and Introduces a New Policy Brief

Jeremy Sigmon, LEED® AP BD+C
Manager, Building Codes Advocacy
U.S. Green Building Council

The green building code conversation has gathered some impressive momentum since last year’s joint release of the International Green Construction Code and Standard 189.1. A handful of jurisdictions have already committed to study how they might implement this set of codes and standards (in the IGCC’s Public Version 2.0, Standard 189.1 is included as a jurisdictional compliance option of the IGCC). So amidst this growing interest, we are responding to the demand from our community for more clarity and guidance on this subject – hence the following two resources.

LEED and Green Building Codes: Distinct & Complementary Policy Tools
This two-page policy brief is an extension of the Greening the Codes white paper that intends to more succinctly answer the question that policymakers so often ask; “How are green building codes and LEED intended to be used as policy levers?” That we’ve seen a series of “voluntary adoptions” of the IGCC adds more confusion than clarity, since codes by their very nature are mandatory minimums. USGBC actively promotes that jurisdictions consider weaving green building codes into existing regulatory minimums. But a raised floor is still a floor all the same, and beyond-code leadership with LEED remains an important piece of the green building policy puzzle. This leadership is best demonstrated by commitments for public buildings and incentives for the private sector to step above and beyond.

Click here to view all USGBC fact sheets and policy briefs, including LEED and Green Building Codes.

Greening the Codes: An Updated White Paper
May 2011 Update: A lot has happened since the first publication of this white paper in June of 2010. Since then, the nation’s first statewide green building code has gone into effect in California, ASHRAE has developed and published addenda to Standard 189, the International Green Construction Code has undergone two rounds of public comment, and LEED’s next version also began its public review. State and local jurisdictions have also begun seriously considering green building code adoption, and – with varying degrees of commitment – some communities have embraced these new codes. Amidst all the technical development, the government adoptions of these tools and the media that has been tracking the progress, the underlying vision of this white paper, the direction of USGBC’s work, and USGBC’s commitments to a collaborative, sustainable future are still very much constant.

Click here to read the updated white paper, Greening the Codes.

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