Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date code governing the impact of buildings and structures on the environment. This first edition, the 2012 edition, of the International Green Construction Code® (IgCC®), is designed to meet this need through model code regulations that contain clear and specific requirements with provisions that promote safe and sustainable construction in an integrated fashion with the ICC Family of Codes.
This comprehensive green code establishes minimum regulations for building systems and site considerations using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is intended to be an overlay code to be used with, and is fully compatible with, all of the International Codes® (I-Codes®) published by the International Code Council (ICC)®, including the International Building Code®, International Energy Conservation Code®, International Existing Building Code®, International Fire Code®, International Fuel Gas Code®, International Mechanical Code®, ICC Performance Code®, International Plumbing Code®, International Private Sewage Disposal Code®, International Property Maintenance Code®, International Residential Code®, International Swimming Pool and Spa Code®, International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® and International Zoning Code®.
The International Green Construction Code® provisions provide many benefits, among which is the model code development process that offers an international forum for building professionals to discuss performance and prescriptive code requirements. This forum provides an excellent arena to debate proposed revisions. This model code also encourages international consistency in the application of provisions.
This code has been developed in collaboration with the following Cooperating Sponsors: The American Institute of Architects (AIA); ASTM International; ASHRAE; the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). ICC wishes to thank these Cooperating Sponsors for recognizing the need for the development of a comprehensive set of green regulations that are enforceable, usable and adoptable.
The first edition of the International Green Construction Code (2012) was the culmination of an effort that started in 2010 with the drafting of Public Version 1.0 (PV 1.0) by the Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) established by the ICC Board of Directors. Following that, Public Version 2.0 was created, based upon public comments submitted to PV 1.0 and approved by the IgCC Public Comment Committee. Following the issuance of PV 2.0, a full cycle of code development in accordance with ICC’s Code Development Procedures was held in 2011. This included the submission of code change proposals followed by a Code Development Hearing, the submission of public comments and a Final Action Hearing. This 2015 edition presents the code as originally issued, with changes approved through the ICC Code Development Process in 2013. This was the first code to have been developed through the new cdpACCESS™ system. This system allowed stakeholders to collaborate on potential code changes and ultimately was used to submit code changes online via the system. A new edition of the code is promulgated every three years.
This code is founded on principles intended to establish provisions consistent with the scope of a green construction code that adequately protects public health, safety and welfare; provisions that do not unnecessarily increase construction costs; provisions that do not restrict the use of new materials, products or methods of construction; and provisions that do not give preferential treatment to particular types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction. This is achieved by comprehensive provisions which are enforceable, useable and adoptable.
The International Code Council maintains a copyright in all of its codes and standards. Maintaining copyright allows the ICC to fund its mission through sales of books, in both print and electronic formats. The International Green Construction Code is designed for adoption and use by jurisdictions that recognize and acknowledge the ICC’s copyright in the code, and further acknowledge the substantial shared value of the public/private partnership for code development between jurisdictions and the ICC.
The ICC also recognizes the need for jurisdictions to make laws available to the public. All ICC codes and ICC standards, along with the laws of many jurisdictions, are available for free in a nondownloadable form on the ICC’s website. Jurisdictions should contact the ICC at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to adopt and distribute laws based on the International Green Construction Code in a manner that provides necessary access, while maintaining the ICC’s copyright.
The International Building Code is kept up to date through the review of proposed changes submitted by code enforcing officials, industry representatives, design professionals and other interested parties. Proposed changes are carefully considered through an open code development process in which all interested and affected parties may participate.
The contents of this work are subject to change through both the code development cycles and the governmental body that enacts the code into law. For more information regarding the code development process, contact the Codes and Standards Development Department of the International Code Council.
While the development procedure of the International Green Construction Code ensures the highest degree of care, the ICC, its members and those participating in the development of this code do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with the provisions because the ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this code. Only the governmental body that enacts the code into law has such authority.
(Letter Designations in Front of Section Numbers)
In each code development cycle, proposed changes to this code are considered at the Committee Action Hearing by the International Green Construction Code Development Committee, whose action constitutes a recommendation to the voting membership for final action on the proposed change. Proposed changes to a code section that has a number beginning with a letter in brackets are considered by a different code development committee. For example, proposed changes to code sections that have [BG] in front of them (e.g., [BG] 309.1) are considered by the IBC – General Code Development Committee at the Committee Action Hearing.
The content of sections in this code that begin with a letter designation is maintained by another code development committee in accordance with the following:
|[A]||=||Administrative Code Development Committee;|
|[BE]||=||IBC – Means of Egress Code Development Committee;|
|[BG]||=||IBC – General Code Development Committee;|
|[BS]||=||IBC – Structural Code Development Committee;|
|[E]||=||International Energy Conservation Code Development Committee;|
|[F]||=||International Fire Code Development Committee;|
|[M]||=||International Mechanical Code Development Committee.;|
|[P]||=||International Plumbing Code Development Committee.|
For the development of the 2018 edition of the I-Codes, there will be three groups of code development committees and they will meet in separate years. Note that these are tentative groupings.
|Group A Codes (Heard in 2015, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 12, 2015)||Group B Codes (Heard in 2016, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 11, 2016)||Group C Codes (Heard in 2017, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 11, 2017)|
|International Building Code– Fire Safety (Chapters 7, 8, 9, 14, 26)– Means of Egress (Chapters 10, 11, Appendix E)– General (Chapters 2-6, 12, 27-33, Appendices A, B, C, D, K)||Administrative Provisions (Chapter 1 of all codes except IRC and IECC, administrative updates to currently referenced standards, and designated definitions)||International Green Construction Code|
|International Fuel Gas Code||International Building Code– Structural(Chapters 15-25, Appendices F, G, H, I, J, L, M)|
|International Existing Building Code||International Energy Conservation Code|
|International Mechanical Code||International Fire Code|
|International Plumbing Code||International Residential Code– IRC-Building (Chapters 1‒10,Appendices E, F, H, J, K, L, M, O, R, S, T, U)|
|International Private Sewage Disposal Code||International Wildland‒Urban Interface Code|
|International Property Maintenance Code|
|International Residential Code– IRC‒Mechanical (Chapters 12‒24)– IRC‒Plumbing (Chapters 25‒33, Appendices G, I, N, P)|
|International Swimming Pool and Spa Code|
|International Zoning Code|
Note: Proposed changes to the ICC Performance Code will be heard by the code development committee noted in brackets [ ] in the text of the code.
Code change proposals submitted for code sections that have a letter designation in front of them will be heard by the respective committee responsible for such code sections. Because different committees hold code development hearings in different years, proposals for this code will be heard by committees in both the 2015 (Group A) and the 2016 (Group B) code development cycles.
For example, every section of Chapter 1 of this code is designated as the responsibility of the Administrative Code Development Committee, and that committee is part of the Group B code hearings. This committee will conduct its code development hearings in 2016 to consider all code change proposals for Chapter 1 of this code and proposals for Chapter 1 of all I-Codes except the International Energy Conservation Code, the ICC Performance Code and the International Residential Code. Therefore, any proposals received for Chapter 1 of this code will be deferred for consideration in 2016 by the Administrative Code Development Committee.
Another example is Section 202 of this code, definition of “Dwelling unit,” which is designated as the responsibility of the IBC–General Code Development Committee. This committee will conduct its code development hearings in 2015 to consider code change proposals in its purview, which includes any proposals to the definition of “Dwelling unit.”
It is very important that anyone submitting code change proposals understand which code development committee is responsible for the section of the code that is the subject of the code change proposal. For further information on the code development committee responsibilities, please visit the ICC website at www.iccsafe.org/scoping.
Solid vertical lines in the margins within the body of the code indicate a technical change from the requirements of the 2012 edition. Deletion indicators in the form of an arrow () are provided in the margin where an entire section, paragraph, exception or table has been deleted or an item in a list of items or a table has been deleted.
A single asterisk [*] placed in the margin indicates that text or a table has been relocated within the code. A double asterisk [**] placed in the margin indicates that the text or table immediately following it has been relocated there from elsewhere in the code. The following table indicates such relocations in the 2015 edition of the International Green Construction Code.
|2015 LOCATION||2012 LOCATION|
|Section 505.3||Section 303.1|
|Section 701.2||Section 705.1|
|Section 701.2.1||Section 705.1.1|
|Table 701.2.1||Table 705.1.1|
|Section 902.1||Section 903.1|
|Table 902.1||Table 903.1|
|Section 902.1.1||Section 902.1|
|Section 902.1.1.2||Section 902.1.1|
|Section 902.1.1.3||Section 902.1.2|
|Section 902.1.1.4||Section 902.1.3|
|Sections 902.4/902.4.1||Section 903.1.1|
|Section 902.5||Section 903.1.2|
|Section 902.7||Section 904.2|
|Sections 903.1/903.2||Section 904.3|
Selected terms set forth in Chapter 2, Definitions, are italicized where they appear in code text. Such terms are not italicized where the definition set forth in Chapter 2 does not impart the intended meaning in the use of the term. The terms selected have definitions that the user should read carefully to facilitate better understanding of the code.